British Comedy Guide

Source of Inspiration

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antoulou72

  • Tuesday 26th March 2019, 8:43pm
  • Birmingham, United States
  • 1 posts

When you think about sitting down and writing some comedy, how is it that you get in the zone and find the right inspiration you need to write the great joke you're looking for?

I tend to watch some of my favorite comedy shows/movies/stand-up routines, but there's got to be better more natural ways.

How do you go about it?

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beaky

  • Tuesday 26th March 2019, 10:00pm
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,716 posts

You've answered your own question, antoulou. You sit down and start writing, and then the mood comes - at least in my experience. "Appetite comes with eating" - Rabelais.

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Rood Eye

  • Tuesday 26th March 2019, 10:25pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,986 posts

I often think of great bits of comedy shortly after I get into bed at night and I'm lying there in the dark.

The snag is that not many other people are interested in comedy when they're in bed trying to get to sleep. I've certainly never had a partner that was.

ME: Hey, listen to this: it's absolutely brilliant.

HER: Tell me in the morning.

ME: It'll only take a minute and it's really funny.

HER: F**k off!

ME: Okay, good night darling.

HER: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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ellisael

  • Monday 6th May 2019, 10:53am
  • United States
  • 12 posts

I prepare to write comedy by consuming huge amounts of comedy too. I ensure that i consume comedy that is across all spectrum. I always begin with Fawlty Towers and sometimes end with Community. The inspiration comes in the essence that comedy is not just slapstick or high brow but that it can exist in many hues. This gives me immense courage to keep writing. I consider my humor quite deadpan.

Quote: beaky @ 26th March 2019, 10:00 PM

You've answered your own question, antoulou. You sit down and start writing, and then the mood comes - at least in my experience. "Appetite comes with eating" - Rabelais.

Inspiring quote.Trust the process of appetite

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 6th May 2019, 11:09am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,120 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 26th March 2019, 10:25 PM

I often think of great bits of comedy shortly after I get into bed at night and I'm lying there in the dark.

The snag is that not many other people are interested in comedy when they're in bed trying to get to sleep. I've certainly never had a partner that was.

Strangely I've found the exact opposite to be true, as soon as they get into bed they can't stop laughing. Eh?

Beaky is right but it can be hard to get yourself geared up for it. Some writers are notorious for finding any excuse not to start the process of actual writing.

My way is, think of your favourite sitcom scenes the ones that made you laugh the most and then see if you can dream up alternatives. If you can make yourself larf then you're getting there. Then the hard bit, write them down before you forget. Eh?

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Monday 6th May 2019, 11:49am
  • England
  • 16,673 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 6th May 2019, 11:09 AM

Then the hard bit, write them down before you forget. Eh?

Haven't written comedy for years, but for Only Connect questions I annoyingly have great ideas as soon as I get into bed WHEN I'M TRYING TO NOD OFF........................Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

SO, rather than have a paper and pen, which is virtually no good in the dark, I have a small hand held dictaphone on the bedside table which IS usable in the dark. In fact, I only have to stick one hand out to use it and can stay snuggly in bed. :)

Speaking of which - Free old joke:-

Secretary to boss "Can I use your dictaphone?"

Boss " No! Use your finger like everyone else!"

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Jeremy Dillon

  • Monday 6th May 2019, 10:22pm
  • Chesterfield, England
  • 53 posts

I think it always helps to have something to focus on when writing. With shows like Newsjacks obviously you can use the newspapers and TV news as a good source of ideas. I've done quite a bit of work for greeting card companies in the past so I have used old black and white pictures to try and generate ideas or just focused on a theme like drinking or aging and tried to write original jokes for those topics.

Gary Delaney once suggested on Chortle that writers should try different experiences in order to generate new ideas like going to an art gallery or going to see a play.

Like other people have said on this thread the biggest problem is often writing down good ideas when you first have them. I often wake up in the morning to find random words I've scribbled down just before going to sleep. Sometimes these help me remember what the original idea was but usually the words make no sense whatsoever.

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Wednesday 8th May 2019, 6:59pm [Edited]
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 4,905 posts

For me it's the opposite of Beaky. Sitting down in front of a computer screen I can never think of anything. The funniest ideas come from everyday life so I always have a notebook handy and scribble them down and order them when an opp comes.