Comedy Writing Tip #45

UGH! It’s been over a month since my last post here. Meh.

Enough with the self-loathing. Let’s get to the topic at hand.

I’d never been on Reddit before so recently I decided to search my name there. And I see this:

This thread is intriguing.
I use an Anthony Jeselnik joke in my dollar to credit card bit and have never even considered that I might be doing something unethical.
I’m also fond of throwing in Doc Dixon’s “permanent marker” one liner.

Apparently this guy must have a thing for stealing from Pittsburgh born comics of greatly varying success levels. Ugh.

(HA! Just to be clear, I post this 1% to vent, and the other 99% to do the Jesilnik/Pittsburgh joke. I’m not so naive to think this is anything new under the sun.)

BUT I’M HERE TO HELP, PEOPLE!! Especially you, TheCreepyStache!

Here’s the tip:

When I’m writing a magic script, usually in google docs, I highlight the laughs in GREEN.

That’s it. Simple enough, but here’s what it does. If I’m looking at a page and I see too many lines in a row without a green highlight, I know I want to add some funny.

In my first appearance on Fool Us I performed a three stage shell game routine. I knew going into the situation I would not have most of the laughs that are usually in my shell game routine because most of those come from playing the game with laymen. Obviously, Penn & Teller are not laymen. I realized I wanted/needed a strong laugh at the beginning of the second phase of the routine. This green highlighting practice made me realize this.

Of course it didn’t write the joke for me, but I probably would not have written the joke if I didn’t so easily see the need for the joke. And I’m glad for it more than most jokes, as it got a big reaction from Penn & Teller, resulting in us fist bumping each other, giving additional energy to the routine.

So, ol’ CreepyStache on Reddit, get your green highlighter and write your own &#$% jokes, you putz.

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