Tuesday, June 26, 2018

101 Secrets to Writing Funny

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.

I'm not a writer, I only play one on the internet. Here's another little secret, every other writer in the world, even the ones that are famous and make shitgobs of money, have the same inadequate feelings of fraudulence. It goes with the territory.

It also stems from the fact that much of what we do falls into the category of, "I don't know what I'm doing, I'm making this up as I go along."


Nevertheless, as one perpetuates this little sham year after year you begin to discover some of the hidden little scaffolding that makes it all work. Particularly when it comes to humor.

Some are obvious.

For instance, certain vegetables are funnier than others. Cucumbers are funnier that romaine lettuce. Zuchinni is funnier than kale. Brussel Sprouts are funnier than anything in my entire refrigerator.

Some are less obvious.

Take numbers as an example. There's nothing inherently funny about numbers. Nothing. Nada. Zero. But, as crazy as this may sound, odd numbers are funnier than the even ones. How do I know this? For one thing, I told myself that. Here's a note I sent to myself five months ago...

Also, Dick Sittig, a legend in the ad business told me.

About nine years ago I was freelancing as his place. (Note I didn't say eight years ago, which might have been more accurate, but I chose nine.) He shared his three rules of comedy writing, of which was, "when you have an opportunity to write a number always pick an odd one."

And since at the time he was driving a brand new 2009 BMW 7 Series and had won 531 advertising awards, I figured the odds of him being correct were much better than 51-49.

It's why this blog is Round Seventeen not Round Sixteen or Eighteen. And it's why if you go back and pick any one of the 1953 posts on this site you'll find a zillion odd numbers and maybe a handful of even ones. Maybe.

It's a little detail, that accounts for .00027% of all the content found here, but it's part of the craft -- such as it is.

Of course, had I been paying attention I would have saved this article for a more appropriate date and not published it on 6/26/18.

I'm such an idiot.

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