Anybody Here Write Comedy?

Fed up talking videogames? Why?
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~Earl Grey~
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PostAnybody Here Write Comedy?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:57 am

I've started writing a sitcom about drug dealers - centered around an unhinged, uptight weed dealer who hates his lot in life and resents all his customers, his easy going but eccentric and sexually perverted flatmate and the mother and son upstairs who, between them, get prescribed loads of good gooseberry fool (Tramadol, Valium, etc) because they're both "on the sick". Which they then deal themselves.

I'm quite happy with how it's coming along actually. I've got loads of ideas from my real life experiences to put in. I'm still working on characters and general tone. Right now it's all over the place, tone-wise. I've written a selection of dialogues, some Peep Show in tone, some Inbetweeners and some surreal like Father Ted or The Boosh, so I'm still trying to reconcile that.

Another thing is, I've got lots of gags and "isms", but no real grander arcs or comedic setups. That's what I'm having the most trouble with.

Does anybody here dabble in this sort of thing?

My actor friend (he's been in 24 Hour Party People, Merlin and Clash Of The Titans, you know) - he quite liked it!

But there's a long way to go yet, I know, but I'd be interested to know if anyone else here has had a crack at comedy writing.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:01 am

I'll put up some of the material here if anyone's interested. Right now I'd just like to know if anyone else here is into this.
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DML
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by DML » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:09 am

I actually did my first stand up this year. People laughed. Thats what I got.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by smurphy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:16 am

Post a sample of the script.
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~Earl Grey~
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:57 pm

I might do. I'm just adding a new bit.

But this is the thing, it's pretty long-winded I think. It's heavy on dialogue and I keep thinking of new little bits to add to the conversations. It's actually getting a bit out of control, considering it's just mainly focused on introducing a handful of characters.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:10 pm

I've posted what I have so far:

http://www.samgwilliam.com/small_time_1.htm
http://www.samgwilliam.com/small_time_2.htm
http://www.samgwilliam.com/small_time_3.htm

It doesn't really work in isolated snippets - it's kind of evolved into a very dialogue-heavy affair. I've only got three scenes so far and it's almost 20 mins of dialogue. I just kept thinking of new little tangents to take the conversation - it's become quite banter-centred, I suppose. Not sure if that will appeal to people or what, but my mate said it has a 'flow'.

So have a look. I suppose if it holds your interest the whole way through then I might be onto something. Who knows.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by smurphy » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:42 am

I assume that first one isn't the start is it? It's pretty heavy and long, even if it's not. Hard to tell what it'd be like from just reading. I imagine it being a bit like Spaced, but a bit less up beat. The sort of thing that would be on Channel 4 at midnight for one series then never be seen again. Not meaning that as an insult.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:58 am

Yeah, my initial idea was "Father Ted, but with drug dealers". But the more I went along, the more serious, 'adult' tone it took on. It's meant to be a bit on the ridiculous side, but not too zany. I suppose a Spaced-like tone is what I'm picturing. Maybe with some Inbetweeners-style crude, non-PC juvenile stuff.

It became far more about the banter, too. I just couldn't resist adding tangents to the dialogue. It seemed to work for me, but it is out of control now, a bit. I can see that. But that happens most on the third scene (a continuation of the first), which I think is by far the funniest. Ian and Dave are introduced, job interview flashback, Robocop reference, "special aunties", etc..

But that could be its thing - focusing heavily on the surreal conversations between a load of layabouts.

My experience with screenplays and their formatting conventions, etc, is pretty much nothing. The directions are probably lacking, I know.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:32 am

I've taken it down now - in that embryonic stage, I wasn't going to leave it up for long. I'm still trying to improve it. My actor mate even lent me a book on comedy writing.

On another note, I did just find some old Word document from 2 years ago that I'd completely forgotten about. It's a series of "zany" made-up facts about celebrities. Very "Viz". To be honest, I laughed (but then, I found that thread about the morphing lion genuinely funny, so who knows).

But I'll put them here, just for the hell of it, in the event that they do actually make someone else laugh:

Gary Barlow’s favourite TV channel is BBC3. “It’s the late night, groundbreaking comedy that keeps me hooked”, said the pop star.

Alan Titchmarsh has a secret vice – Scampi Fries dipped in houmous. “I admit it, I’m hooked! It’s the playful synergy between the creamy taste of the houmous and the fishy tang of the Scampi Fries”, confessed the housewives’ favourite TV presenter.

Jedward used to think that George Michael’s name was Michael George. “I can’t believe I used to think that! I mean what a silly mix-up! I just got the names the wrong way round, I guess”, said the duo.

Steve McFadden has a phobia of bread. “I know it’s silly. Embarrassing even! It’s been a staple food of Western civilisation for millennia, yet I break into a cold sweat at the mere sight of the stuff! It’s something about the spongy, porous interior that gives me the creeps. I prefer to snack on a chocolate bar, or perhaps a piece of fruit”, the rosy-faced Eastenders hardman explained.

Kate Bush’s favourite chocolate bar is Cadbury’s Boost. “I prefer it to the Star Bar – it’s too salty for me”, the eccentric songstress revealed. “I quite like Ritter Sport, too, but it’s rare to find a corner shop that does those these days”, she continued.

Phil Collins has a holiday villa in Turkmenistan. “It’s great because it’s such an out-of-the-way place – unspoiled by the glut of tacky bars, souvenir shops and Western chain stores that blight your usual ‘touristy’ places. An added boon is that nobody knows who I am there, so I can walk the streets with my family in peace”, explained the rocker.

Pat Sharp has never been to Liechtenstein. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the place – and it’s not like I haven’t heard of it or anything – but I just haven’t had any cause to go there”, maintained the amusingly-quaffed-in-the-eighties children’s telly favourite.

Frankie Boyle has recently overclocked his personal computer. “It’s only supposed to run at 3.2 gHz but I’ve got mine running at 3.6. And with 8 gigabytes of RAM, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s quite the powerhouse”, boasted the bespectacled funnyman, known for his prolific TV panel show appearances and dry, acerbic humour.

Helen Worth isn’t a fan of low fat yoghurt. “It just doesn’t taste as good – something is definitely lost in the fat-reduction process. Besides, yoghurt is quite low in fat anyway, so I question the need for a ‘low-fat’ variety, truth be told”, insisted the actress, better known as Corrie’s Gail Platt.

Guy Ritchie isn’t a fan of Yazoo’s ‘new improved recipe’. “It’s says ‘New Improved Recipe’ on the bottle, but I honestly prefer the older one. Yazoo used to be my favourite milkshake, now it’s Nesquik, which you can’t even buy ready-made – you have to mix it with milk yourself! It’s a farce!” protested the gangster flick director.

Bernie Ecclestone owns several rare breeds of cat. “I have a Lambkin Dwarf Cat, a Kurilian Bobtail, a Sokoke and two Serengetis. They’re my pride and joy”, revealed the F1 supremo.

Jamie Oliver can spell ‘supercalafragilisticexpialadocious’. “It all started when I was about nine and someone came up to me in the playground and said ‘supercalafragilisticexpialadocious – spell it’. After several failed attempts to spell the word, the kid smugly told me it was spelled I-T. The embarrassment made me determined to be able to spell it so I could knock idiots like this down a peg or two”, said the telly chef turned school meals crusader.

Jennifer Lopez once believed herself to be from the future during her nervous breakdown in 2008. “It’s no secret that I had a nervous breakdown, but what I never told anyone until now is that I was convinced I was a time-hopping bounty hunter from the year 2034 – on a mission to apprehend an embezzler”, confessed the pop diva.

Lenny Henry wonders whether the inherent determinism of matter at the atomic level means that choice is an illusion. “I mean just think about it: if all these particles that everything is made of obey relatively simple predictable laws, then could it be that all events have essentially been set in stone since the big bang?” pondered the Dudley-born funnyman.

Angela Rippon insists she can remember her own birth. “I know they say nobody can recall that far back in their lives and I’d say that – in general – my memory was about average, but I have a vivid recollection of the midwife holding me just after I’d come out” maintains the telly veteran.


Maybe this can be the thread for random funny stuff we come up with or something...
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by Dowbocop » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:16 am

They remind me of the "facts" that used to scroll along the bottom of the screen during Rock Profile.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by Poser » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:18 pm

I quite enjoy writing one-liners, with various success.

Separately, I also spent an entire year collecting material for what was going to be a crack at stand-up, but when I reviewed it, it lent itself better to an amusing novel that I haven't since attempted to write.


In all honesty, my 'jokes' are played for groans, not proper laughs, such as:

Sometimes I like playing in the park, sometimes I don't. It's swings and roundabouts, really.

I love Milton Keynes, in a roundabout way.

Tried to teach my dog to play Tchaikovsky on the piano. He prefers Bach.

Tony Hancock: the only person in the world whose name contains four body parts.


Losing my job in April 2012 hit my confidence, but I'm back in the game now and maybe will pick this back up again.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:30 pm

I've heard the Tony Hancock one on Shooting Stars - but I liked your jokes!

I'm always coming up with random one liners and scenarios. I write them down and now I'm trying to work them into a story.

Like, if someone steps in cat gooseberry fool barefoot. They can feel it, smell it but are too afraid to lift their foot and check - they're in denial over it, essentially. He convinces himself that if he doesn't check, then there's always a chance that he didn't step in it.

Schrodinger's cat gooseberry fool

I thought of that the other day while in the garden barefoot.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by SamoReid » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:44 pm

I've never tried to write comedy, love to give it a go though. I do some small stuff in comics at the moment. Just shorts for a few anthologies next year.

I edit myself pretty obsessively, worried about letting things run on longer than they need to be/ than they'll hold someone else's attention, but TV (comedy especially) is a different beast. So I find all this pretty interesting.

Do you ever read any of what Graham Linehan says about writing comedy? Really insightful stuff. He was in the Observer on Sunday, http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2013/ ... father-ted

Good luck man!
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by Poser » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:55 pm

~Earl Grey~ wrote:I've heard the Tony Hancock one on Shooting Stars - but I liked your jokes!

I'm always coming up with random one liners and scenarios. I write them down and now I'm trying to work them into a story.

Like, if someone steps in cat gooseberry fool barefoot. They can feel it, smell it but are too afraid to lift their foot and check - they're in denial over it, essentially. He convinces himself that if he doesn't check, then there's always a chance that he didn't step in it.

Schrodinger's cat gooseberry fool

I thought of that the other day while in the garden barefoot.


Balls - the Tony Hancock one is a joke I have convinced myself I came up with, but I used to love Shooting Stars back in the day so I probably did get it from that.

I liked the Cat gooseberry fool line, though. :datass:

Totally know what you mean about coming up with stuff and then trying to work out what to do with it. I remember years ago - and it's always stuck in my head - coming up with the line 'the room fell silent, as if Gary Glitter had walked in and offered to babysit'.

Never knew what to do with it. It's not even that funny, but I had always intended to use it... somewhere. :fp:
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:33 pm

I just had the idea of a running joke where someone called Aaron constantly gets accidental texts from people (who've left their phone off key lock) because he's always first in everyone's contacts.

Takes up your day, this writing lark, eh?
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by 1cmanny1 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:54 pm

:lol:
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by Holpil » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:04 pm

I find the idea of him getting phone-calls in the most inappropriate situations (for the caller) more plausible and potentially hilarious.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by Pacman » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:04 pm

~Earl Grey~ wrote:I just had the idea of a running joke where someone called Aaron constantly gets accidental texts from people (who've left their phone off key lock) because he's always first in everyone's contacts.

Takes up your day, this writing lark, eh?

I wonder if that really happens :lol:
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by Pacman » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:25 pm

When I was a teenager I wrote a few of these, a few of them got shown on Teletext but that was as far as my comedy career went.

TOWNIE TIM SPECIAL EXTENDED EPISODE - #1
MARTY AND TIM GO TO FRANCE

Marty: Okay, we're lost.
Tim: Maybe we should ask someone for directions to the hotel?
Marty: No use, we don't speak French remember.
Tim: Yeah, and they can't speak English. Didn't they listen in school?
Marty: I think it might have more to do with the fact that...
Tim: Wait Marty!! I've just remembered I speak French!
Marty: Oh boy.
Tim: And here comes someone; Hola Hola!!
French Dude: ?
Marty: Tim, that's Spanish.
Tim: Your mum's Spanish.
Marty: No, i mean its not French.
Tim: French?
Marty: Yeah, you know, the language we can't speak.
Tim: Oh yeah, why can't they speak English, didn't they listen in school?
Marty: Once again, they don't speak English bec...
Tim: Wait! I'm fluent in French - we studied it in year 7 so I know a little.
Marty: A little? Then your not fluent are you?
Tim: Fluent? What's that mean?
Marty: ....
Tim: Look, that French dude is still there by the bus stop, I'll try and talk to him.
....
Tim: Ello, mizter frunch gey. Cun yuu 'elp uz?
French Dude: ?
Marty: .....
Tim: Salut! Je m'appelle Tim, j'habite dans une maison avec trente neuf!
Marty: I'm Amazed! what did you say??
Tim: Something about rabbits I think...
Marty: Tim... How is that going to help us?
Tim: It's all i know, I can't say something I don't know how to say.
Marty: You're a twit.
French Dude: Indeed he is. Can I help you two?
Tim: Ah, oui oui! Comment appelle tu, grande maison?
French Dude: Um... I'm called Jeremy, and no, I'm not a big house.
Marty: We need to get to the VingtCinq Hotel.
Jeremy: Well I'm going right past there, want a lift?
Marty: Thanks, I appreciate it.
Jeremy: No problem, I lived in England a while myself, maybe tomorrow
I could show you around town?
Marty: Great, thanks very much.
Tim: Merci petit lapin!
Marty: ....
Jeremy: ....
Tim: Wha?
Marty: He speaks English.
Tim: He does?
Jeremy: Yes.
Tim: ....Great!!


TOWNIE TIM SPECIAL EXTENDED EPISODE - #2
MARTY, TIM AND ZOE PREPARE FOR THEIR GCSE's

Tim: Ahhh yes, just another regular day at St. Thomas High School in Manchester.
Zoe: Well, except of course today we have our GCSE's
Tim: You don't have to spell things out for me.
Zoe: No, Tim. Today is the first day of our Exams.
Tim: Oh really? What have we got first?
Zoe: ...You mean you don't know??
Marty: You did revise didn't you?
Tim: Why on earth would I do that?
Zoe: Tim, please tell us you did!
Tim: I did.
Zoe: Phew.
Tim: Except I didn't really, so am I in trouble?
Zoe: Yes Tim, you're in deep sh-
Marty: She's right Tim. We have Maths first, what do you know about that?
Tim: The angles in a twelve-sided triangle add up to 361 degrees celsius.
Marty: ....
Zoe: How about English?
Tim: It's in Europe... next to Scotland, Ireland and... um ...Japan?
Marty: That's geography.

*Tim starts jogging around in tiny circles*

Zoe: It's hopeless.
Marty: Maybe not...
Zoe: How do you mean?
Marty: What's to stop him cheating? Worst case scenario they catch him
and cancel his paper. But he's going to fail miserably anyway right?
Zoe: Of course! Good thinking.

*Marty and Zoe convince Tim to stop jogging around, and tell him the plan*

Marty: So have you got a pen?
Tim: Why?
Zoe: To write the answers on your arm.
Tim: ....Is that allowed?
Zoe: We're cheating remember?
Tim: You are?? But i thought you guys revised.

*Marty and Zoe remind Tim of the plan*

Tim: Okay, let's do this.
Marty: First write down that angles in a triangle add up to-
Tim: 180 degrees, gotcha.

*Tim writes this down on his arm*

Marty: ...You knew that?
Tim: Duh, I did revise ya'know.
Zoe: But you said you didn't.
Tim: No I didn't..... I must have thought you said something else.
Zoe: Like what?
Tim: ...Eat pies.
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PostRe: Anybody Here Write Comedy?
by Fizheuer Zieheuer » Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:14 pm

Zoe: Well, except of course today we have our GCSE's
Tim: You don't have to spell things out for me.


lol!

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