Saturday, April 23, 2011


George Carlin once said that he believed that his comedy was successful because he spoke of things that were Universal.  When you can relate, it's funny.  When you can think, "Been there, done that," the story is humorous.  That's why bodily functions always get a laugh, everyone does it!  When it comes to writing a humorous scene I try to keep that in mind.  I try to sprinkle humor into all of my writing.  I am not looking for the laugh out loud, I just like it when there is a smile once in a while to go with the drama/action/ or whatever else I am offering up.

There is a crop of reality video clip shows on TV right now that are extremely funny.  They are Sophomoric at best, but they are always good for a laugh.  (Who can keep from laughing when someone takes a pratfall?)  It is a lot easier to watch something funny than it is to read somethin funny.  Seeing a pie in the face always gets a laugh, but try incorporating a scene in a story describing a pie in the face: reading about it is not so funny.  The reader might smile at it (I doubt it) but seeing it makes it so much funnier.

Smart banter and dialogue is a writer's “pie in the face.”  Reading sharp conversations, with humorous interaction between characters makes the reader smile.  Aaron Sorkin is a master at this.  His dialogue is wonderfully quick and witty.  How great it would be to think of those great things to say in everyday conversation.  Of course he is lucky, he writes so actors can say his words and audiences get to see and hear the funny.  It makes it easier to get the laugh but not easier to write.  Sorkin is one of my favorite writers and he deserves every accolade he has ever received, in my opinion.

I don’t wish to write like Aaron Sorkin, I strive to write in my own style, but I try to add humor to my story, the way he does, without being trite, crass or silly.  Comedy is hard, comedy dialogue is harder still. 

RIP George, thanks for the funny.


  1. I love George Carlin and his books... I use his quote as my signature on Absolute Write.

    "I'm an outsider by choice, but not really. I'd rather be in, in a good system. That's where my discontent comes from: being forced to choose to stay outside." RIP George Carlin

  2. I like to add a little comic relief to my mysteries. It is often the hardest part to write effectively.