How to Write Funny

Learn the basic fundamentals of the skill of writing comedy

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Who is this course for?

  • Writers who want to improve their skill at writing humor

What you’ll learn

  • How to build a funny line from nothing
  • How to create the perfect comic relief character
  • How to beat writer's block and write a never-ending stream of hilarious gag lines
  • How to cultivate the motivation and confidence you need to write humor
  • 3 different step-by-step methods for crafting funny lines
  • The 11 core building blocks of all humor

About the course

The course is “How To Write Funny,” which walks you through the basic fundamentals of the skill of writing comedy.

It’s perfect for writers of any level, and applies to any genre or medium. For example, students have taken this course to write satirical books, children’s books, and to add humor to otherwise serious works of fiction or non-fiction.

The course materials are based on the comedy-writing system developed by the instructor, Scott Dikkers, at The Onion (the instructor is the longest-serving editor-in-chief). Students…

The course is “How To Write Funny,” which walks you through the basic fundamentals of the skill of writing comedy.

It’s perfect for writers of any level, and applies to any genre or medium. For example, students have taken this course to write satirical books, children’s books, and to add humor to otherwise serious works of fiction or non-fiction.

The course materials are based on the comedy-writing system developed by the instructor, Scott Dikkers, at The Onion (the instructor is the longest-serving editor-in-chief). Students he’s mentored have launched dozens of successful writing careers. They are staff writers on all the late-night TV talk shows, Saturday Night Live, popular sitcoms like The Simpsons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Community. They are editors at The Onion, Clickhole, and many are best-selling authors.

This course is a full video blueprint of the steps you need to take to write funny material each and every time you sit down to create. You’ll get regular assignments and feedback from the instructor. And you’ll get guidance on your comedy-writing through a private Facebook group of professional comedy writers.

Here’s what you’ll learn:
• What your audience wants from your comedy…
• How to set yourself apart from the rest and get eyes on your work…
• How to get past writer’s block and churn out jokes…

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Course Content

Expand all sections
Lesson Name & What’s Included
Introduction
7:56
• Learn how to develop a great concept behind every joke so you can stand out • The #1 rule you need to follow, keep your ideas short, simple and funny • Learn what the audience wants to hear so you can gain their undying loyalty
• Re-program your brain to write the best comedy and crush your competition • Learn to separate your thought process into 2 parts, the Clown and the Editor • Focus on creating great jokes instead of a high volume of subpar jokes
• Learn the number one problem all writers face and how to get past it • Help your audience find you and get more eyes on your work • Mix and match the media of your humor to strengthen the impact of your material
• Learn the essential ingredient all comedy requires • Learn the 5 types of humor in broad and specific breakdowns • Expand your range of humor to access more audiences
• Learn all jokes’ “secret ingredient” if you want your audience to “get” it • Learn how to subversively deliver your message to the audience • Find topics your most passionate about that the audience will also find appealing
• Nail the fundamentals of these 11 Funny Filters starting with Irony • Learn the exact formula successful comics use to write reliably funny jokes every time • Use my fail-safe system that works with any type of comedy
• Learn how to use this common Funny Filter to create the best comedic characters • Use this method to create characters that amplify your jokes • Learn about the 40 character archetypes and choose the best fit for your style
• Learn the 5 easiest ways to shock your audience and which best fits your comedy style • Find out how to perfectly balance your jokes so you don’t lose your audience • Use this Funny Filter to loosen up your audience and get them laughing
• Learn why this Funny Filter might not be working for you • Use these tips to write like a professional comic even if you’re just beginning • Combine your opinion with this Funny Filter for the ultimate success
• Finally learn how to use wordplay in your jokes without sounding cheesy • Learn the list of wordplay devices that don’t work so you can avoid them • Find out the 9 types of wordplay that actually work and how to use them
• Master the tools you’ll need to point out each reference both common and obscure • Learn the different levels of reference and how to pull them off • Create a shared bond with the audience that gets laughs
• Find out what audiences love about Madcap and how to use it to your advantage • Learn how to use Madcap two ways—in performance comedy and print comedy • Learn the number one rule of thumb when using this Funny Filter
• Learn the difference between Parody and Satire that you won’t forget • Maximize your results with these fail-safe rules • Make your comedy funnier by changing this one simple thing
• Find out how to use this filter successfully and why your audience will love it • Learn the best ways to use “mapping” in your comedy • Master the two components of Analogy to keep the audience riveted
• Learn which Funny Filters to pair with Misplaced Focus for gut-busting laughs • Keep your audience digging for the secret meaning behind your jokes • Learn the 3 major game changers that will captivate your audience
• Learn the 4 types of Metahumor that you can use to set your comedy apart • How to master the craft of laughing at yourself… like when your jokebombs • Find out how to use “antihumor” to create jokes out of nothing
• Find out how this proven method can help you create joke after joke every time • Learn the step-by-step process of filtering your jokes through the Funny Filters and how to started • Leverage both your good and bad material to create even more hilarious humor
• Learn how to build on an idea and help it grow into a big laugh • Keep your jokes clear and simple, learn what to avoid when creating funny lines • Learn how to spot your best ideas so you can put them front and center
• Learn how to create a joke when you have absolutely nothing but a blank slate • Follow this exact blueprint to discover the a bottomless well of jokes • Use this method to get past any creative block

Instructor

Scott Dikkers founded the TheOnion.com in 1996. A few years earlier he helped found the original Onion newspaper. He’s served as The Onion’s owner and editor-in-chief for much of the last 30 years. He co-wrote and edited The Onion’s first original book, Our Dumb Century, which has sold over a million copies and debuted as a #1 New York Times and #1 Amazon bestseller. He’s written over 30 other humor books, sold TV pilots to Comedy Central and MTV, and produced three comedy feature films: The Onion Movie, Bad Meat, and the audience-award-winning Spaceman. Scott led The Onion’s rise from small, unknown college humor publication to internationally respected comedy brand. He gathered a talented team of writers and editors over the years, working with them to develop The Onion’s culture of creative freedom and brutal honesty, its distinct comic voice, and its reliable process for generating award-winning satire, day after day. This unique process is spelled out in Scott’s How to Write Funny book series, which are the basis of the Writing with The Onion program he created and taught at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Scott offers other courses and free resources for comedy writers on HowtoWriteFunny.com.

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