Thursday, May 09, 2013

Hooters is offering free chicken wings on Mother’s Day; It’s called the; “Lady, clearly you didn’t raise your child right” special.

Lex's Comedy Writing Tip #32:

Time is a huge aid in self-editing. Although time can be an enemy of comedy - the more timely the better - time is a big help when it comes to correcting and even eliminating material.

When I write a joke that I think is good, my first question is: how did the world of comedy, nay the world in general, ever live without this joke? 

The next day I look at it and the same joke is seen as: It is a tad cumbersome, let's shorten it.

By that night, the world's greatest joke ever written is now: Why did I think that piece of crap was funny?

Every Mother's Day I get to be reminded of the stupidest thing I ever did not do: buy my wife a Mother's Day present when she was pregnant with our daughter.

Because I am stupid, I assumed that, A, she wasn't my mother, and B, she isn't technically a mother yet. 

I will never forget:

Sitting in a small advanced Speech Communication discussion group at UCSB, circa 1980, when the professor, kind of a snotty hypocrite because he railed against stuffiness when he was more than a little stuffy himself, asked the group:

"What is your opinion of Lieperstam's theorem that dialogue, reason and philosophy can transcend and solve all questions of logic, mathematics and science?" 

Then he wrote it on the board.  

This being a class full of people who took themselves very seriously, they all proceeded with lengthy and multi-referenced and oft-quoted responses, all clearly quite proud of their answers.

When it got to me, I said;

"I have absolutely no idea who said that, or what the hell they were talking about."

"Really?" Asked the professor, more than a little animated. "You have absolutely no response?"

"Nope." The looks of embarrassment and shame for me from my other classmates was obvious. Most looked down at their hands.

"That is interesting."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I made the whole thing up. There is no Lieperstam's theorem and therefore no correct response." 

Suddenly everyone else was red-faced and yet somehow pissed off at me at the same time for showing them up without trying.

The lesson? It is almost never better, if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, to baffle them with bullshit.