- Friday 7th December 2012, 2:43pm
- Reading, England
- 201 posts
Quote: StephenM @ November 20 2012, 12:28 PM GMT
Personally speaking I approach endings differently for different types of sketches.
For quick sketches or ones with a build to a big finale the punchline / ending is the most important part of the sketch. For those I'd start with the ending and work backwards to get there. The ending is usually a twist or reveal to get there.
For other sketches (usually longer ones) where the important thing is to set the premise up early I'd start at the beginning with the premise then work out how to develop it or make it more and more absurd.
So, in short, I think I (usually) start with the most important part of the sketch and build from there.
It is important a sketch does have an ending, even if it is just a sign to the audience the sketch has finished. A year or so ago I was worried about endings so paid particular attention to TV and Radio sketch shows to see how they do it. It's amazing how many sketches don't end well. Some just peter out and few end on a high. In fact if you think of some of the great sketches it's surprisingly how few have a big finish.
So perhaps a good sketch doesn't necessarily need to have a barnstorming ending. It may be enough to conclude it in a fashion that it keeps the audience happy rather than pushes them up one more level.
One trick I have learned is to finish a sketch on a call back. It helps signal "sketch over" to the audience and often gets a laugh for the callback even if it's not that great a line in itself.
Or you can do what Spike Milligan adn the Pythons did and just cheat - but in very funny ways.