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Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: How to Steal a Joke

In last month’s column, Thou Shalt Not Steal, I wrote about an ethical way to steal jokes I called “switching to the bone.” The steps were: Step 1) Write down the joke you want to steal. Step 2) Write down the essence of what makes that joke funny. This could be the structure, the conflict, the type of ambiguity, the …

Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: Thou Shalt Not Steal

As I wrote in my first column, Comedy Darwinism, whenever I’ve asked any group of comedy jugglers or comedy magicians where their jokes come from, most answer: “It was something that happened while I was onstage.” Almost no one says: “I stole it from someone else’s show.” And yet, if you watch most shows, and I’m definitely including my own …

Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: Collaboration

When John Park, my first juggling partner who eventually fled the country to get away from my never-ending notes, and I first started performing together, we were lucky enough to have great comedy mentors to learn from including: The best comedy teacher I know: Greg Dean. The fastest hands and fastest mind in comedy juggling: Frank Olivier. My BFF and …

Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: Creationism

In my first column, Comedy Darwinism, I wrote about ways to leverage your creativity onstage. Or as a skeptic might put it: “How to flop around onstage, randomly trying this and that, until you get lucky enough to get a laugh.” Fair enough. So if evolution through natural selection isn’t enough for you… If you think: “What are the odds …

Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: The Secret of Great Comedy

What is the secret of great comedy…? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not timing. It’s practice. I don’t know how to sit down and write a funny joke. But I do know how to write two dozen jokes and then find out which ones are funny. And this is how every comedy writer that I’ve ever talked to creates …

Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: Comedy Darwinism

There are two obvious ways to make your show funnier: First, add more laughs. Second, make the laughs you already have bigger. In the next few months, I’m going to use this column to give you some tools to help you do both of these. I hope your feedback and comments help me come up with even more. I’ve talked …