British Comedy Guide

Newsjack 2017 Page 35

Newsjack. Copyright: BBC.

Newsjack

Topical satirical sketch show on Radio 4 Extra. The programme has an 'open door' policy allowing anyone to submit material

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TheKingLobotomy

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 7:24pm
  • England
  • 188 posts

its their 100th episode this week isn't it? Maybe they had more staff writers working on it to celebrate

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BTF

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 7:31pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 560 posts

I do feel it will be a tougher episode to get on to.

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Bonzo

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 7:36pm
  • London, England
  • 835 posts
Quote: Blinkered @ 28th September 2017, 6:50 PM

Very well done to be included in the live show.
Given your fine track record, the material which did make it must be exceptional.

Thanks, we were very pleased! :)

Quote: StephenM @ 28th September 2017, 7:20 PM

Well done Bonzo & Thoisid, very good work to get in the show.

Thanks Stephen!

Quote: Thosisd @ 28th September 2017, 6:24 PM

Ah man, just got the not quite message.

Well done Thosisd!

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Stobbart42

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 7:45pm
  • Japan
  • 163 posts

Nothing again.
Oh well, you lose some, you lose some.

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GAP1

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 8:23pm
  • Wales
  • 93 posts

No e-mail for me, well done to everyone who got one

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JonT

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 8:52pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 49 posts

Nothing for me again this week. Big congratulations to all those who either got on or near-missed.

I'm finding the same as someone was posting on here the other day: that Brexit and Trump are dominating the news each week but it's v hard to find a fresh angle. And when I look at the other stories, I either end up doing the obvious angle or something that's too esoteric on an already-niche story.

Kudos to everyone who's managing to strike the balance this series.

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Damian B

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 9:00pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 67 posts
Quote: JonT @ 28th September 2017, 8:52 PM

I'm finding the same as someone was posting on here the other day: that Brexit and Trump are dominating the news each week but it's v hard to find a fresh angle. And when I look at the other stories, I either end up doing the obvious angle or something that's too esoteric on an already-niche story.

Making jokes about Trump would be a lot easier if the show was prepared to broadcast stuff about his predilection for water sports or his sexual fantasies about his daughter (it wouldn't be libellous because he's virtually admitted as much).

Writing Trump jokes that are a) topical, b) tasteful and c) funny is clearly what separates the pros from amateurs like me.

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BTF

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 10:07pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 560 posts

Do other people find it disheartening? I don't know why I do it. The odds are not at all good. I suppose I must like the creative aspect of it and the writing part is fun. I can see why people give up. I guess the pay-off must be worth it for all those who carry on.

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Watch Maker

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 10:23pm
  • Stafford, England
  • 36 posts

It is very disheartening. Maybe we are addicted comedy script addicts. The next one must be the big one and make it all worth while and so we keep going. I have only ever had one in the show and one broadcast. May it was just luck. However, I still feel my writing is getting sharper. This week may well have been tougher to get on, so as more people give up, next week must be the one!!! Maybe???

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TheKingLobotomy

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 11:04pm
  • England
  • 188 posts

there was not a single number cruncher joke in that episode

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BTF

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 11:11pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 560 posts

Yes definitely I think there is an element of addiction and thinking you are almost there. Like you say - maybe the next one.

I think humour is an individual thing too. We would all probably choose a different selection of one-liners for the show were we in the position to even if some overlapped eg tena/ tenner lady.

I really liked the Uber sketch tonight and I liked the funeral one. I liked the Ethel one.

No time for number crunchers. Well it is a 100 party I suppose.

Quote: Watch Maker @ 28th September 2017, 10:23 PM

It is very disheartening. Maybe we are addicted comedy script addicts. The next one must be the big one and make it all worth while and so we keep going. I have only ever had one in the show and one broadcast. May it was just luck. However, I still feel my writing is getting sharper. This week may well have been tougher to get on, so as more people give up, next week must be the one!!! Maybe???

I think people will drop out and get fed up but as the going gets tough, the tough get going. The really serious determined ones will stay so the reduced numbers may not make much difference.

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StephenM

  • Friday 29th September 2017, 12:08am
  • London, England
  • 862 posts
Quote: BTF @ 28th September 2017, 10:07 PM

Do other people find it disheartening? I don't know why I do it. The odds are not at all good. I suppose I must like the creative aspect of it and the writing part is fun. I can see why people give up. I guess the pay-off must be worth it for all those who carry on.

It's difficult not to be disheartened when you keep getting rejected but alas that is a the world of comedy writing. Always bear in mind though that there are many great writers and comedians who struggled with shows like this (e.g. Richard Curtis says he struggled to get anywhere on Weekending) and remember it's just one show and one particular set of producers / script editors. Someone else might well find your stuff hilarious.

Of course Newsjack is the main way for non-performing writers to get a foot in the door of BBC Radio comedy so it's tough when that door remains firmly shut. But try and stuck your stuff on stage elsewhere to see if it does work or not in front of a live audience. Or stick it up in Critique here to get some feedback.

My advice - keep enjoying it as it's a long, tough old road if you're not loving it!

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steve by any other name

  • Friday 29th September 2017, 12:30am
  • Northampton, England
  • 832 posts

It's a tough gig, I think. I tried without success for the first few series then, got a proper job. Managed to get a gag on in maybe series 10. Then you think, that's it, I'm in tune with the zeitgeist, or the producers at least. But in the series I have got gags in, it's only been in one episode, then no more. I like to think that the volume of submissions they receive makes success almost impossible. I was successful today with what I considered my weakest, but yet, most broadcastable, one liner. Almost without exception I would say my successes have surprised me as I had them down as the weakest of my submissions. I have concluded that, ultimately, you never know but it's always worth a shot. And this week I thought I'd emailed from home and it was only an hour later at work I noticed I hadn't received a notification and discovered the email was stuck in drafts. There was still time to submit but I think it demonstrates how much luck plays a part in it. So easily could have missed it.

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Stobbart42

  • Friday 29th September 2017, 12:51am
  • Japan
  • 163 posts

Just listened. Some funny stuff in that one. I loved the first taxi sketch.

The Toys R Us joke was very similar to one of Danno's rejected jokes from last week! That sucks.

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Danno

  • Friday 29th September 2017, 4:44am
  • Azerbaijan
  • 307 posts

It's a tough one isn't it. Finding the right type of news is the 'biggy' for me, I tend to get fixated on a theme that's doomed from the outset. I'm relatively new to comedy writing, but I enjoy the challenge and puzzle of trying to find that perfect joke, just like my old mate Michelangelo told me down the pub one night after I'd bought him his 19th bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale and before he started picking a fight with the cheese plant: "The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material."

Rejection sucks eggs, we all know that, but there are worse things we could be doing I suppose. Just keep tweaking the formula.