Friday, May 9, 2008

Make It Personal

I have spent hundreds of dollars to learn that at the core of comedy is truth. No matter how funny it might seem to have a fat bald man run around with a salmon sticking out of hit pants (even funnier if the salmon is alive and flopping around while the man emits a high-pitched squeal), it cannot compare to a comedic scene rooted in the reality of the characters and their relationships.*

This is why relationships tend to be great fodder for comedic scenes. And what better relationship to lampoon than your own! (Just make sure your significant other doesn't find out. That's why I keep this blog a secret from him.)

Writing about your own relationship can breath life into two-dimensional characters. Of course this point is moot if you and/or your partner is boring. Most people when it comes down to it are boring. That's why you have to jazz things up with a twist. Like instead of writing a scene about a guy and a girl arguing in an Applebee's why not have them fight on the moon. Could it get any funnier?

Actually, Applebee's lends itself to more comedy because now you can bring in the dopey Applebee's waiter to interject occasionally with some sort of heightening mechanism.


Girl: I can't believe you said I'm fat.

Guy: You asked me how those jeans look on you, and I said they looked a little tight.

Applebee's Waiter: Could I get you two anything else? Maybe some chocolate cake for the lady?


See, great use of heightening. The girlfriend is sensitive about her weight. The boyfriend fucked up. The waiter, oblivious to this or not, just threw jet fuel on the fire. And everyone is happy because this fat, bitchy cow is miserable. Except for the Applebee's waiter because he works at Applebee's and has to serve up the most inanely named appetizers on earth, including (and I'm guessing here, but I bet I'm right), jalapeno poppers.

Of course you don't need to write a literal interpretation of your relationship. That'd be boring. But pulling upon all the countless times you've had your heart broken is a good way to cure the pain of being a loser.

Take me for example. After a rousing argument with my boyfriend, the next day I took to writing a one act about our relationship. I basically documented humorlessly what had transpired. After a couple minutes of writing, I got bored and sad. So I made a scantily clad, muscle-bound angel appear in my characters' living room. Escapism is the best way to deal with your problems!

So as you can see, if this post has taught you anything, it has taught you that your relationship life better be massively peppered with tragedy or else you're probably not pretty interesting, funny or relateable. With that, go out and break some hearts...most likely your own!

*To note, if the fat, bald man and a salmon are dating, I suppose there could be potential for truth in comedy.

Man: Good, heavens! How did you get in my pants?

Salmon: I swam...upseam!**

**Worst example ever!

1 comment:

Nellie Ann said...

I should let you read the sketch I wrote in my intro to comedy writing class. It featured a modern-day, post fairy tale cinderella and prince an applebees-esque restaurant.

Good times.