Class I: September 24 Stand Up Writing

Thank you everyone for being in my class. It’s a big deal to me that you’re in my class. Thank you again all of you for being in Stand Up Writing!!! The first class was great. All of you shared your talent and creativity and were open to the lessons I was sharing: We talked about the basic structure of a joke: premise, punchline, punch word: example: PREMISE: I have a crappy car. I have an airbag. Punchline: But I have to blow it up myself. Punch Word: blow. ( REMEMBER: The more honesty in the premise, the funnier the punchline.)

BTW: Please remember to use the smaller note pad for your material and your set. Use the thicker note pad to JOURNAL 3 pages a day about jokes you’re working on, your set, the class but keep your journalling specific to the class. Use it as a vehicle to rehearse and sharpen your creative saw.

  1. Remember: Premise, punchline, punch word. Look at your premise and ask what is it I’m trying to say or afraid to say, the secret, the unspoken, the Elephant in the room. This unspoken/ over the top sarcasm is the punchline. The less emotion the more neutral or vanilla the joke is. When we use MISDIRECTION and add three amplifiers to the premise; the attention is taken away from the punchline by making extra reference to the premise.
  2. EXAMPLE: Be honest, most guys aren’t handy. (what’s the elephant in the room here? Guys are supposed to be MR tool man. So I add amplifiers to the premise and have:) “If we’re honest, most men aren’t handy. They’re immature, have low self esteem, and have boundary issues. His ex is thinking, if he can’t commit to a relationship, how the hell’s he going to commit to fixing a sink?”
  3. It’s a great exercise to write jokes from different perspectives. It’s also great to write jokes about what you know. Writing jokes fro a story from our life is amplifying our story, embellishing it. I call this framing.
  4. Take a 3 or 4 minute story from your life and ask and answer questions from a few different perspectives and answer the premise with as honest an answer that you can. This is the punch line.
  5. Put your premise in the circle and make the cross and insert 4 perspectives on 4 corners of the cross. Ask and answer questions from each perspective.
  6. Journal three pages each day on your material, story, Q and A’s premises and punchlines. If you journal around the questions and ideas of your set you will reap the benefits!
  7. HOMEWORK: Choose a 3 or 4 minute story from your life, a story that you think tells us who you are. REMEMBER, the more honest you are and using the elephant in the room about your life the better your set will be. HOMEWORK: 3 to 4 minute story with five jokes in it.
  8. if you have any challenges, E MAIL PLEASE 🙂 paulsveen@shaw.ca