Friday, July 20, 2007

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WEBSITES THAT ACTUALLY FUNCTION

THEN MAY I RECOMMEND Jane Espenson's blog about writing and lunching?

YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE SOME KIND OF CRAZY PERSON not to read, enjoy, and profit from her good advice.

I HAPPEN TO BE AN ESPECIAL FAN of her recent post on the subject of punchline abuse:

BEGIN QUOTED TEXT

"I have it on good authority that no fewer than three of the new pilots for Fall series use "That went well" as a punchline. Nooooo! Have I accomplished nothing?!

I also hereby call clam on these mollusks:

"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."

And

(sing-song) "Awkward!"

And

"I said, 'good day, Sir!'"

Really, people, even in real life, don't use these! They're past their expiration date and they will make you ill. An excellent rule of thumb is "if you've read it, don't write it; if you've heard it, don't say it." Adapt it, sure. Or make fun of it if you want -- use it ironically. But don't expect a genuine laugh.

END QUOTED TEXT

But do read ON.

That is all.

16 comments:

Glenn said...

As I struggle through this life of allusion that I lead, I sometimes fear that soon nothing will be written but cliches.

Do not want.

Chardman said...

I work with people whose entire dialog consists of common cliches from television.
I may sound jaded to come across as amused by this, but I was terribly disappointed that the line "save the drama for your mama and PUSH" - from some early entry in the reality TV meme - failed to capture the public mind and become a common vocable.
Oh well.

prof_rocko said...

Funny.. I think Jon Stewart uses all of these examples on any given night. Somehow he remains amusing, and is perhaps becoming a role model for too many of us.

C.T. Pope said...

Prof Rocko, I do believe Jon is being ironical most of the time, and using the punch lines as such. I would even go so far as to say, his entire routine revolves around this kind of joke delivery, familiar yet unexpectedly novel. At least when it works. Whereas in the sitcom examples, they are being serious about their delivery, as in expecting the dialog to sell as seemingly genuine.

Jane Mountain said...

Plus, Stewart's team has to write a half-hour of funny EVERY DAY. What Jane is talking about is taking six weeks to write a half hour, so you got a lot more time to come up with the goods.

eChuckler said...

Today is the day the internet came full circle, as I read both this blog and Jane's, both of which linked to each other and wrote about their love for one another. Surely this is not just a coincidence but a revelation in some form.

agent provocateur said...

Kudos on the appearance on Flight of the Conchords.

kookiejar said...

Hodg-man, you were great of 'Flight of the Conchords'. Did you get any pictures taken with Bret and/or Jemaine? We want to see.

rheimbro said...

It was a great surprise to see you on Flight of the Conchords, it was awesome!

Now if only they would cast Mr. Coulton as a rival musician....

CliffM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CliffM said...

Brilliant performance on Flight of the Choncords [echo..echo....echo.....]. How did you get involved with them? I mean, I know when I think of product manager of an audio birthday card, I think of you, but I'm not most people...

comoprozac said...

Oh no, you didn't!

Patrick M~ said...

It's so funny she worked on Dinosaurs; I remember watching that as a kid and thinking for the first time (but not the last), "This is brilliant, but this will never make it."

N.B. the most recent time I thought this about something was about midway through book 2 of the audio version of AOME.

In conclusion, you are just like the show Dinosaurs, only without Sally Struthers. Q.E.D.

capnjoy said...

flight of the conchords was already the most original, hilarious, and delightful tv show i've seen in ages. and then john hodgman guest starred.

The City Desk said...

Unrelated, but here's an article from the new Philadelphia Weekly about modern-day hoboes. Not so light-hearted, I'm afraid:
Crust Gets in Your Eyes

sac said...

Lest we forget the Ur-Clam:

"I'm getting too old for this shit!"