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Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 10: Jokes are in Details

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 9: Recurring Themes of Pop Culture,, I discussed how comedians use pop culture as ideas for material. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 10: Jokes are in Details, I’ll demonstrate how comedians dig into the details of their topics to find jokes. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 10: Jokes are in Details Jokes are not in generalities, they are born from details. You can’t write a joke about “family,” because it’s too broad. You can write jokes about the mishaps of vacations, strategies for getting into the bathroom first, and the lame presents you got. These are all details, which will each contain even more details. Constantine Stanislavski said, “You can never be too specific.” This is also true for joke writing. Do you know the parts of a zipper? How to play this game: select some common thing, and



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 9: Recurring Themes of Pop Culture

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 8: Identify Assumptions, I showed how assumptions are the doorway to writing jokes. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 9: Recurring Themes of Pop Culture, I’ll discuss how Pop Culture feeds comedians a constant stream of topics for writing material. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 9: Recurring Themes of Pop Culture The media creates or repeats the recurring themes on a daily basis, so they’ll have some drivel to report. These themes can dominate the media, like pit bull attacks, autistic savants playing music, etc? Pop culture is constantly evolving, so must your comic mind to keep up with what’s new. When at a bar or club, do you notice the names of the popular drinks? How to play this game: Exploit these themed stories before they become passé. Identify these recurring trends so you can use them as topics or prem



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 8: Identify Assumptions

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 7: Be Playfully Contrary, I showed how comedians play devil’s advocate to uncover other’s opinions and clarify their own values. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 8: Identify Assumptions, I’ll discuss how assumptions are the doorway to writing jokes. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 8: Identify Assumptions Assumptions are the interpretations of what we believe things are or mean, but can’t be proven. That’s why they’re called assumptions. All jokes shatter some assumption, which is how they create surprise. For instance, this joke: “I had a mud pack facial and for three day I looked much better. Then the mud fell off.”  You made the assumption the mud was removed as part of the facial, which is why this person look good. This assumption was shattered when it was revealed that this person looked better because the mud wa



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 7: Be Playfully Contrary

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 6: Find the Contradictions, I discussed how everyday contradictions can be used as jokes. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 7: Be Playfully Contrary, I’ll show how comedians play devil’s advocate to uncover other’s opinions and clarify their own. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 7: Be Playfully Contrary Comedians do not accept the status quo, they go against the stream. When you take the opposite position against other people’s principles and beliefs you can find comedy material … and sometimes arguments. If you always agree with everyone because you want to be like, you’ll never really know who you are and understand your own values and beliefs. Have you ever argued for the opposite side of your political views? To play this game: Disagree even when you agree. This can quickly get i



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 6: Find the Contradictions

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 5: Pay Attention to History, I explained that comedians use established historical event and people as fodder for their jokes. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 6: Find the Contradictions, I’ll show how comedians use everyday contradictions for comedy material. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 6: Find the Contradictions There are so many little things that make no sense if you look at them for what they really are. For instance, George Carlin’s joke “Dogs hate it when you blow in their face. But put them in the car and they stick their heads out the window.” On the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, he often presents news personalities contradicting their own opinions from one broadcast to the next. To create a comedy class in your mind, you must first understand that everyone is a hypocrite. We all contradict ourselves wh



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 5: Pay Attention to History

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 4: Know the Latest Trends, I explained how comedians know the latest social trends to be ahead of the crowd. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 5: Pay Attention to History, I’ll explain how comedians use history as fodder for their jokes. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 5: Pay Attention to History If you’re like me, you hated history classes in school because it had nothing to do with today. How wrong I was. History is filled with known events waiting for your comedic spin. Famous comedians often use historical facts to create material. Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets? I was good at math, until they turned it into letters. A quantum physicist walks into a bar ... maybe.” History is everywhere, so it’s easily available. To play this game, investigate your family history. Do you how and when your relatives came to America? Talk to



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 4: Know the Latest Trends

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 3: Investigate Things You Dislike, I asked you to play a game where you put yourself in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations to challenge your values and establish your negative opinions. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 4: Know the Latest Trends, I’ll explain a game where you’ll check out the latest social trends to be ahead of the crowd. This will be easy for you if you have kids. They know all the latest trends. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 4: Know the Latest Trends If you’re familiar with the “tipping point,” then you understand how trends come about. Comics often recognize a forming trend and talk about it before it becomes a fully accepted trend. If you want to make jokes about topics that aren’t overdone, then you need to be aware of the trends that are about to “tip.” Are you the first to know or the last



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 3: Investigate Things You Dislike

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 2: Be Aware of the Details, I asked you to play a game where you notice the details of all of things you take for granted. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 3: Investigate Things You Dislike, I’ll ask you to put yourself into situations you find deplorable to hone your negative opinions. Comedy Classes in Your Mind - Lesson 3: Investigate Things You Dislike Comedians’ jokes are based on telling the audience what’s wrong with the world. So, you need to get to know all the things you’d normally avoid. Know thy enemy. Everything you find upsetting is a potential premise for material. Instead of avoiding unpleasant situations, you need to actively seek them. Volunteer for jury duty. Help someone move. Dance alone in a plaza. Others don’t do what they don’t want to do. Choose to do. Have you ever sat and talked with a homeless person?



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 2: Be Aware of the Details

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 1: Notice What Others Miss, I discussed how you need to recognize all the idioms that you hear all the time, but don’t really know what they mean. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 2: Be Aware of the Details, I’ll ask you to play a game that makes you aware of objects and the details within them. Comedy Classes in Your Mind - Lesson 2: Be Aware of the Details Every day, in your environment, you’re bombarded by millions of details you need to pay attention to. Do you look at the architecture of every building you walk into? Do you study the logos of the products that you use? The jokes are in the details. All of the seemingly irrelevant details others dismiss can be fodder for jokes. Comedians note those insignificant details that others can’t be bothered with. Bother. Lesson 2: Be Aware of the Details To create comedy classes in your mi



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 1: Notice What Others Miss

In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 1: Notice What Others Miss, I’ll introduce the concept of how to create comedy classes in your mind so you can think like a comedian. Comedians write comedy about everything. Great comedians are voraciously curious and aware of everything. To find original material, comedians investigate their own psychology and honest opinions about world around them. The average person is living in their head…and it’s sublet. To help you create the mental habits of comedians and create comedy classes in your mind, I’ll offer a series of games you can play on and off during the day. Only through continual practice do these games become mental habits. The more you play, the more you’ll find excellent ideas for writing comedy. Lesson 1: Notice What Others Miss When you hear a familiar phrase, but you have no idea what it means. Learn its meaning and origin. Begin with these phrases: “Down to the bitter



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