Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BOOK CLUB: Keepin' Comedy Loose (Ch. 33); Last Chapter!)

[Today we're reading Ch. 33 Aristotle Took Comedy Seriously, from Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters, by Michael Tierno (2002).]

The author writes, "Comedy uses the tools of the dramatic structure but it shapes a looser & more episodic plot so the jokes can carry it."

Hmmm...how does this really work?

I thought back to a comedy spec script that I really liked. The main female character is dating a rich, older guy and the script focuses on this unlikely romance.

However in a minor storyline, she must deal with her wimpy ex-boyfriend who camps out on her doorstep to win her back. There are several scenes where the ex-boyfriend is pretty funny. Were they absolutely necessary? No, but these episodes with ex-boyfriend did have a purpose: they were good fodder for jokes and laughter.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED: It's still plot 1st, jokes last...but perhaps I can be more conscious of playing more with plot to create more opportunities for jokes.

[DISCLAIMER: I have not been asked, nor paid, to read or comment on this book.]

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