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Comedy Writers and Insane Siblings
My brother is insane. I don't mean that in a humorous way. He is literally, not right in the head. That doesn't mean he does crazy stuff. He just isn't good at analyzing situations. He'll beat a few of his friends at racquetball, and challenge me to a game for $100. I told him, "Dude, I've been playing for 25 years. You've been playing for a year." He insisted. And I took his money.
He once bowled a good game, something like 240. He was then convinced he could become a pro bowler, and spent hours each day practicing. This was when he was in his mid-20s, and didn't usually score anything close to 200.
There was a year and a half, where he was convinced he would become a famous stand-up comedian. And, I immediately thought of the line from Swingers, when Jon Favreau explains to a girl, "I flew out to L.A. to become a comedian. So many comedians got their own TV shows, I just thought they were handing them out at the airport."
At one party I crashed, someone said "You aren't related to that Board that is a comedian, are you? He's the worst I've ever seen." I almost wasn't going to own up to it, but I did.
He gave up that pipe dream, but I'll never forgot one conversation I had with him months into his attempt. I asked what his main goal was. He said to be writing for Leno or Letterman within a year. I tried to tell him that they have a team of 12 writers and that every comedian working, would like that job. I also asked if he could pick up a newspaper, and just write jokes from the stories he sees. He got kinda mad, and the subject changed.
In the late 80s, when I got my first job at a radio staiton, I wrote bits for the morning show. It was fairly easy to come up with stuff, but when I'd go thru the USA Today and Union-Tribune, it was harder making jokes from the news. I imagine with a team of writers that these late night shows have, it's easier to bounce things off each other and brainstorm.
When I was in line to donate blood today, I saw a bunch of stories that seemed perfect for material. But I had problems even thinking of jokes that were actually LOL funny. There was a story about those astronauts, with the title saying "Astonauts finish cleaning, lubing solar-wing joints." Now, there has to be a joke with that headline. I mean, the word "lubing" has probably never even been in a headline before.
And the story, which you've probably heard by now, was even funnier. They were working on a device that would recycle urine. Apparently, the "urine processor shut down after operating less than three hours."
NASA wanted to test the recycled water before anyone just starts gulping the urine.
I tried to think of a joke for that. Something about an astonaut saying it "tasted too Tangy." Nah, not that funny.
I thought maybe a joke about that astronaut that drove across country to attack a woman that was dating her man. Maybe she wore a diaper, because she was recycling her poo. Nah, that's too gross. Damn, I need a team of writers!
There was a headline about Ford topping the list of safe cars. And I thought there has to be a joke there. Maybe they are safe, because nobody is buying them, which means there are less of them on the road.
Nah...people losing jobs and companies going bankrupt, isn't funny. I'll work on that one, though. There's something there. Even if that means I have to go all the way back to the Ford Pinto.
More like this:
- David Letterman Controversy — June 12, 2009
- Comedians Stealing Material — April 8, 2009
- Angel at the Fence -- The Comedy of Robert Schimmel — Jan. 17, 2009
- 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comics Ever — June 21, 2008
- Write Here, Write Now — Nov. 6, 2007