Writing Comedy When Life Ain't Funny



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  • #31
    Re: It was the best funeral I've never been to.

    Aunt Margey died last week. She's the oldest of Mother's four sisters So, all the remaining kin, except for me (I couldn't stand her) went to her funeral in Indiana.

    My sis said that when they drove into the country cemetery where she was to be planted, there by the freshly dug grave, stood this immense man leaning on the shovel. His seven bellies fell over his dirty denim pants, which were held up by two pairs of suspenders.

    Later, after the family gathered at the grave for the final send off, this person of two teeth repaired to the graveyard shed to observe. During the prayer, sis said to cousin, "God, that guy looks like he's from Deliverance."

    Cousin chucked, then quietly hummed the first measures of the Deliverance Banjo Duel. Two rows back, another cousin,
    equally impressed with our bon vivant grave digger and quick on the uptake, answered with the second part of the duet.

    By the time the internment was over, the entire crowd was giggling. Aunt Margey would've loved it. She, after all, instructed that no one could wear black at her funeral.

    Ha. Wish I'd gone.
    This is priceless! :lol Thanks for sharing!

    Reading posts like this will surely tickle the giggle box!


    • #32
      Re: It was the best funeral I've never been to.


      Healing is for the seriously traumatized and even then it ought to come out in some form of art or therapy.

      Life is tragedy - it becomes comedy if you just wait long enough.

      I'm paraphrasing from Crimes and Misdemeanors, but...

      All the pain in life is just plain pain and overwhelming. The one way I've ever learned to deal with pain is to kibbitz and find comedic elements within it instead of simply commiserating.

      I agree with those who've commented that funny comes from pain.

      Live it then write it, PC.


      • #33
        Re: It was the best funeral I've never been to.

        ...Rod Stewart, having spent some time as a grave-digger before hitting it big.....


        • #34
          Comedy is shared misery

          If you think of how miserable your current situation is and how it would look on the silver screen, you can find humor.

          I was just driving my car home a few minutes ago that is sputtering and choking. I'm miserable about that and a bunch of other stuff. I ran over a dead skunk. So now, my car fits into the other elements of my life. It stinks to high heaven.

          When your screenplay character is going through seven
          kinds of hell and collapses on a park bench in tears, face in hands, have a bird fly over and @#%$ on her head.

          We'll laugh about it because we have all been there in one way or another.

          Comedy is just an extreme close-up of our collective misery. Life is a bitch for everybody and a comedian gives us comfort when he/she connects with our misery.

          My dad was dying in a hospital. The poor man nearly died in extreme pain from the following:

          My sister had taken my three-year-old son into the elevator to go to the hospital cafeteria. The little guy was mumbling something. My sister asked him, "What did you say?" He mumbled again. She asked again, louder, "What did you say?"

          He finally shouted in the crowded elevator, "SOMEONE FARTED ON ME!"

          The whole elevator erupted in laughter.

          The little guy was just sharing his misery but man was it funny!

          My poor Dad nearly died from the pain of his laughter when my sister told him the story.


          • #35
            Re: Comedy is shared misery

            I think the best thing about the human race is our ability to find the funny in tragedies.

            As a Floridian who took on 3 out of 4 recent hurricanes, the insurance company/government run-around we're getting while trying to fix damage offers much fodder for comedy.

            Example: the demand for roofers and structural repair contractors far outweighs the number of licensed folks
            operating in Florida. The governor announced that out-of-state contractors can get a temporary FL license.
            However, I just foung out my County exercised it's right to BAN out of state contractors.

            The state giveth, the county taketh away.

            And, thanks to said run-around, my boyfriend had to go buy additional blue plastic roof tarps. The sales guy said:

            "Oh, wow. Another order for the Floridian state flag."

            It is funny driving around and seeing so many blue plastic roofs.


            • #36
              Re: Comedy is shared misery

              i'll put your roof back on three grand for five squares.



              • #37
                Re: Comedy is shared misery

                "Oh, wow. Another order for the Floridian state flag."


                • #38
                  Re: Comedy is shared misery

                  Ummm, Vig. It's 41 squares (large one-story house).

                  So, if my math is correct, you'd cost around $25 grand which is ten grand more than the estimate I got from a roofer this week.



                  • #39
                    Re: Comedy is shared misery

                    is it a relay or tear down. wow, we get around six grand for ten square up north. jesus, florida is cheap. actually, i think the squares i'm talking about are double stacked, but still, that's cheap.



                    • #40
                      Re: Comedy is shared misery

                      Man, the direction this thread has taken is just about the most comic thing I've seen in ages. From Tragedy to Roofing in 8 Easy Steps.

                      All better now.


                      • #41
                        Re: Comedy is shared misery

                        Well, I think the thread stayed on topic with examples of 'funny' in the midst of 'not funny' situations.

                        Let's face it, even when your personal life is 'perfect' there's always death, famine, war, torture and what have you going on in some part of the world.

                        Didn't Woody Allen have a line in one of his old films, something to the effect of his inability to have a good time when there are people starving on the other side of the world?
                        And the line got a laugh.

                        I think the Buddhist take on life is better than our Western POV. We expect life to be good and painless and any deviation from "good" is seen as a tragedy to us. As a result, we take the good times for granted, we think that's the way it 'should' be and we're pissed when it's not.

                        They expect life to be painful and tragic so any moment of joy is seen a great gift which they don't take for granted.
                        I think their way is healthier.

                        But to keep this on screenwriting . . .

                        Although I have plenty of tragedy in my own life to draw upon to write a Kleenex drama, every time I try I end up putting a joke in or seeing the ironic humor in it or, worse, seeing it as a self indulgent pity party, and I stop writing. I think my inability to write drama comes from the fact that I used humor to survive the bad times.


                        • #42
                          "The fact that someone else's life sucks worse doesn't make mine any better."

                          Oh, this is so true.

                          My short life up to this point has pretty much blown. But tragedy is the stomping-ground of hilarity.

                          True tragedy is funny. That's why Shakespeare's tragedies are actually better than his comedies. :rollin