The First Rule of Comedy Writing is…

The first rule of comedy is…

… don’t forget your notebook.

In the old days, if a comedian got an idea for a gag, they’d make sure to carve it into a cave wall…

… before testing it out on stage at “Thag’s Comedy And Jazz Night” (Line Dancing every other Thursday).

Even prehistoric comedians knew that ideas are fickle and fleeting beasts.

You need to get used to writing ideas down as soon as you get them.

If you’re not blessed with access to a fresh cave wall and a stone, feel free to use your phone because ideas come at the weirdest times.

You could be sat at a desk for 8 hours, headphones on, incense stick burning… nothing.

Yet, the moment you step out of the room to peg out the washing…

WHAM!

THAT’S when that killer idea you’ve been working so hard to find lands in your brain.

Just as you’re hanging out your wife’s pants (on the washing line), the idea you’ve been working so hard for becomes crystal clear.

“I don’t need to write it down…I’m sure I’ll remember it”.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh no, you won’t.

Even if you’re only two minutes away from a pen, that perfect, fully formed idea will be long gone before you get there.

So… before you do anything else, have a system for getting your ideas down.

Use a notepad, your phone or shave the idea into your partners back – just make sure you get into the habit of recording your ideas because there’s nothing more frustrating than struggling to remember that million-dollar idea you had while you were deworming your neighbour’s cat!

(apart from discovering that your neighbour doesn’t actually have a cat…)

When inspiration hits, make sure you’re ready.

How to write funny blog posts – VIDEO #3 – The Curious Piano Teacher blog

Another video, this one featuring a post from the very cooly named “The Curious Piano Teachers” blog.

Here’s a direct link to the post I used in the video, where they explore the idea of perfect pitch, while I explore the idea of making perfect pitch slightly comical.

Here’s a video with what I did:

As ever, all blogs/words featured in the videos have been chosen entirely at random. I’m not picking blogs because they are good/bad/indifferent. I’m just picking random blogs I find randomly scouring the internet.

Hope you enjoy the video. If you did, let me know. You can email me at johnholtwriter@gmail.com or tell Freda, the lady that lives next door to you and she’ll happily pass on the message.

If you’d like me to feature your blog in a video, feel free to get in touch. The details are in the previous paragraph. I can’t make any promises that I’ll be able to do a video of your stuff, but I do promise that I will at least read your email. 🙂

How to make blog posts funny – VIDEO#2 – Adding gags to a personal training website

Since no one died after I made the first video, I thought I’d have another bash, this time, looking at personal training.

During a quick search on the net, I discovered this blog post, written by Beth Trueman and thought I’d use it in a video. If you’ve ever met me, you’ll know that I’m not the type for personal training, so the Google algorithm is probably having a field day wondering what I’m up to…

Anywa, here’s the video of me taking someone else’s words and trying to add a splash of humour to them.

As always, me featuring a blog post doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I just hunt round for posts and copy that don’t presently use humour, so that I can add some in. I pick them entirely by chance, so please don’t infer anything from my choices.

Just don’t. As ever, if you want to get in touch, you can email me at johnholtwriter@gmail.com, or hang around at your local McDonald’s until I show up…

…and I WILL show up, sooner or later.

How to make blog posts funny – VIDEO#1 – Adding gags to a plumbing blog

So here’s something that I thought would be fun to try (whether this proves to be the case is another matter!) – adding gags in real time to other people’s websites and blogs.

This is a bit of an experiment, but I thought it would give you a bit of an insight into how I go about adding jokes, gags and assorted humour to other people’s words.

The video is a screenshare of me taking an excerpt of a plumbing blog from M Wilson Plumbing (the actual blog post can be found here) and then doing my thing.

Hopefully, I’ll do a few more of these in the future, as it’s a good way to keep my writing skills honed, as well as serving to show you the process of trying to be funny.

Oh, and it goes without saying that my using this website isn’t an indication as to my opinion of it. It’s a great blog and I just happened to find it on the net and thought it a great example of a blog post that doesn’t presently use humour (which is totally fine by the way).

That’s all.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the video.

Oh, and if you ever spot any blog posts that you’d like me to feature, feel free to get in touch. You can either email me at johnholtwriter@gmail.com or try shouting REALLY loudly.

I’d go with the email thing if I were you. 🙂

5 Ideas for Vision Express (or any optician)

1. Blurry Fonts

Send out mailers, reminding customers that they are due an eye test, but make all the words on the front SUPER blurry, convincing readers (or should that be “squinters”?) that they have a particularly nasty eye problem, and are likely to go blind unless they quickly secure an appointment.

2. Remind People That Reading is a Good Thing

Remind customers that the ability to read is important and, to read, you need eyes that work reasonably well. If you don’t, you can make mistakes…

3. The Dangers of Cheap Glasses

Warn people of the social implications of wearing cheap and tacky glasses. Sure, it worked for Timmy Mallet in the 1980s, but where is he now?

I’ll tell you where he is. He’s working on the veg counter at a Tesco near Shepherd’s Bush…

Actually, that’s a lie. I have no idea where he is now.

Shit, I better check because if he’s dead, I’m going to feel REALLY guilty.

* CHECKS WIKIPEDIA *

It’s OK, he’s still alive and doing his thing. Phew!

Still, the point remains, don’t be the one wearing tawdry eyewear.

4. REFEREE!!!!

Use social media to launch an initiative where you offer free eye tests to referees who make appalling calls in important matches.

You’ll have to REALLY search for these as football fans are famously respectful of referees and are often reticent to express their disapproval of decisions made during the game.

5. For Kids…

To stop kids being a bloody* nightmare when having their eyes tested, send them out a pack they can interact with before they come to the store.

This could include links to a personalised video, looking through the eyes of a child of what to expect when they arrive at the store, as well as activities to complete and fill out at home (eye charts, with patches and floor markers), so they can check their own eyesight before they arrive.

Get them invested and involved while at home and your job at the store will be much easier.


* You may choose a stronger adjective.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to use the ideas, copy them, sell them, swap them for an old copy of the Beano or print them out, rip them up and use them like confetti. Go nuts. If you’d like some ideas for your own business, let’s have a chat.