British Comedy Guide

Sketch endings

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Nogget

  • Wednesday 4th October 2017, 10:59am
  • England
  • 6,620 posts

What are the basic options?

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Will Cam

  • Wednesday 4th October 2017, 11:02am
  • England
  • 7,971 posts

1. The funniest joke in the world
2. An amazing twist you didn't see
3. A telegraphed twist
4. A lame joke

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Chappers

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 3:23pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,923 posts

Fade out.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 3:39pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

Nogget, how long you've been writing?

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Lazzard

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 3:42pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,637 posts
Quote: Will Cam @ 4th October 2017, 11:02 AM

1. The funniest joke in the world
2. An amazing twist you didn't see
3. A telegraphed twist
4. A lame joke

Or, if you're a Python, a uniformed officer coming on and saying the sketch is silly, and must be stopped.
In other words, they couldn't write endings.

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Nogget

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 4:16pm
  • England
  • 6,620 posts
Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 5th October 2017, 3:39 PM

Nogget, how long you've been writing?

I think the question is, how long have you been writing?

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Paul Wimsett

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 4:42pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

Just thought you'd know.

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Nogget

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 5:45pm
  • England
  • 6,620 posts

I mean, the question is, literally, "how long have you been writing?", not as you wrote, "how long you've been writing?".

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Paul Wimsett

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 6:09pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

"How long you have been writing?" is more interrogative but still correct.

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comedywriter dude

  • Friday 6th October 2017, 11:09am [Edited]
  • Australia
  • 225 posts

reversal " hence george pulling out a tidal golf ball" human brains are repetitive by nature. An ending to a scene at the start that the audience is thinking, then it gets figured out.

I would say figure out more of the word best ending. Figured that out is the number 1 though. A completed scene at ending. Humans arn't stupid , you have the subconcious to deal with along with memory an uncompleted joke or scene finalised
thats the word finalization.

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Stobbart42

  • Monday 9th October 2017, 4:18am
  • Japan
  • 163 posts
Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 5th October 2017, 6:09 PM

"How long you have been writing?" is more interrogative but still correct.

Not in any native English dialect that I'm aware of. (Or am I missing the joke?)

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Paul Wimsett

  • Monday 9th October 2017, 8:54am
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

Sounds like something Bertie Wooster would say to me, which is probably a good guide for "spoken English", if not written.

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beaky

  • Monday 9th October 2017, 9:47am
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,701 posts

"Tell me how long you've been writing" and "Tell me, how long have you been writing?" Are both correct but have different meanings, the first a straightforward request and the second with incredulity.

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gappy

  • Monday 9th October 2017, 10:53am
  • Oxford, England
  • 2,016 posts

I think , without sounding facetious, your options are to have an ending, or to have no ending.

If you decide to have an ending, there are many different ways to do it. Ideally, as stated above, use the funniest joke in the world, but I find that a lame gag, or even a non-joke that creates closure, will work as well, it just nicely cauterises the preceding comedy operation.

For example, I wanted to write a sketch about people asking for sponsorship to do something they clearly really want to do, or were going to do anyway, because it annoys me, so I wrote a sketch about a salmon asking another fish to sponsor it to travel across the world to spawn. I thought this was really funny, but couldn't find an ending. My friend stuck in "Who are you collecting for, anyway?", "The local school". Now, educational school/school of fish is a dire pun, but it just capped off the sketch well. So, in short, if you want an ending, a clear ending is best, even if it's not as funny as the rest of the sketch. Just my opinion.

Obviously, not having an ending can go two ways: make something of it, by going meta - Python technique as mentioned - or just walk away. Funnily enough, if you watch really old sketches, or sketches in the literal sense of drawing a character or scenario briefly, they often end with nothing much: "So long, then, Nobby".

There's a third way, which I confess I use far too often, which is the sudden tonal shift, implying a conclusion when really there is none at all. So, you could have two nuns discussing the latest wimple fashions, with lots of nice little gags, and then end with, "Also, I'm quite partial to the new, mother of pearl rosaries", "Oh f**k off, they're shit". It's actually a bit depressing how well this works. The acceptable family version is sudden disappointment putting a cap on the discussion: ""Also, I'm quite partial to the new, mother of pearl rosaries", "[SAD] You've gone too far, Mary, far too far. [BEAT] I'll pray for you".

If all else fails, blow up the room. Laughing out loud

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Nogget

  • Monday 9th October 2017, 2:30pm
  • England
  • 6,620 posts
Quote: gappy @ 9th October 2017, 10:53 AM

If all else fails, blow up the room.

Violence as an ending is interesting, since the shock seems to act as a definite 'full stop'.

There is a Mitchell & Webb sketch in which Robert Webb is an interviewer who is only there to give 'extreme negative feedback', and at one point starts using a typewriter, not for any particularly relevant reason; but it prefigures the end of the sketch, which involves him throwing the typewriter at the interviewee's head.

Not a clever ending at all, but it gets a laugh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRtBvo9grLw