Thanks for your support.
Today I'd like to break away from theory and just engage in gag-making, partly because it's what I love to do and partly because I think you'll learn quite quickly seeing how someone with a bit of experience does it.
The next new posts will add to this and after a few are done and I've got a fair bit of material, I'm going to put together a 7 minute stand-up comedy routine.
Why 7 minutes? If you ever do an open mic slot in a comedy club, that length isn't too short or too long - unless you find yourself dying on stage. Avoid being wooden - you're less likely to be booed off on the Deadwood Stage.
Everyone who attempts stand-up for any length of time will have seen someone 'dying' - or will have experienced it themselves. If you're planning to be a comic, grow a thick skin.
As ever, the first thing to do is to choose a topic.
Despite the apparently large volume of hair on my head in the picture on this website's home page, I regret to say I'm bald. Actually, I'm quite happy with it.
But baldness is quite a good subject for joke-making - there's something naturally funny about it.
So you're going to see the whole process unrolling again, at the expense of my bare, shiny noggin.
I'm going to investigate rhyming possibilities first, of 'hair' and 'bald' quickly, one after the other.
First, I'm going to grab my rhyming dictionary and pull out any rhymes that have any humour in them. It's possible to do this just by running through the alphabet in your head (air, bear, bare, care etc) but it's much quicker and more thorough to use the book.
If nothing else, this part of the exercise will show you the value, or otherwise, of getting your hands on a rhyming dictionary.
My chosen rhymes will follow.
At this stage we won't think too deeply about the gags themselves, I'll just put a quick note after each to explain why I've chosen it.
Words that rhyme with 'hair':
I start by looking up 'air' the index and notice a string of words starting with 'air.''
Because I see some potential in them, I make the executive decision to divert to those words first. Here they are:
air-head, air-liner (eye-liner), airspace, airlock, airborne, aircrew, airport, aircraft, airiness, airspace, airstrip, airtight, airworthy, airy-fairy,
We'll come back to these later, but for the moment let's just consider what a couple of them say if you put a 'h' in front of them:
A hairport: a place where wigs come in to land
Anyway, let's get back to direct hair-rhymes:
heir: this is very near to a direct pun with 'hair'
bare, bear: better to be a bald human than a bald bear
or even a thread-bear
chair: filled with horsehair
hare: I was about 20 when my hair hared off
Tony Blaire (weapons of mass destruction?)
prayer: my brother's bald, dad too-my hair never had a prayer
wear: if you're going to wear something, wear hair
warfarenightmare: a hair-loss bad dream
funfair: the opposite of a hair-nightmare
compare the compere.com: a website selling hosts/presenters
au pair: I knew I had no chance: hairless, I'd be au pair-less
fanfare: keeping this - it might lead to something later
Some of these are zany, some are plain silly. How many will get into the final 7 minute set?
I'd be happy if just one of these became something viable, possibly two.
In any comedy piece, half the battle is to provide variety.
I'll leave this for the moment, will come back to deal with 'bald' in a similar way.