Humor Writing Tip No. 1: Larry Gelbart on Not Going for the Slam Dunk

A quote from humor writer Larry Gelbart on why not to go for the slam dunk.

larry-gelbartFrom And Here’s the Kicker:

“Experience has taught me that what seems like a slam dunk rarely makes the most successful finished product. While confidence is always a comfort, risk provides a good deal more adrenaline. The project that requires me to learn about characters I’ve never met is the kind I enjoy most. I’m always drawn to those subjects least likely associated with comedy, such as war, or God, or finance–in other words, subjects that I’ll have to wrestle with. I want to go to places I’ve never been before, in a sense. If my interest is piqued, perhaps audiences’ will be, too.” — Larry Gelbart (1928-2009), television and film writer


Tips for Humor Writers


I’m adding a new feature to The Humor Columnist. In addition to promoting my work, sharing funny things that I read online, and interviewing authors and reviewing books, I’m also going to publish a writing tip of the day. This is as much for me as it is for the reader, many of whom I know are also writers. These are things I need to remind myself in order to become a better writer, but since I’m already digging into the research, I figure why not share? I hope you find these as useful as I do. I’ll be sure to send a link to each on on The Humor Columnist Twitter account. Or you can check back every so often.

UPDATE: I’ve linked to all of them here.



The Rocky IV Training Montage Workout

A trainer and a journalist explore whether or not the “Rocky IV” training montage workout is actually a good workout.


The “Rocky IV” training montage is probably the greatest training montage in movie history. (It’s so great they had to break it up into two montages, folks. Two.) But is it actually a good workout? Is it good enough to beat Drago, end the Cold War and get you in shape?

The answer: USA! USA! USA!