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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Five Really Stupid Things to Say, aka the ‘Homework of Hilarity’

Blogging for those who can’t blog themselves… and probably shouldn’t in the first place.

So, I’m taking a standup comedy class at a local adult education center.

(Yes, I know that some of you are well aware of this fact, and that I mentioned it here, and here, and even here. But some of these people are new, and I don’t want to lose anyone, okay? Lord knows there are only about three of you already.)

Anyway, I had my first class on Tuesday, and it was pretty cool. We didn’t do a whole helluva lot, really — just sat around and chatted amongst ourselves, and picked up some general info from the guy running the class. But I think that was because none of us had prepared any material beforehand. From now on, I think it’ll be a bit more involved. Which brings me to the matter of this week’s homework, which I’ve decided to share with you.

(In other words, I’ve decided that I don’t have anything else to talk about right now, and so I’m going to throw shit out there until I find something you’re interested in. And my standup workshop homework came up first. That’s the way it goes.)

So here’s what we were asked to do: come up with no less than five subjects that could be massaged (and rubbed, and otherwise inappropriately touched) into a short bit. Things to ‘riff’ from, in other words; ideas that might lead to a series of a few related jokes in the final act.

(Oh, speaking of which, I should probably start reminding you early and often that our class will be doing not one, but two live club shows in the course of our work, and I expect each and every one of you within the sound of my typing fingers to park your asses in the seats and then proceed to laugh them off. The asses, not the seats. Of course. You already knew that. Sorry.

I’ll have more specific information as soon as I get it; for now, all I know is that one of the dates is November 16th. So mark your calendars, you folks close to Boston — I don’t really give a pair of hooters whether you laugh at me, with me, or even about me. Just get your ass there and laugh it off, all right? That is all. For now.)

So, back to the homework. There’s a bit more to it than just coming up with the ideas, of course. He also gave us a few suggestions on how to generate those ‘sub-ideas’ that are the actual jokes, by finding associations and contrasts and shit like that which don’t make logical sense. And are therefore funny.

(Not that I’m suggesting that everything works this way, of course. There are many things out there that don’t make rational sense, but are absolutely, undeniably, horrifyingly not funny. Take tax law, for one. Any damned sense? No. Any hilarity, even a teeny shred? Nope, not a bit. Bitches.

People can be like that, too. Like Andy Rooney. His shit never made any sense. He might as well have been speaking Mandarin Chinese during his little bits, because I never knew what the hell he was talking about. And it sure as hell wasn’t funny. And that’s just one example. There are certainly many, many other people who make no sense and yet are soberingly non-hilarious. Just off the top of my head, there’s Billy Bob Thornton, and Charo, and that Gallagher dude. How long is he gonna milk that melon squashing bit, anyway? Get a fuckin’ life, ya dildo.

Oh, and I should probably say Drew Barrymore, too. She’s out of her tiny little mind, of course. But she likes taking her shirt of in public, so I’ll spare her. Any girl that’s willing to fling the old mamms around at the drop of a hat is okay in my book. And, um, I just dropped my hat, if you know what I’m saying. Uh, ‘oops’.)

All right, where the hell was I? Ah, the homework. Gotcha.

So, I thought I’d share my initial ideas with you. If nothing else, then you’ll have your appetites whetted for the shows. And, if you’re pretty new around here, it’ll give you a chance to dig through the archives a bit, because all of these ideas come straight from the blog you’re reading right now. (And don’t you feel special, hmmm?) So here they are, my Five Furious Fingers of Funnitality for next week. We’ll see which of these survive the next stage of development.

1. How I Got My Stitches (i.e., stupid games I played as a kid)

2. I Am Such a Damned Sucker (i.e., how gullible I am… er, was)

3. Grocery, Schmocery (i.e., funny things about food shopping)

4. Adventures in Interviewing (or Zolton, Master of the Universe)

5. The Wall of Wisdom (i.e., how to get people not to ‘share’)

Now, obviously, I reserve the right to decide that any of these are pure crap, or at least not fertile enough to turn into a minute or so’s worth of side-splitting material. But for the moment, these are the guns I’m going into battle with. They may jam, or blow up in my face, or shoot ‘dumdums’, but they’re the best I’ve got for now. I can only pray for better before the class ends. Because all of you people will be there to see what I’ve learned. It’ll be hard enough for you to still respect me when you see what I look like. If I lay a big fat hairy egg in front of you, you’ll never come back to visit.

And that will never do. I simply won’t have it. I shant. Shant, you hear me? Shant!

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Five Really Stupid Things to Say, aka the ‘Homework of Hilarity’”

  1. Katie Legge says:

    YOU HAVE TO DO THE ONE ABOUT YOUR MIDDLE NAME>>> its my favorite. But Zolton is a close second.

    Trust me, Stacy is pure comic genius, because it has the relatable “pain” of childhood torture over a name. As a Legge I know this all to well.


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