Home » Archives » January 2008 » Pedagogy!
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So, I was discussing the idea of an analytical approach to comedy with a writer on the line the other day and he directed me to this profile of George Meyer from The New Yorker in 2000. It's a look at a writer for The Simpsons with an approach to comedy that is fascinatingly analytical. Look for the bit where he talks about jokes "skipping a step." It's kind of revelatory.
I know I'm going to be thinking about that insight for a long time and trying to apply it to my favorite tv lines.
If anyone has ever made you feel bad about approaching humor analytically, this piece will make you feel better. Heck, I dare say it'll make you feel funny.
In strike news, the fine writers at Gate 2 at Warner Bros. have come up with an interesting idea, and I've been asked to help spread the word. The concept is "Teaching Thursdays," in which writers of various genres join the line on Thursdays, making themselves available to discuss story, structure and everything in between to aspiring writers if the aspirings would be willing to come out and pick up a sign. I'll let the organizer explain:
For our inaugural Teaching Thursday we thought the best way to kick it off would be with blood, guts and glory! Yes, it's MEDICAL DRAMA DAY! We will have writers from hit medical shows at your bidding! Not sure how to structure HOUSE? They'll have answers! Not sure what story has NOT been done on ER? One of their writers will probably know! Not sure where your patella is? Look it up or ask a GREY'S or PRIVATE PRACTICE writer...
If you're a writer for a medical show and want to show up, please know:
No one will solicit you to read their brilliant spec script. No one will ask for your phone number or email address. No one will expect anything of you other than your ability to answer some story/structure/dialogue questions.
If you're an aspiring who wants to take advantage of getting some truly great advice from the folks who have lived, eaten, breathed it:
Definitely join us -- all you need to do is pick up a sign! What you should not do: solicit the writers to read your brilliant spec script. Do not ask for phone numbers or email addresses. Do expect brilliance, because that's what you'll get!
MEDICAL DRAMA DAY: Thursday January 24th, 9 AM-12 PM, Warner Bros Gate 2.
See you there!
Sounds like a great idea to me.
Lunch: left-over Persian food mixed with some leftover sloppy-joe meat. Not bad!