With Comedy Writing Secrets, 2nd edition, you can master the fundamentals of humor writing and turn your comedic talent into a well-paying pursuit.
More than 50 percent of all humor is based on plays on words (POWs). The POW is a device usd by all humor writers. Plays on words are the basis of practically all puns, limericks, and clever witticisms.
Here are 7 Most Important POW Techniques:
1. A double entendre
Is the use of an ambiguous word or phrase that allows for a second–usually racy–interpretation.
Doubles entendres are 40 percent of all cliché humor because they’re so easy to construct.
We call our maid a commercial cleaner, because she cleans only during commercials.
2. A malatrop
Is the unintentional misstatement or misure of a word or phrase, or the accidental substitution of an incorrect word for the correct one, with humorous results.
Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.–Yogi Berra.
3. An oxymoron
Is a joining of two incompatible ideas in one phrase.
Found missing; living dead; good grief; working vacation; Microsoft works; alone together, etc.
4. A pun
Is a word used in such a way that two or more of the word’s possible meanings are active simultaneously.
What’s ‘detail’? The act of removing a tail.
Is a process that adds a twist or a surprise ending to a cliché ( a predictable, hackneyed phrase) or a common word, phrase, or expression.
Plagiarism: the unoriginal sin.–Roy Peter Clark.
6. The Simple Truth
Is the opposite of a double entendre.
A girl phoned me the other day and said, “Come on over, there’s nobody home.” I went over. Nobody was home.–Rodney Dangerfield.
7. The Take-off
Is a statement of the standard version of a cliché or expression, followed by a realistic but highly exaggerated commentary, frequently a double entendre.
Animals may be our friends. But they won’t pick you up at the airport.–Bobcat Goldthwait.