Saturday, January 30, 2016

Comedy Lessons Part 2

Here we are at week 2 of my comedy lessons.

If you're just joining us, just go back and look at last week's description.  Jeez, I have to explain what's going on?  Again?!  This is like the first chapter of every Harry Potter book:
Harry stopped in front of a mirror. He immediately noticed his green eyes, lightning-shaped scar, and crazy hair he got from his parents who were supposed to be killed in a car accident but were actually wizards (or a witch and wizard, as some liked to say at Hogwarts, the magic school - cf. Durmstrang and Beauxbatons) who were killed by Voldemort -- a terrifying dark wizard who wanted to rule the world for no well-explained reason.
"Harry, why are you staring at the mirror?" Hermione said.  Hermione was an unusually bright girl who is described as unattractive, but really was.  Harry felt no romantic feelings for her at all in spite of the fact that he was a teenage boy and had "romantic feelings" about everyone around him, including several of the house elves (for more on house elves, see paragraphs 10, 18, and 35 below).
He thought about how awful it was they called her a "mudblood." A mudblood was a witch born of non-magical parents and the Death Eaters -- wizards who ate at McDonald's -- wanted to kill them all because...
Well, you get the point.

Okay, so that's not the point.  The point is I'm trying to be funnier, so I'm taking lessons from a book.  Specifically, Teach Yourself Comedy Writing by Jenny Roche.

Today's lesson:

Exercise 1
Okay, 20 is a bit too long for a blog post, so I'll stick to 10.  Also, the only written sketches I've seen are... Well, they're not funny.  So, I'm going to post sketches I do like (and link clips so you can share in my incredibly good taste).

Monty Python
Cheese Shop Sketch  There's no cheese, but he'll try to guess what they have for hours.
Fish Slapping Dance  Grown men whacking each other with halibut.
Four Yorkshiremen  "Kids have it good these days" with one-upmanship ad absurdum.
Undertaker  Slowly moving from a somber moment to an absurd proposition.
Eulogy for Graham Chapman (not a sketch, but perfect)  Humorously roasting the dead (see sketch above).

Steve Martin
The Love God  Giving dating advice when you know nothing about it.
Holiday Wish  A man making a smarmy holiday bit admits what he really wants out of life.

Irish Language Lab  Two jokes: (a) Irish is basically English and (b) the teacher loses his mind.
Boot to the Head  A martial arts expert slowly loses his patience with an annoying student.
Welcome to Hell  The Devil greets new damned souls to Hell, and divides them into groups.
Michaelangelo's Last Supper  Michaelangelo has absurd ideas of what makes a good religious painting.

Exercise 2
You know what?  I'll save this for next week.  I'm all tuckered out from linking sketches.

Hm.  Odd phrase, "tuckered out."  Can you be tuckered in?  Tuckered over?  Just tuckered with no preposition?

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