A Great Writing Lesson…

…from Ken Levine’s blog, …by Ken Levine:

Ken Levine? Not Ken Levine? Damned if we know

“New Choice!”
by Ken Levine

There was another great exercise for comedy writers in Andy Goldberg’s improv class last Wednesday. This one was called “New Choice!” Two people would do a scene and periodically someone would say something and Andy would interrupt with “New Choice!” The performer then had to devise an alternate line. If Andy wasn’t satisfied he’d again bark “New Choice!” Sometimes it would take two or three lines before the scene was allowed to proceed.

Example: read article

MODERN FAMILY Exec Prod Writes a Book About Writing Comedy

We’re hoping that it’s at least, you know, funny.

Everything you ever needed to know about comedy
by Ken Levine

Dan O’Shannon is one of the executive producers of MODERN FAMILY.  He was a showrunner of FRASIER and an executive producer of CHEERS.  The man knows funny.  Recently he wrote a terrific book called WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT?  A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE COMEDIC EVENT.   Somehow he managed to explain comedy, which to me is harder than trying to describe the color red over the radio.   As insane as it is to plug someone else’s book when I’m still shamelessly hawking mine (available here — go buy it), I really recommend Dan’s book (which you can order here).  Recently, I had the chance to talk to him about it. read article