I have just launched my comedy writing podcast! In 10 minute episodes I give you writing inspiration by giving you inspiring questions to chew over.
The Q&A nature of it inspired me to call it Q&HA! (geddit?) subtitled: The Question Tools of Comedy. I woke up inspired and recorded Episode 1 at 7.30am on Saturday - and due to my partner Kate and our daughter not being up, I had to speak in hushed tones - which has given me a late night radio DJ kind of voice! Peter at The Comedy Crowd said "late night radio's loss is comedy's gain".
If you know my work, you'll know that I'm a great believer in the power of inspiring questions to take you to creative ideas. So much so that when I decided to start a podcast, rather than giving answers I decided to give questions.
As I release each episode I'm going to update this blog...
Episode 1: "How can it be worse?"
This is a great question to ask of a stand-up routine, sketch, sitcom scene/story or anything else comedic. I'm not, of course, meaning that you should make the work worse. Rather that by looking at how you can make the situation worse that you or your protagonist are in. In this episode I quote Mr Cee with a great example he shared with me when I interviewed him for my Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up book.
Episode 2: "What if you treat this situation as if it's a different one?"
In this second episode I ask the question: "What if you treat this situation as if it's a different one?". For example, if the scenario is in a greasy spoon builders café, what if you or your character treated it as if it were a fine dining Michelin starred restaurant? Actually that's a great example! I've come up with it too late to include in the recording, but there are plenty more great examples from Motherland, Friends, Key & Peele, Kevin Bridges, Richard Pryor and more. Plus practical exercises for you to try these kinds of 'as if's in your own comedy.
Episode 3: "What would solve it?"
In this third episode, I get you asking the question: "What would solve it?". Here you identify a problem and come up with a counterintuitive or absurd solution. For example, if you're trying to record a podcast and a dog is barking... how about making the barking dog a co-host? Plus practical exercises for you to try this kind of problem solving in your stand-up and with your sitcom/ comedy drama characters. And here is my 'what would solve it' video with Emily Heller and Joey Medina.
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If you want Chris to ask you creative questions to lead you to the funny (all while giving a tonne of tips) check out his courses