Learn Comedy in 4 Weeks
FOUR WEEKS TO STAND-UP COMEDY
Section 1 - The First Week in Writing Comedy
Set up a bulletin board where you can keep your comedy material and put the cards on it –You can take them down or move them around on the board. You will see a pattern after a few weeks. You may write down just an idea such as: write about last Christmas dinner with family or how the family cat rules the household. Then come back to the cue cards and write your observations down on the cards.
DON’T JUDGE THE COMEDY AS YOU WRITE IT.
DON’T JUDGE THE COMEDY UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE PERFORMED IT A FEW TIMES. REMEMBER, ALL COMICS NEED TO SHIFT AND REFINE THEIR COMEDY UNTIL THEY GET THEIR RHYTHMS AND WORDS TO WORK FOR THE JOKES, OBSERVATIONS OR STORIES.
First week - Day One
Make a note on one of your cue cards about how people respond to you, include your family in this, and post it on your bulletin board.
First week - Day Two
From these observations can spring comedy bits. Some may work; some may not.
Some you may like; some you may not. Whatever you do, though, do not throw anything away. You may eventually use it, or it may lead you on to another idea.
First week - Day Three
From the observations you have notated, think of and write down your first line of comedy. Example:
Today I noticed in school that whenever I raise my hand in class the teacher totally ignores me.
(Here is your observation. Now write your punch line. It doesn’t have to be the truth – just a funny observation).
Gee, if only I could get my parents to do this when I do something wrong.
First week - Day Four
First week - Day Five
Pretend you are one of these comics, and write and/or say a joke the way you think they would. Imitation is very important in comedy. It is how you will begin to find your own rhythms. Try one joke — it doesn’t have to be your own; it can come from a friend, family member, television or something you read. Try the joke on as many people you can find to listen to it. By the end of the day you should begin to feel some of your own styling coming to the surface.
First week - Day Six
Write down things that make you laugh, that you think are funny. It could be seeing someone slip on a banana peel. It could be seeing how silly your sister looks with make up on…or your brother. Write these down on cue cards, and put them on your bulletin board.
Now you should have observations on your bulletin board about what makes you laugh, your favorite comedians/comediennes, how people observe you and your observations about other people. Take some time and just look over all the things you now have posted there. Don’t try to do anything but that. Just let the information sink into you.
First week - Day Seven
Look at your bulletin board; take the first thing that catches your eye. Write your observation – setup for your joke – then write the punch line. Remember: do not judge yourself. If you find you have difficulty writing punch lines or just can’t get anything down on paper, that’s okay. Your comedy may be physical, or you may be a wonderful storyteller. Both these are comedy, too.