Home Contact Biography Works Media News

Jane Recommends
Who Hates Whom / Bob Harris

Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide by Bob Harris

"The geopolitical equivalent of scorecards that get hawked at ball games. Only Bob could make a user’s guide to our increasingly hostile world this absorbing, this breezy, and—ultimately—this hopeful."
~ Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac


Jane in Print
Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe, edited by Jane Espenson

Flirting with Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece, edited by Jennifer Crusie and including Jane Espenson's short story, "Georgiana"

Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly, edited by Jane Espenson and Glenn Yeffeth

Jane in DVD

Jane in DVD

Now Available:
+Battlestar Galactica Season 3
+Dinosaurs Seasons 3 & 4
+Gilmore Girls Season 4
+Buffy: The Chosen Collection
+Tru Calling
+Angel: Limited Edition Collectors Set

Jane in Progress


Home » Archives » February 2006 » Funny = Sticky. Sticky = Funny
[Previous entry: "A Trick"] [Next entry: "I Googled Goggles!"]

02/24/2006: Funny = Sticky. Sticky = Funny

What show do you think this exchange came from?

Coroner: I have to go take care of the guy with the javelin in his chest.
Cop (shuddering): Why'd you get into this line of work in the first place?
Coroner (deadpan): Free javelins.

Answer: Law and Order.

I probably got the words a little wrong, but I know I'm not far off. I know, because the joke made me laugh. Laughter is one of those visceral responces that help cement memories into place. Do you remember strangely specific jokes from sitcoms you watched when you were a kid? Well, then.

The lesson here is that even if you're writing a spec for a notoriously humorless show, like L&O, it will serve you well to look for a funny moment or two. If the show you're specing EVER does comedy, EVER, then you have the total right to put it in your spec.

The specs that were submitted to Joss when I was trying to get onto Buffy included an NYPD Blue spec. The first thing he said to me about my writing was to compliment a joke from the spec. Not a tense moment or a bit of action or a reveal, but a joke. Jokes stick.

Usually, in a cop show spec, you will have a serious A story, balanced with a funny B story or runner of some kind. Spend a lot of time on the funny bits. They may very well be the thing that gets your script noticed. B stories are sometimes neglected by the writer, since they take up less acreage, but they are the spice that makes the dish.

Lunch: Chicken in Mole sauce (is that redundant?) The Mole was sweeter than I've usually encountered. Can't say I'm against it.


Get Blog Updates Via Email

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
Jane recommends you also visit BobHarris.com



February 2006

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Powered By Greymatter
Greymatter Forums

Home | News | Works | Biography | Frequently Asked Questions

Site design Copyright © PM Carlson
This is a fan site owned and operated entirely by PM Carlson with the cooperation and assistance of Jane Espenson. This site is not affiliated in any way with Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox or ABC.