The Comic Toolbox How to Be Funny Even If You're Not

The Comic Toolbox How to Be Funny Even If You re Not A workbook approach to comedy writing as creative problem solving It offers tools of the trade such as Clash of Context Tension and Release The Law of Comic Opposites The Wildly Inappropriate Respo

  • Title: The Comic Toolbox How to Be Funny Even If You're Not
  • Author: John Vorhaus
  • ISBN: 9781879505216
  • Page: 241
  • Format: Paperback
  • A workbook approach to comedy writing as creative problem solving It offers tools of the trade such as Clash of Context, Tension and Release, The Law of Comic Opposites, The Wildly Inappropriate Response, and The Myth of the Last Great Idea to writers, comics, and anyone else who wants to be funny.

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      Published :2019-09-25T01:13:44+00:00

    About "John Vorhaus"

    1. John Vorhaus

      John Vorhaus is known to one and all as the man who brought Radar Hoverlander con artist extraordinaire to life in the sunshine noir mystery novel, The California Roll, and its acclaimed sequel, The Albuquerque Turkey.John is also well known as the author of The Comic Toolbox How to be Funny Even if You re Not, and its acclaimed sequel, The Little Book of SITCOM, which continue to be definitive sources of information and inspiration for writers from Santa Monica to Scandinavia.An international consultant in television and film script development, Vorhaus has worked for television networks, film schools, production companies and film funding bodies in 28 countries on four continents He recently worked in Bulgaria, recruiting and training writers for that country s adaptation of Married with Children, and in Tel Aviv, consulting on the Israeli version of The Golden Girls He also travels regularly to Nicaragua, where he co created the social action drama Contracorriente to provide positive role modeling for the poor, young and disenfranchised of that embattled country And oh by the way, he has written than three million words on poker, just in his spare time.Vorhaus is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and a member of the Writers Guild of America He has taught at such institutions as Northwestern University, the American Film Institute and the Writers Program of the UCLA Extension He is the author of a dozen books, including Creativity Rules A Writer s Workbook, the novel Under the Gun, the Killer Poker series and, with Annie Duke, the bestselling Decide to Play Great Poker.He sells everything but his soul through his author page, tinyurl jvauthorpage, tweets for no apparent reason TrueFactBarFact, and secretly rules the world from johnvorhaus.

    519 thoughts on “The Comic Toolbox How to Be Funny Even If You're Not”

    1. This book alone won't teach you how to be funny as the title suggests. You gotta start somewhere; be it a natural sense of humor, or a sheer contempt of the human race. But It's a great craft book. A product of meticulous observation & understanding of storytelling. It will help you write better comic characters, pinpoint flaws with your comic writing. And how to use screenwriting elements such as conflict & stakes in a comic world.


    2. I agree with most reviewers I've read who state that this book is simply not funny. I don't understand why anyone would expect it to be. It is in instruction manual, not a comedy piece itself. The examples within are dated, many of which I had to turn to Professor Google for reference, but the truth of the advice therein are still accurate today. If anyone is on the fence about this book, allow me to offer one morsel of advice: John Vorhaus, while speaking directly to comedy writers, has found a [...]


    3. I bought this book because I wanted to see if there were guidelines for humor. I like steps, a plan, Rules A, B, C that will insure I achieve the right end result. And the book's byline--"A funny idea is worthless until you understand the mechanics of its construction and execution. Meet Mr. Goodwrench."--made it sound like I'd found my blueprint.Besides being a successful comic writer for most of his life with credits for a variety of sitcoms, Vorhaus taught at a variety of Film-oriented school [...]


    4. This little book is jam-packed with tools that will help any and every writer, regardless of genre. With down-to-earth language, and brief explanations, Vorhaus walks you through a series of processes, tools and rules that simplify rather than complicate writing tasks. From the rule of nine (out of every ten ideas you write, 9 will be useless, so take risks, keep going and don't judge yourself) to the hill climbing problem (when revising your work, merely good is the enemy of great, so get that [...]


    5. I hate the subtitle of this book, which seems to suggest it's purpose is in telling people how to be funny, like as in telling jokes to pick up chicks or something. Really though, it focuses on the craft of writing funny jokes, characters, and situations for both literature and television. For these reasons I found it extremely helpful, even if some of the references and styles of humor were a bit outdated. Vorhaus's tips and philosophies behind writing comedy have been beneficial for many autho [...]


    6. While there is some interesting discussion here of how humour stems from pain, truth and conflict, this is mostly a book for screenwriters. Like Steve Kaplan ' s "The hidden tools of comedy" which I think was better, its cover should have been labeled with the phrase "for aspiring screenwriters". There is not much here for aspiring standup comedians.



    7. Be mindful that after you read this book, watching movies becomes less enjoyable because you become good at guessing plot development.



    8. An excellent read; many useful tips about how to be funny in writing. It also gives tips on how to write a good book - funny or not. I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested in writing better.


    9. Some useful tips for my purposes are in character development. These include:Comic Perspective - unique world view at variance with normal realityFlaws - elements that separate him from "real" peopleHumanity - unites with the audienceExaggeration - moves the character further into the comic world, widens gap upon which the comic premise of the character is built


    10. In this down to earth guide, Vorhaus breaks down the mechanisms for creating characters, stories and jokes that are funny. The book itself is funny because the author gives examples of every rule/technique to show you how they work -- and they DO work. Once you read this, you start seeing them at work everywhere: in comedies but also in dramatic books, movies and plays because many of the techniques are just about good storytelling and it's the context or stakes that determine whether it's laugh [...]


    11. This was a great little book with lots of unexpected bonus cool things. However, my personal opinion is that if you try too hard to be funny by applying tools, it will most likely come out unfunny. Even still, this book was awesome for helping you understand why funny things are funny, and whenever a hilarious moment came up during my time reading this book, I was able to analyze it and determine what made that so funny. I think in that alone you can study humor and the more you study and practi [...]


    12. A very solid, broad primer on the subject of writing comedy. I think it's a good 'way in' for people who aren't yet sure what kind of comedy they want to write. He covers everything from stand-up to movies, to sitcoms and sketches. If you do want to delve further into any of those genres you'd need to buy a more specialised book. I'm a bit bummed that I ended up with the 1994 edition from . I didn't even see that there was a 2014 edition.


    13. What I like about this and other John Vorhaus books like Creativity Rules! is that he comes up with great ways to get you to find your voice and to get writing rather than telling you what you should and shouldn't write which is the go-to move of just about every other book in this genre. I really can't recommend this or Creativity Rules! enough if you're someone who just wants to be able to find their voice and write consistently without dealing with blocks.


    14. This is a terrific writing book. Vorhaus's discussion of conflict and through line is easy to understand. I found myself thinking about my current work in progress and filling in the blanks as I read his text. He is also very funny--go figure.


    15. This overview of comedy won't really make you funny, but its a fantastic overview of the types of comedy. The author also goes through several break downs of comedic plot (or plot in general) that are helpful for any writer.


    16. Anyone can write funny material. This book shows how, with careful focus, for example, finding the irony in the situation and the story, can pave the way to comic genius. Just ask Harpo Marx. others.


    17. Best book I've read on writing comedy sofar.Great tools too use when you look at your jokes or stories thinking why they work or don't.Helps with rewriting.Great tips for making the material in line with the audience.


    18. I took this book thinking it would be how-to books filled with social situations. Instead, it focused on story writing and building a stronger character. It was worth it. It was down to earth and he speaks in your language.


    19. An intelligent, practical book geared in particular towards humor novelists. sitcom writers, and sketch comics, rather than towards standups or single-joke writers, emphasizing all levels from overall story to individual laughs.


    20. Aunque tiene algunos capítulos muy interesantes (los que tratan sobre las herramientas del humor), también hay bastante paja y palabrería por parte del autor, y lo peor, que a menudo no es graciosa Aun así, una lectura que puede aportar recursos para los creadores.


    21. My English Extension 1 teacher gave each of us a copy of this book to read as part of our genre study on comedy. Overall, quite a good book, very informative yet entertaining, and great for writing blocks, especially with the little exercises that are slotted in along the way.


    22. My favorite book on comedy writing because it is short, to the point, and has writing excercises. It covers writing for sketch, sitcom, movie, and stand-up. I steal excercises from this book for my class all the time.


    23. Some people are blessed with talent for making difficult things look simple, funny and interesting. John Vorhaus is for sure one of them.You can't read or hear him talk about comedy and not feel you're becoming a better writer by the minute.


    24. This book is for writers - it's something that should sit on your shelves for you to return to time and again. I found it contained a lot of pearls of wisdom useful not only to comedic situations but to storytelling generally. A great resource - but a little awkward to read on the subway!


    25. Entertaining, practical, nuts and bolts approach to writing humor. His advice on dealing with the "last idea we had is the last good idea we'll ever have" syndrome is worth the price of the book alone.


    26. A very useful book that gives not only comic tools but also practical tips in dealing with writing in general, motivations and the fear of mistakes.


    27. Vorhaus may not be a successful comic writer, but he sure made a good contribution to the understanding of comic writing.



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