I am a BIG fan of comedy. I watch practically nothing else on TV and when I do venture out from my writing shell, I like to see comedy live. I’ve never written comedy because a) I don’t know how, and b) a part of me is scared about uncovering a formula which might destroy the magic. It’s one of the reasons I’ve become so picky about what I read – because I read as a writer and can’t help but notice ‘flaws’.
But this week, when someone asked very nicely for my help with a comedy routine I couldn’t say no, and thought I’d better have a proper look to see how it works.
And it turns out that these guys aren’t just funny, they really know how to tell a story. They’ve got it all there – a solid story structure (setting, set up, rising actions, climax, falling actions and resolution) beautiful conflict, well formed characters, bags of show not tell via some rich and hilariously emotive language, and lots of laughs too.
Bill Burr’s facial expressions are brilliant, and his one liners are very funny, but for me this works as a routine because it is a great story, is perfectly structured, is brimming with conflict and has some properly funny characters.
I’ve got a new respect for comedians after analysing this. I just hope I can still enjoy them as much as I used to.