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The TV Showrunner's Roadmap by Neil Landau

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21Make us Laugh

There are no rules in comedy except that it needs to be funny—which can be highly subjective. Not everyone is going to find the same material hysterical. Dark, edgy, subversive and/or “gross out” comedy is laugh-out-loud funny to some, and an offensive turn off to others. Dry, droll, sophisticated “British” humor is the bomb to some, but for others: not their cup of tea. If a joke is told badly, no matter how good the joke, it’ll fall flat. The opposite can be true as well. If a bad joke is well told, it could be funny.

I believe that screenwriters can be taught structure and how to deepen a scene with heart and subtext. I even believe that some writers can learn to improve their dialogue. However, to me, comedy writing and performance ...

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