I've talked about Comedy by the Numbers before, and we'll talk about it again. Basically, I like the book, I like the videos and I like the funny dudes behind it all. A pair of interviews came out recently with each of the two masterminds. The first is from LAist and is with Eric Hoffman. Here's a sample:
In the book, You mention that writers and improvisers don't
like having their sketches called skits. What are some other faux-paus
we should avoid?
Don't talk about their dead mother. They hate that. Don't say things
like, "How did you remember all of those lines?!", no matter how much
of a complimentary tone you put into it. Avoid saying, "Do you know
Kramer?" In fact, don't reference any other comedian at all. For
example, don't ask them if they think Larry the Cable Guy is funny. I
know you're just trying to make conversation, but chances are they're
secretly jealous of him and his catchphrase. And please don't offer
suggestions like, "You should use a big watermelon like Gallagher. HE'S
funny!" A comedian will immediately treat you like a heckler.
The second interview is with Gary Rudoren and comes from Gothamist. Here's a little from that one:
You warn the readers of Comedy by the Numbers that priest
molestation humor might not be in vogue by the time they read the book
and that they should consult their local scene for what's in and what's
out. What types of humor have gone out of vogue since you wrote the
Well, we find ourselves at a distressing moment in history where it‚Äôs
old hat to wring laughs from the idiocy and incompetence of the Bush
administration and it‚Äôs too early to satirize the idiocy and
incompetence of Bush in his ex-presidency. So we‚Äôre in a comedic grey
area. Or gray area. I‚Äôm never sure which is the right way to spell
that. Although these are uneasy times for political humor,
optimistically, I predict if Guiliani gets the nomination, there will
be a comedy gold rush! Rudy has embraced many of the numbers from our
book including #10, 27, 28, 41,57,85, 98, 112, 117, 121 and 125. Thanks
Rudy! And don‚Äôt stop being you ‚Äì comedy will thank you!
What types of humor do you label as having worn out their welcome?
Berlin Wall jokes, little-girl-trapped-in-a-well humor, and apartheid
chuckles, for example are all out of vogue and also, I sense that
‚Äúmillennium = disaster‚Äù jokes are finally over.
Previously: Video – Comedy by the Numbers on Novelty Items