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How Comedy Works with David Misch

  • Writers Guild Foundation Library 7000 W 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 (map)

TV writer David Misch (Mork and MindySaturday Night LiveThe Muppets Take Manhattan) presents a three-hour multimedia seminar which comes with an ironclad guarantee that it will impart no usable skills.

Okay, that could be an exaggeration, but David’s given the same guarantee at the Smithsonian Institute, Austin Film Festival, Actors Studio, Groundlings Theatre, Yale, Columbia and Oxford Universities, American Film Institute, University of Sydney, VIEW Cinema Conference (Torino, Italy), Second City (Hollywood) and the Burbank Comedy Festival.

How Comedy Works has no direct instruction but is a critical, and seri­ous (though funny), exploration of com­edy as an art form. It gives actors, writers, directors, producers and Crafts Service personnel a close­-up of comedy’s innards, the idea being that understanding how comedy works will help you work in comedy. Anyway, that’s his story and he's sticking to it.

Topics covered include the Rule of 3; the relationship between Comedy and Logic; the calculations involved in timing; comedy cues, and why withholding them is sometimes the best way to get a laugh; why your body is hilarious; the evil of punchlines; comedy “placebos”; and how the mechanics of jokes – tension and resolution, pattern recognition, misdirection, and surprise – provide a template for all humor.

As for practical applications, the presentation includes copious clips which show how these principles translate into actual laughter. So forget all that stuff about no usable skills. 

Doors open at 6:30p.m. Event starts at 7 p.m.

All events advertised on our “Events” page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket – not just WGA members!

In the case the event is sold out, we will have a first come, first serve stand-by line at the event. The stand-by line does not guarantee entry into the event.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library, archive and other outreach programs.

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