Friday, February 15, 2013

Defining the funny

The Other Network ( is a fun site I just discovered. It deals with the ins and outs of comedy writing.

You can even learn how to structure a rant. And here I thought rants just spewed forth like demented lava.

If you ever wanted to be a member of a comedy writing team (and I have, maybe next lifetime), you need to know some of the language.

BEAT THE JOKE. Make it funnier.

BLOW. Joke that ends a scene.

HANG A LANTERN ON IT. Do something to make the joke or information stand out more.

NAKAMURA. A running joke that isn't getting laughs. Supposedly CHEERS had a gag about a character named Nakamura--that didn't work in the table read or before an audience, but was not taken out.

STALL. Place where plot isn't moving.

TWO-PERCENTER. A joke only 2% of the audience will get.

WACKY STACK. Too many jokes on top of each other.

Let's face it, a Glossary is not funny. Sorry. What do you want for free?