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Helitzer, Melvin. Comedy writing secrets: the best-selling book on how to think funny, write funny, act funny, and get paid for it / by Mel Helitzer with Mark Shatz. Comedy Writing Secrets, 2nd Edition How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It by Mel Helitzer with Mark Shatz Writer’s. Double entendre: the use of an ambiguous word or phrase that allows for a second, usually racy, interpretation: “Would you like to pet my pussy.

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Mel Helitzer’s Comedy Writing Secrets is commonly used as a textbook in college courses on comedy writing. What does it say is the best method for how to be funny? It’s an acronym for the six essential elements writijg are wrkting in everything from good one-liners to funny anecdotes to full comedy sets:. Humor is criticism cloaked as entertainment and comery at a specific target… A humor target can be almost anything or anybody, but you need to be sure you’ve focused on the right target for your particular audience… Humor is an attempt to challenge the status quo, but targeting must reaffirm the audience’s hostilities and prejudices… Successful humorists select targets with universal appeal.

Humor is a powerful antidote to many of the hostile feelings in our daily lives. All of us have hostility toward some target… Comedy is cruel …some common sources writinf hostility and therefore humor: Lewis Black, the king of comic hostility, unleashes a torrent of anger regarding the milk section of the supermarket around 3 minutes, 16 seconds in:.


Without some fundamental basis of truth, there’s little with which the audience can associate.

Comedy Writing Secrets – Melvin Helitzer – Google Books

Louis CK is quite harsh — but hysterical — when talking about his daughter 1 minute, 29 seconds in. How does realism relate to exaggeration?

As we accept poetic license, let’s accept a humor license that grants permission to expand on realistic themes with soaring imagination and unabashed metaphors… [ Comedy Writing Secrets ]. For many, history can be dry but he exaggerates and dramatizes key moments to lighten the subject matter:. There must be a buildup of anticipation in the audience.

This is really nothing more than the writer’s skill in using emotion to produce tension and anxiety.

Think of hostility as an inflated balloon. When you create tension in your audience, you are effectively adding more wrifing more air to that balloon, building the audience’s anticipation over when the balloon will burst.

It’s no wonder then that it’s also one of the primary building helltzer for a successful joke… ” Comedy is mentally pulling the rug out from under each person in your audience ,” wrote Gene Perret. You have to fool thembecause if they see you preparing to tug on the rug, they’ll move.

Comedy Writing Secrets, 2nd Edition |

Jerry Stahl tells the story of how he managed to break his addiction secrdts heroin… by switching to crack:. More on how humor works here.

More on how humor can improve your life here. My friend Andrew Goldberg, a staff writer on Family Guyheliyzer a number of comedy tips in my interview with him. I think some people make the mistake of thinking that the first thing that they think of is perfect, and they fall in love with it.


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You might write five different versions of it, and ultimately come back to the first version and decide that’s the best.

But I think writing different versions is kind of the same thing — it frees you up to be more creative and to look for different ways to go with that same moment in whatever you’re writing. I’m a big fan of writing alts. If I come to a joke spot, even if I’m working on my own stuff, I’ll often write three or four or five different alts, and then I’ll show it to friends, ehlitzer it to my wife, show it to my manager, show it to a director or somebody on the project, and ask them which they think is funniest.

Usually the first joke you think of isn’t the funniest. One thing that I’ve learned from TV and working in a big group is: Whatever joke uelitzer there, you can always beat it.

There’s always a funnier joke somewhere out there. Sign up for our free email newsletters. The good news newsletter.

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Comedy Writing Secrets, 2nd Edition

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