Sockbarrel and other comedy writing tips

Scrawled in the corner of my notes from Comic-con, I came across a few tips from a WGA comedy animation panel.  Again, with my mysterious notes, it’s usually a better idea to write them down soon after I hear them.  Alas, I missed that window again this time, so hopefully you can help me make sense of my notes.

Sock barrel – 2 jokes on the same subject soon after each other.  For example, you joke about a woman’s breasts, then a few lines later you make another joke, but not a callback, on the same subject.  As I recall, you want to avoid the sock barrel, especially if they’re about women’s breasts 😉

Eric Kaplan, I believe his name was, said to avoid piling jokes on jokes.  A “little joke makes big jokes harder to get.”  Maybe he meant the bigger jokes just seem less funny if you’ve been laughing at little ones.  My thinking is, if you have a big joke coming up, don’t pull your punch by having lots of little jokes in the way.  That said, I don’t know how that meshes with the whole concept of 3-jokes per page, a statistic I’ve heard about writing comedy specs.

I also have an even more mysterious note: “42 vs. 37.25.”  Unless I was writing about something completely unrelated, I believe this note means “specificity is funny.”  I just hope they weren’t saying 42 is way more funny than 37.25, because then I got it wrong!

Anyone else want to take a stab at interpreting my notes?

Anyone else have a different take on my notes?


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Filed under Animation, Comedy, TV, Writing

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