You gotta know the lingo. Sitcom writing rooms have their own terms and expressions and if you ever plan on being in one (either by choice or force) you might want to know a few of them. I'll sprinkle in more in the weeks ahead but this should get you started. The only other thing I would add is swear more than in GIRLS.
Callbacks -- Doing a joke based on something already mentioned in the scene.
– Supposedly from Carl Reiner and the old DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. It’s an
act break so great that a husband yells to his wife in the kichen:
“Hey, May, you gotta get in here!”
Swinging in on a rope
-- A side character enters the screen, delivers a joke, then leaves. We
used to do that a lot with Carla on CHEERS. Sam and Diane are having a
discussion. She swings in, takes a shot at Diane, and keeps moving.
Button – Final joke of a scene.
Blow -- Same as button but sounds more “street”.
– Exposition. We had a character on ALMOST PERFECT whose basic function
was to come into the room and deliver pipe. So we named her Piper. She eventually quit.
Clam -- Overused joke.
Sheboygan – A joke too over-the-top.
-- A subplot. Often ensemble shows resort to these to give cast members
not involved in the main story something to do in the show and keep
them off the writers' backs.
Beats – events that occur in a scene.
-- Supposedly from the Norman Lear days. Pitching an idea or joke
that’s more of an example than the actual pitch you intend to go in the
script. You use it to preface your pitch. It’s a good disclaimer in
case everyone in the room thinks it’s a stupid idea and you’re an idiot.
Savers -- Damage control jokes right after your real joke pitch dies a horrible death. It was Johnny Carson's best friend.
Captain Obvious -- Pointing out a problem that even the craft services guy could identify.
-- Writers whose only contribution in rewrites is correcting grammar.
You want to dangle their participle over a lake of snapping alligators.
Proofer’s Challenge – Some technicality you come across during a rewrite that’s not worth everyone’s time to settle. What food should be on the table? What was the year of that Superbowl? It’s left to the person proofing that night.
Throwing a bone
-- Giving an actor a joke because he doesn’t have much to do in a scene
or you don’t think he’s very good but have to service him anyway.
Usually it's the actor the network forced you to take.