Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Punchlines that write themselves

Comedy writing Tip: Always be on the lookout for the absurdity that surrounds us daily. Most people don't pick up on it. Learn to see the world differently. If nothing else, you'll sure go through life having a lot more laughs. Here are some examples:
Just how nuts is the entertainment industry? Here are recent actual headlines from the HuffingtonPost. They’re not meant to be jokes but who can write stuff this good?

Madonna Tours Impoverished School In $2800 Sweatsuit

Kendra Wilkinson Starting Own Line Of Stripper Poles

"Slumdog" Kid Rubina Reportedly Paid More For TV Ad Than Oscar-Winning Film

Halle Berry Mentally Ready For Another Baby

SWEET TWEET: Jennifer Garner took Violet, 3, to the Brentwood Country Mart in L.A. Sunday.

Josh Hartnett Calls 911 For Stomach Cramps

Cash-Strapped Former TV Star Holds Garage Sale

Chris Brown, Rihanna No-Show At Kids' Choice Awards

"Real Housewives" Countess Dumped -- Via Email -- By Her Count

David Hasselhoff Denies Work, Admits Botox

And then there’s this: the stupid quote of the year (so far). Spencer Grammer (Kelsey Grammer’s daughter and star of ABC Family’s GREEK, pictured above) was profiled earlier this week in USA TODAY. I quote from the article:

The writers’ strike and the cancellation of BACK TO YOU contributed to her father’s heart attack, Grammer says. “He’s got these houses and this family, and you’ve got to make money.”

I find this amusing since her dad has a stake in FRASIER, his own very successful production company, and receives acting and/or directing royalties from over 400 episodes. Has he kept this from her so she doesn't ask for a raise in her allowance? Is she so into Twitter and Facebook that she never bothered to learn what her father does for a living? Does she somehow think he's got 40 houses? It's a pretty idiotic statement. Keep an eye out for them. They're everywhere. To write funny you have to "think" funny. And a great way of training yourself to do that is to really pay attention to the goofiness that's all around you.

There's a lot of low hanging comedy fruit out there. You just have to pick it.


Joe said...

"Mentally ready for another baby" sounds suspiciously close to "fucked in the head."


I guess I can work blue.

D. McEwan said...

I saw those headlines about Madonna, Kendra, and Halle Berry earlier today and laughed and laughed. Madonna is just clueless about these things. And Who designed Kendra's pole fo her? Because even just inventing a verticle stick is beyond her dead pudding brain. As for Halle Berry, she may believe she's ready for a another kid, but the real question is "is there a baby ready to be entrusted to her?" I'd say no, but I don't get a vote.

Tiffany said...

That's funny, I was just at the Huffington Post and there was nothing to read there! So, I'm not the only one.

watzabatza said...


I love this woman.
She's really pretty.
Thanks for sharing this post.

Good Day!

Fraser said...

Joe: that's not how babies are made.

Will Teullive said...

I love how Madonna and Angelina play checkers with adopted kids:

"The action is riveting!! Madonna arrives in London with a bundle of Malawian joy, Angelina counters with a flight to Mumbai to scoop up one or possibly two of the Slumdog kids. This match is an absolute classic! What's that you say? Octomom has an appointment with the fertility specialist" Folks this is incredible action!!

I have a favorite stripper pole...her name is Stella "look but don't touch" Markowski

WV: hympe....An outlawed strain of hemp

mark said...

I must be an idiot because when I read that girl Grammer quote, I just thought of my own mortgage and family and thought "Amen, sister."

Cap'n Bob said...

I think that way all the time and people think I'm insane.

amyp3 said...

Reminds me of hearing Jason Alexander complaining because he didn’t get residuals for Seinfeld. Those actors made how much per episode when it was running? This is me playing my teeny-tiny violin.

And has Miss Universe’s trip to Guantanomo been discussed here?

If you need me I’ll be taking my classes of art and walking on the glass beach.

Jayne said...

What's worse than the $2800.00 price tag of Madonna's sweat suit is that it was probably also made by little kids in Malawi! Once a Material Girl, Always a Material Girl!

Spencer should have just stopped at "The Writer's Strike and the cancellation of Back to You contributed to my dad's heart attack"

I won't pick on her any further though because I kind of like her and her show amuses me. Plus I'm in love with her dad! (despite his Republicanism)

Eric M said...

To be fair, Josh Hartnett drank milk EIGHT days after the expiration date.

Yeah, that's the best I could do. Comedy is hard!

Emily Blake said...

Oh man, the Countess is gonna go kill herself if she loses her title.

Jason said...

I always have a voice recorder with me for this reason, you never know when something funny comes!!

Paul Duca said...

Ken, I have another real headline for you, from


i.e. WHDH, the NBC affiliate in Boston, announced it will air a 10 PM local news broadcast instead of Jay's weeknight network show.

Rob said...

Ones that amuse me spot checking CNN:

Vick to work construction after prison.

First lady, queen embrace, tongues wag.

US to North Korea -- Don't launch your missile.

Why funny guys get the babes. (Thought of you, Ken)

And then there is this article, which I thought might be of interesting:,9171,1887840,00.html?xid=rss-topstories-cnnpartner

farantsm -- Why the guy kidnapped Frank Sinatra Jr.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

First lady, queen embrace, tongues wag.

Whose tongues?

PA-POW! ;)

WV: maggraw - What Dr. Phil would be called if he were a maggot. If he actually was one.

Dave Mackey said...

Next post, Ken explores the snarky headlines on Hecklerspray.

WV: teratige: The rich history of fertile soil.

Leo said...

All I can say is wow to what Spencer Grammer said. I mean seriously Kelsey Grammer is rich enough where one cancelled show is not going to cause him a heart attack. And as for the rest of the things written here. It makes me think that some of the richest people in our country are also the stupidest.

BTW, has anyone else tried to post a comment on a much earlier post and it said it had to be approved?