Is there a way to practice being funnier? Generally, people say no. A sense of humor is so personal and subjective that we can’t teach it, all we can do is tell you how to best express your sense of humor. You tell us what you think is funny, and then we’ll tell you how to exaggerate that and heighten it.
Well, probably. But I’m trying to think of exercises and principles that might at least increase funniness. This feels sort of forbidden to even try. I might look back in a few months and think “Nope, you can’t really teach it.” But for now I’m trying.
This is one of those entries that should definitely be regarded as BETA.
So: One of the clearest ways to have something funny in your improv scene is to have something IRONIC. It’s not the only way, but it’s the clearest way. By ironic I mean something behaving in the opposite way that we expect it to.
A drill sergeant screaming nice things. A Mother Superior tearing apart her hotel room in a rage. A teacher burning a book. A bully cheering on the math team.
Could be the setting. A drill sergeant acting just like a drill sergeant but he’s in a yoga class.
It’s very close to simply being MEAN or STUPID — but it’s not. It’s something behaving in the opposite way. It’s not someone acting arbitrarily random, it’s opposite of their expected way. It’s not a drill sergeant being really into dubstep. It’s a drill sergeant being forgiving, or being against rules, or being soft-spoken.
Gilbert and Sullivan called this “the topsy-turvy.”
I bring this up because I see a lot of improvisers do scenes where something weird is happening, but it really isn’t funny.
Please watch “The Act of Killing” - you can stream it on Netflix. I’m still thinking about it days later.
Thank you all SO so so so much for all your love and support. I have finally learned how to successfully Skip It. It’s been 7 years since a black woman has been able to Skip It, so it’s a really big deal. Also, I’m not moving to LA. I got a job. Sorry for the confusion. SEE YOU NEXT SATURDAY!!
(shot and sung by my roommate Matteo Lane)
You KNOW we’re all reblogging this so let’s get on it.
Well, this is perfect.
So I’m in an office for month and being back in an office environment I have the following near-useless observation I need to share with someone, and you, dear readers, get to be this someone:Here’s a VERY COMMON template of office conversations:
- person A: (introduce a topic)
- person B:…
“Ain’t no rules says a dog can’t play basketball.”
You don’t need a lot of theory, just reps. You are not going to be able to think or read or worry yourself into being a good improviser. This blog won’t do it, that book won’t do it.
You need to get up and find it on your feet. You need to practice.
Your scenes feel bad at first because you’re…
NO BLUES by Los Campesinos!
Bethesda (North Wales), June 2013
Produced by: John Goodmanson & Tom Campesinos!
October 2013 on Heart Swells / Turnstile / Wichita Recordings
Gareth, Jason, Kim, Neil, Rob, Tom
WHAT DEATH LEAVES BEHIND
A PORTRAIT OF THE TREQUARTISTA AS A YOUNG MAN
AS LUCERNE / THE LOW
LET IT SPILL
THE TIME BEFORE THE LAST TIME
SELLING ROPE (SWAN DIVE TO ESTUARY)
PRE-ORDER NOW TO RECEIVE THE ALBUM EARLY
I was on Letterman last night!
Someone please forward this along to the guy who threw a PBR tall boy at me the first time I ever did stand-up.