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Table of Contents Foreword Introduction Part I: The Basics of Humor Writing Chapter 1: The Importance of Humor Writing Learn the three "R's of comedy: Gain Respect, make people Remember you, and be Rewarded for being funny. Make out your MAP for success and use "what if's" to rearrange reality into funny patterns. Chapter 2: Why We Laugh We laugh because of surprise, superiority, biological inclinations, incongruity, ambivalence, releasing tension, filling in configurations, and psychology-all of which boils down to superiority. Chapter 3: The Anatomy of Humor Learn the essentials of humor-Target, Hostility, Realism, Exaggeration, Emotion, and Surprise. These six factors add up to the THREES formula. Part II: Humor Writing Techniques Chapter 4: POW: Play on Words POW packs a punch: use clichÄs and double entendres as springboards to humor. Chapter 5: More Play on Words: The Simple Truth and the Take-Off The whole truth and nothing but the truth can be funny ("Call me a taxi." "OK, you're a taxi!"). Also, use the take-off to complete clichÄs with audacious conclusions. Chapter 6: Play on Words: Brainstorming Techniques Brainstorm possible jokes by listing and associating humor combinations. Chapter 7: The Next Giant Step: Reverses Turn ideas upside down, inside out, and every which way but dull or obvious. Don't telegraph your jokes or the audience will predict your punch line and forget to laugh. Chapter 8: The Harmony of Paired Elements: Synonyms, Homonyms, and Antonyms Sticks and stones can break your bones, but sticks and clubs are funny! Chapter 9: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered: Triples Preparation + anticipation + payoff = funny. Chapter 10: Exaggerated and Understated Realism Make mountains out of molehills (for large moles, naturally) and squeeze mountains of meaning into the smallest gags. Chapter 11: Funny Words and Foul Language Surprise 'em or shock 'em: Humor can be a four-letter word, especially if you can't spell. Part III: Writing for Specific Humor Markets Chapter 12: Testing-One, Two, Three-Writing Humor for Speeches How to prepare a speech, choose the right title, deliver the speech, and pick the audience out of the aisles afterward. Chapter 13: Stand-Up or Sit Down: Humor for Live Entertainers Comedians do it standing up, but you don't have to take inexperience lying. Develop one of the Masks of Comedy to create a comic character. Not only will your jokes be funnier, you'll project a funny attitude. Chapter 14: Print Humor: Columns, Articles, and Fillers Write humorous pieces for newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. Chapter 15: Saw the Picture, Loved the Gag: Humor for Cartoons and Greeting Cards Write one-liners and invent funny visuals for single-panel cartoons, political cartoons, and greeting cards. Chapter 16: The Scarce Comedy-ty: Writing for TV Sitcoms Try one of the tried-and-true formats for consistent audience appeal, such as family aggression, mistaken assumptions, or physical mishaps (watch that banana peel!). Chapter 17: We Mean Business Learn how to advertise products and promote your business by using humor in sales, advertising, TV and radio commercials, and newsletters. Chapter 18: Teach, Learn, and Laugh Use humor to grab students' attention and transform tedious presentations into memorable ones. Chapter 19: That's a Wrap Fuel your comedic imagination with dozens of writing exercises. Appendices Appendix A: Glossary Key words every humorist needs to know. Appendix B: Resources for a Humor Writer's Library Books and Internet resources for the professional humorist.
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Wit and humor -- Authorship.