Writing a joke can be a long nerve wracking process. It can also produce something vastly different than what you originally intended. This post will look at how I wrote a joke that I am using as my closer from time to time and how I got it from the staring line to almost ready to cross the finish line.
For the last few months I have been neglecting this BLOG in order to focus on writing and performing jokes.
I guess I have traded one type of writing for another and I think that’s OK. After all, I am working toward my dream and goal of becoming a working comic able to support my family – I wish I was keeping up with all my goals! (Want to help me stick to my goals? Follow the link above and leave a comment – I can even help keep you accountable.)
Like every other type of writing – a joke is a living thing that evolves – sometimes slowly – into the final version after hours of editing, rewrites and stage time. Such is the case for the joke I have titled “First Date” Below are the original drafts along with the final.
Look for the similarities but pay close attention to the evolution – after you’ve done that check out the video and see me do the joke live.
I am putting the video last because I believe if you see where I started and where I ended up you’ll feel better about anything you’re working on and see that there is a joke there – a promising, funny joke. YOu just have to mine it out of all the other words you think you want to use.
FIRST TWO DRAFTS
One of the first dates my wife and I went on was a double with my buddy Dave and his wife. We wanted to show off our strength and manliness – we ended up at the batting cages. Nothing says “Macho Man” like stepping into a cage marked “SLOW PITCH SOFTBALLS”
While I am getting ready for my turn, Dave gets in the cage behind me (I am making the usual “getting ready to hit” motions only a bit wilder) because he thinks it will be funny to grab the bat as I swing. That was not even his worst idea of the day – after the batting cages we had dinner reservations at Chuck E. Cheese.
So, I swing the bat and hear Tink, clunk – THUD! I spin around the girls look shocked – I say “ Did you see that?” Then I notice Dave in a lump and the ground and I said “Dude! Did toy see how far that ball went?” HE had not. In fact he as very little memory of that night except riding the carousel at Chuck E. Cheese.
One of the first dates my wife and I went on was a double with my buddy Dave and his wife. We wanted to impress the girls with our masculinity and our knowledge of culture – instead we wen to the batting cages. Giving new meaning to the the phrase “Striking out on a first date. That was not even our worst decision of the night – later we went to Golden Corral for dinner; because nothing says “I think you might be the one” like all you can eat botulism.
She did let me driver her home and we had that awkward tension over the the first date end of night kiss. I was patient she seemed distant. Of course, I was staring at her -through the peep hole. Which was tough because it’s a foot over my head. She might not have even known I was there if her roommate had not come home. It turned out OK and I did get my kiss. The guys in my cell we very understanding and supportive. Crusher and I are having coffee next week.
The first time I went on a date with my wife I wanted to impress her with my knowledge of culture and society so I took her to a bowling alley. Later we went to dinner I made reservations at THE Golden Corral – because nothing says “I think you might be the one” like all you can eat botulism.
She did let me drive er home – of course, I cut the battery cables on her Jetta. When we got to her place we did have that awkward tension – you know the good night kiss. I was patient she seemed distant. Of course, I was staring at her -through the peep hole. Which was tough because it’s a foot over my head. She might not have even known I was there if her roommate had not come home.
I know you’re wondering and YES – I did get my kiss. The guys in my cell we very understanding and supportive.
You’ll notice that I did not do the joke verbatim in this recording – in fact – I forgot a quality laugh getter right around the “peep hole” line. Did you catch it? No problem -it was short.
So, there you have it – the evolution of a joke. From a rough idea to what I think is a pretty solid bit. I would love to know what you think of this, the process and the sort of final product. OH! and if you have ANY ideas how I can make it even sharper or funnier PLEASE do not hesitate to comment – I welcome them all!
Y’all keep the acorn spinnin’