Sketch Writing

Dec 28, 2009 by     No Comments    Posted under: Thousands of Stories

While mechanically browsing Netflix’s “Instant Play” selections last night, I discovered a treat. For those of us sketch comedy fans, Netflix offers several Saturday Night Live selections to watch instantly on your computer! I haven’t seen much SNL, so I thought I’d take a few minutes before bed to have a look.

Several hours and four cups of herbal tea later, I was struck with the realization that many SNL sketches leave me less than impressed! I mean, if this is truly “The Best of Will Ferrell,” then shouldn’t it be all killer and no filler? There was so much disappointing material, I couldn’t help but wonder…

Could I write better sketches than these?”

In Chicago, improv comedy and sketch comedy go hand-in-hand. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing sketch for several months now, but I’ve never been able to really dive in. However, upon seeing it done less-than-perfectly last night, I am compelled to begin immediately!

If you weren’t already aware, writing carries several tasty benefits:

  1. Writing makes your brain go zoom! (i.e. synapses between ya brain cells, dog!)
  2. Performer + Writer = Double Threat! What casting agent/director doesn’t love versatility in their talent? Exactly. (Don’t believe me? Ask Chicago’s own Pat O’Brien, a Second City/iO performer who was recently hired by SNL as a staff writer!)
  3. People who can’t/don’t write will PAY YOU to write material for them! (Wanna cry about “selling out?”Please, you poor soul, read my colleague Ben’s posts. They call it Show Business for a reason, people!)
  4. Writing is a great way to show off your point of view! You can’t always be onstage, but you can almost always have a copy of your latest sketch, play, comedic ode, or whatever handy and ready to share with interested parties!

JOE VB’s GOAL: Beginning immediately, I am keeping a(nother) Moleskine journal on me at all times that will be dedicated to writing one short comedic sketch each and every day. If for any reason the entire sketch cannot be written, then I will at least flesh out the concept of the sketch in detail so that it may be thoroughly  revisited at a later date.

If you’ve ever been interested in doing something like this, I challenge you to join me right now! Please remember, At first, we mustn’t worry whether it’s good or if it sucks! Do you honestly expect to write an award-winning piece of comedy every time? No! At least, not right away. The important thing right now is just to DO IT! After a while, you’ll begin to notice a natural improvement in the quality of work, I promise!

See you at the top, my friend. 🙂