Monday, April 26, 2010

Gettin' Funny Part Three

My husband and I finished our "Get Funny" online class a few weeks ago. We had a lot of fun in the class. I noticed he was better with one-liners and satire, and I was better at parody and exaggeration. We both received a 97% on the final exam (yes, there was a final exam). We didn't even get the same question wrong. The question I got wrong was about bathroom humor... (pfffft). Since our assignments weren't graded, but critiqued in the discussion area, there was no way to really determine which of us earned a better grade in the class. So I asked our instructor in the discussion area which one of us was funnier. Her answer, "I usually don't do this, but yes, one of you is funnier."
So, even after taking the class, we still can't prove who is funnier!

Here are the top five things I learned from this class..
1. Take notes in an observation notebook. You can write daily observations or things that make you laugh from a TV show or real life. This will be useful when you write scenes in your story.
2. Three components of good observational humor are keep it real, recognizable, and use a fresh approach.
3. The four rules of pop culture references are they must be relevant, recognizable, original, and well-stated.
4. More people will accept bathroom humor in a film or TV show if it serves a purpose to the plot. (That's the question I got wrong!)
5. If your submission is rejected, it's selection, not rejection. (Right, writers!?)

Of course I learned more than this. The assignments were writing exercises, which is helpful for any writer. I researched and learned about specific comedians, the history of comedy, the rules of improv, and so much more. It was definitely a worthwhile class.
I enjoy comedy very much. I don't have time for a lot of TV or movies, so when I do watch something, it is almost always a comedy.

My top three movie comedies are Elf, Vacation, and Old School.
My top four TV comedies are The Soup!, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother (see picture), and Community. Seinfeld and Friends are old favorites.
Favorite comedian? Joel McHale
Book that recently made me laugh out loud? Guess Again by Mac Barnett....unexpected silliness.

What are your favorite comedic TV shows or movies? What books made you laugh out loud?


Jonathon Arntson said...

Will and Grace, Family Guy, are GLEE are among my favorites, but I don't watch television more than an hour or two a week, so I rarely get to see anything.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Modern Family!! Love that show.

Laura Pauling said...

I loved Seinfeld's humor. I will watch anything where the humor doesn't feel forced - and that seems hard to find on television. Maybe it has gotten better. I don't watch a lot. Sounds like a great class!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I just watched Up in the Air and that made me laugh. It certainly wasn't straightforward humor--I don't think. Thank you for all the tips. I feel like I gained from you taking that class! And your teacher is seriously funny not telling you who is the funniest. What about a book? Is there a funniest book that you can think of? I really enjoyed the humor of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and when I was a kid, The Princess Bride. That movie is not to bad either. And the first season of weeds. Later not so much.

Okay, blabbering.

Bish Denham said...

Seinfeld of course. But for current comendy I enjoy The Big Bang Theory. I also really enjoyed Boston Legal.

Aside from people like Robin Williams I'm not familiar with current comedians. I still have a deep fondness for Red Skelton, Tim Conway and Lily Tomlin.

Kelly said...

Jon - Everyone loves Glee! I need to rent the first season when it comes out...
Kimberly - Me, too. The deadpan dad is hilarious!
Laura - Seinfeld is a classic.
Tina - When I was writing this, I was trying to think of books that made me laugh out loud. I know I have but I couldn't think of an example, darn it! I know now, Guess Again by Mac Barnett! I"m going to edit my post now...

Bish - I've heard the Big Bang Theory is funny. My husband watches it too. I need to watch it with him so we can giggle together!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I haven't watch TV in a while. The last time I watched, it was mostly crime shows (CSI, Law & Order). Nothing funny about that.

Your post made me laugh. Sounds like a great class.

lyfizgud said...

Ok, first of all, you need to put my face in for Lilly...I mean, Josh and I are FRIENDS in real life!!! ha ha
"How I Met Your Mother" "King of Queens" and "Friends" are my favorite funny shows...and I love Chelsea Handler...and Ross Matthews...Oh my gosh...he's so funny "and I don't even care"...(that's something he says all of the time)
I love funny...saw "Death At A Funeral" the other THAT was funny...hilarious :o)

Martha Flynn said...

We are TV Comedy Soul Mates!!! Those are my favorite shows now, too. And Joel McHale? *fans self*

I gravitate to humor in TV and movies...but angst in books. Not sure why.

I did crack up at Hot Tub Time Machine recently, but I'm also obsessed with the 80's. OMG Elf gets me ever time - that line, "I have a big coat, too" - I don't know why, I can't keep it together.

Love you as Robin!!!! Looking hot!

Denise said...

I'm still hooked on That 70's Show!

Suzanne Casamento said...

So glad you guys enjoyed the class so much. I'm with you on Modern Family. That show is hilarious!

So, um, who is funnier? You or your husband?

beth said...

I love Joel McHale, but right now Daniel Tosh is really doing it for me. He's the genius behind Tosh.0 on Comedy Central (basically Web Soup, but funny).

Interesting notes!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I used to LOVE Boston Legal! I also watch re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond with my hubby sometimes. A funny laugh-out-loud book is Percy Jackson - ANY of them. :-)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Oh, Percy Jackson is quite funny!

What is really funny is that you and your husband took this class together and are in competition. That is so cute! Love you guys!

Heather Kelly said...

Thanks for posting about this Kelly! And for, as always, bringing the funny to us! I love Joel McHale, but was disappointed when I saw him live. (although it was still fun!) My fav. is Mike Birbiglia. He gets me rolling every time!

Having never met your husband, I think that you are much funnier, hands down.

Heather Kelly said...

Oh, and Modern Family is my favorite comedy right now on TV! So great!

Kelly said...

Stina - Thank you for stopping by! We are so glad we took the class!
Sue - But of course you need to be in that pic! I like Chelsea Handler and Ross too!
Martha - I really really want to see Hot Tub Machine!
Denise - I love that show, too! How can I forget Eric Foreman? And Fez!
Suzanne - To be honest, he is probably funnier (a reason I married him), but I am more fun! :)

Beth - I will have to check that show out!
Shannon- Percy Jackson is awesome. And Raymond too.
TerryLynn - We are way too competitive. But at least this time it was to be funny!
Heather - Thank you for having faith in my funniness! :)

Hema P. said...

What a fun class and what a great way to learn to write humor! Good for you guys!

Loved the line: "If your submission is rejected, it's selection, not rejection."

I love watching reruns of "I Love Lucy" and "Everybody Loves Raymond". I can never get bored by either of the shows, however many times I have watched an episode.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I love Elf, too. And Tommy Boy and Some Like it Hot and The Hangover.

Tv shows: I love Seinfeld, Frazier, The Office, and Arrested Development--which I thought was really hilarious.

Susan elizabeth Phillips book "Nobody's Baby But Mine" was totally laugh out loud funny.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I so love Elf and Vacation! I love movies that make me laugh over and over and over again.

Anita said...

I love SeinLanguage (ooold book). I find funny waaaay sexier than body sexy, you know what I mean? HOODWINKED is a hilarious kid movie. And Youngest Daughter makes me pee my pants..we played AMERICAN IDOL (MILLER VERSION) the other night. She was Simon AND Ryan. I was dying.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Selection, not rejection. I like that!

Elf is one of my all time favorites, too :)

Rena said...

I don't watch much TV, other than the news, and that's never funny. I do like Elf and Vacation. One of my other favorites is Funny Farm with Chevy Chase.

Congrats on your class!

Yaya' s Home said...

We don't have our TV hooked-up. Its not a statement by choice, but I don't even recognize some of the shows you mentioned.

My three favorite comedic movies of all time are Life With Father, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and the original Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball.

I'm afraid I'm a creature from the old school. My three favorite laugh-out-loud TV shows are all from long ago; Burns & Allen, Red Skeleton and Lucille Ball.

~ Yaya
Yaya's Home

Christina Farley said...

What a halarious picture. I love the Seinfield shows. Interesting notes you took!

Ann Marie Wraight said...

I am one of THOSE DREADFUL PEOPLE who absolutely SLAUGHTER JOKES...well the puchline at least...I'm pretty forgetful...maybe that's why I still roar my head off at FRIENDS - (hey, I live in Greece you know - we're a bit behind here!)

I also watch SHREK 1 + 2 every so often. LOVE 'EM!

I love lots of other thigs but these are still my FAVS!

By the way - whose hubby's leg are you grasping there?!? - Just asking!

Kelly said...

Hema - I love that line, too. We have to remember the truth in it.
Jennifer - Tommy Boy was funny! I miss Chris Farley...
Sharon - Me, too.
Anita - I want to play American Idol Miller style, dawg!
Sherrie - Hello this is Buddy. What's your favorite color? :)
Rena - Chevy Chase is one of my faves.
Yaya - We had the tv off last week for unplugged week (I don't think I could go longer), but I did get a lot more writing in and more games with the kids!
Christina - Seinfeld is definitely classic.
Ann Marie - Isn't he a cutie? That is actor Josh Radnor (Ted Moseby on How I Met Your Mother). That's just my face on another character's body! :)

Elana Johnson said...

I love Elf.

My TV shows: Wizards of Waverly Place, The Office and Seinfeld.

I can't really comment on comedians, cuz I don't know any. And books? I read dark and emotional. Oops. :)

Kim Kasch said...

So cool that you two took the class together. I love that.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Kelly, Vol. One is out already, a must see!

C.R. Evers said...


I love the picture. Usually those face in the hole things look fuzzy where you put the face, but this looks like it could be real. Cool! :0)

jdcoughlin said...

I have to say, laugh out loud humor in books is rare, for me. But I laughed my way thorough 'Tis and Teacher Man. I just love that self-depracating humor. Love it! As for shows, The George Lopez show cracked me up. There was so much in that show, how the family interacted, that so struck a chord with mine. I loved us all watching and laughing together. Shared laughter, good times!

Carrie Harris said...

Another Big Bang Theory fan here. And I'm a total Gleek. For funny books, I usually hit Good Omens by Neil Gaiman or Terry Prachett. Any Prachett, really. Also Jasper Fforde or Carl Hiaasen.

I so wish I could have taken that class.

Tory said...

Hi, Kelly! I saw you at Jennifer's blog and had to check you out. So funny, you are! Your posts are very entertaining, and I'd love for you to check out mine. I look forward to following along. Have a great Humpday! Tory

PJ Hoover said...

I love books that make me laugh aloud. Jenny Ziegler's How Not To Be Popular did that for me.

Anita said...

You would be awesome at our game. I think last time I sang "Ebony and Ivory" like a rap...trying to make it my own, you know?

Lori Degman said...

I'm late to this party but wanted to put my two cents in.

I think Modern Family is the funniest show on TV right now.

My all-time favorite is The Dick Van Dyke Show - it still holds up today - if you haven't seen it in a while, watch it and you'll see what I mean.

I agree with lyfizgud that Death at a Funeral (the British version) is hilarious. I laugh out loud every time I've seen it.

Two of the funniest movies from my childhood (I'm going to date myself here) are The In-Laws with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin (one of the funniest people ever) and The Out-of-Towners with Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis.

Susan Fields said...

I am not a comedy person - I prefer fantasy or romance - but I saw Date Night this weekend (my husband's choice) and I think the guy next to me was getting annoyed because I kept laughing so hard.