a blog? I thought he was supposed to leave me wanting more?
How To Improve Your Comedy Writing
Talking about people here, NOT BBQ.
Early in my Sales career (my day job thanks to guys like James Ponce), I had a job selling web-space advertising to restaurants in and around Austin.
They'd advertise a discount with us, I'd design it, print out the flyer, then head out to canvass the surrounding area. ("Canvassing,""harassing," "invading personal space..." It's all the same thing.)
I'd walk up to a guy in a suit and tell him about how the diner across the street is offering 10% off all meals under $600, and I never knew what kind of reaction I'd get.
Some were miffed, some ignored me, and others would actually stand there and berate me for having "wasted their time." And to that latter group, I always said, "DUDE! All you need to do is head over to that place with seventy of your closest friends, order some killer meatloaf and pie, and you'll save sixty bucks!" (That job was doomed from the beginning.)
The point I'm trying to make is, the typical person you meet on the street is unpredictable.
But not smokers - they were always cool.
You walk up to a group of smokers (outcasts in Austin as early as 2004), and you were walking into a conversation with people who liked having you there. Could be one of those things where they were such pariahs they were surprised someone wanted to join the group without going all Jane Goodall on them, but they were always welcoming.
Even today, if I'm ever out making calls or run into someone with yellow teeth and pursed lips, I relax, knowing this person isn't going to be a problem. I can let my guard slip a little with smokers because - and I think this is the real reason they're so nice - people who smoke just generally seem more honest than those who don't.
Seriously: you catch a person smoking in public today, you're witnessing someone who is completely honest and okay with themselves. They don't "only smoke when they drink" or fabricate some other half-truth. They smoke in broad daylight, fifteen feet away from the building, in plain view of the very closet coke fiends and bulimics judging them to be 'disgusting.'
American smokers are the unfair recipients of damnation in a society that's full of unprecedented vanity, social distress, and corruption.
Is it because they smell bad? Sure. I get that. I had a roommate in college I hated hanging out with after basketball games because he smelled like a sushi restaurant dumpster and refused to shower.
Or is it because we've bought into the myth of second-hand smoke? That people are convinced smokers are not only destroying themselves, but "knowingly" hurting others?
Seriously. We all knew what Michael Jackson was doing behind the scenes, but when he died, it was memorial concert after memorial concert.
But a guy's having a smoke within thirty yards of a child, he's public enemy number one...
I just don't get it.
But what I DO get is great comedy, and since I didn't recommend anyone last post, I've got TWO recommendations for you today.
First, the aforementioned James Ponce. All you've got to do is YouTube some of his clips to see what I mean. His material is completely natural and takes off on its own accord as the show goes on. He's got loads of great material, but none of it sounds prepared when you watch him. He's also a social media whiz, so follow him on Twitter to see when he'll be performing near you.
Now how about a writer - or, in this case, a team of writers?
Look no further than Spencer Hall and his team at Every Day Should Be Saturday.
Yes, it's a blog about college football, but it's THE BEST blog about college football out there. Perk: you don't even have to LIKE college football to read any of Spencer's posts and laugh out loud. It's astonishing how good a writer he is and the successful direction he's taken EDSBS since selling it in 2009.
Really, every post can be broken down into a study of how to write great comedy: find a topic, pick your angle, and ride that angle to your grave. (For the length of the discussion, at least.)
I've been following EDSBS for about ten years now, and everyone to whom I've recommended it has said they've laughed out loud and became fans of both college football and copious amounts of bourbon.
Hope you enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.
I'm Nick. I've never been afraid of getting in over my head, and I've survived every resulting injury from doing so. Played college football in the SEC while running a 5.1 forty at 200lbs, got booed off stage in front of 1,000 people at a 'Latino Laff Nite (I'm not Latino),' rolled with BJJ Black Belts, and got TKO'd by a Golden Gloves boxing champion during a fundraiser for MDA. The closest I ever got to being a real man was when my mom cut me off on the way to the Marine Recruiter's office - in the parking lot.