Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ten Easy Ways to Make Your Scenes Funnier

You might be struggling with a scene that just doesn’t seem very funny. Well, have no fear. By using any or all of the techniques below, your scene will be funny in no time. Check these out:

1. “And by ________, I mean ___________.”

This is as easy as jokes get. When a character says something like, “I’m going to the grocery store,” just have them follow it up with one of these zingers “And by grocery store, I mean adult bookshop.”

And probably the best way to use this is to replace a verb with the word “masturbate.” Works every time.

And by every time, I mean occasionally.

2. “I’m just sayin’.”

After a character says something particularly weird, crazy, truthful, whatever, just add the words “I’m just sayin’.” This will make whatever you just wrote appear to be mildly funny.

For instance, one character says, “I just wanted you to know, I’m wearing your underpants and even though they are a little tight, I like them a lot. I’m just sayin’.”

It won’t be incredibly funny, though. I’m just sayin’.

3. Make your characters British.

Works every time. Unless you are in a British accented country. Then you should give them an Australian or Irish accent.

4. Have your characters mug to the audience.

Every time a character says something funny, have them turn to the audience and smile. Or bow. Really. I got this from watching Telemundo. If they can also cross their eyes when they turn to the audience, it will be twice as funny.

5. Add a pop culture reference.

Don’t talk about someone have a big ass unless you mention Kim Kardashian’s ass. Someone isn’t getting drunk and stoned, they are getting Keith Richards-ed. That girl isn’t a skinny train wreck, she’s pulling a Lindsay Lohan.

The best of these of all time is the phrase “getting a Lewinsky.”

6. Have everyone wear Snuggies.

This is funny. It’s also using a pop culture reference.

7. Use bad sound effects.

It’s always funny to see people get shot on stage if you have a really loud over the top gun sound effect. Or if it’s a handgun, make sure the sound effect is for a machine gun. Also, a screeching cat works no matter what is happening on stage. Don’t forget to use the rule of three--if a character throws something breakable, have them throw three things and the sound effects should be: glass breaking, glass breaking, screeching cat.

8. Add some slapstick.

So you are writing a scene about a guy breaking up with a girl. Boring. But I’m writing a scene about a guy breaking up with a girl by throwing a pie in her face! That exciting, and funny!

It’s time to bring the pie in the face back, don’t you think?

9. Use names of old girlfriends/boyfriends in your scenes, then do really bad stuff to their characters.

It will be funny to you, at least.

10. Have your characters reference their blogs.

Have your characters set it up by asking a question, like: “Did you hear that my Grandma died this weekend?” And then when someone says, “No, what happened?” the answer is “You haven't been reading my blog.”

It’s always good for a chuckle.

If you use any of these ideas, please remember to give me credit, preferably by turning to the audience with your eyes crossed, and saying, in a British accent “I really Chris Othic-ed that joke!” Then following it up with a sad trombone sound effect. It will be hilarious.

And by hilarious, I mean excruciating. I’m just sayin.


Joe Janes said...

You just described every scene I wrote last year. All 365.

Nat Topping said...

Another sure-fire winner: adding "sexually" onto the end of a sentence.

For example, using headlines from the CNN.com:

"Ballet studio keeps ethnic legacy alive. Sexually."


"Gates hints at early Afghan pullout. Sexually."


"Academy apologizes for Farrah snub. Sexually."

Commence raking in the laughs.