Reverse Engineering Comedy Stories

In today’s Story Sells article on Copy Chief,

One cool thing  that didn’t make it into the blog post …
… is that we learned how to write sketches by “reverse engineering”  4 different Sketch Comedy templates:
The first thing we did in the class after warming up (which I relate in embarrassing detail in my blog post) …
Was to learn these 4 formulas by watching examples from sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night LiveKey & Peele, and that great off-beat Canadian troupe, Kids In The Hall.
Here are the 4 templates along with links to the examples we learned from:
1. “Easy made Hard” (Here’s an example from SNL)
2. “Fish Out Of Water” (This one from Key & Peele)
3. “Unexpected Reaction” (Portlandia does it here)
4. “Clash of Context” (How Kids In The Hall Weird it up)
This reinforced two lessons:
First – Immerse yourself in examples for inspiration and guidance.
In other words, read books and watch movies.
So the next time you’re stretched on your couch in front of the toob or a good book, and someone gives you a hard time – just tell them it’s “research.”
And Second – It’s way easier to get started in any creative endeavor with a template.
(Heck of a lot easier than staring at a blank cursor.)
As for a Template, that’s why I included the 6-part story formula in Your Magnetic Sales Story.
Have you written yours out yet?


If so, let me know how it went by responding to this email.

To be continued,