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"Funny is money."

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Comedy is considered by many to be the most difficult genre to write (or direct). Recent cinematic attempts (Alex and Emma, Legally Blonde 2 and the truly pathetic The Sweetest Thing) indicate that good comedy may not only be difficult, but virtually impossible (unless your audience is comprised solely of 13-year-old girls). Screenwriter Ed Solomon says he has observed many people pontificate, but has never heard one person “who is actually funny” explain exactly what makes people laugh. Achieving comedy in film is especially difficult, he says, because “in film there are 100 reasons a joke won’t come off. Those reasons may have as much to do with the actor’s delivery or the shooting or the editing as with the writing. In film, it’s incredibly hard to get it right.” Not only is comedy difficult, it can also be terrifying. In drama and fantasy, “if you build it, they will come.” (At least someone will come.) In comedy, it can happen that if you build it, nobody shows up—or worse, they show up and go home, still wearing the expressions of the men of Mount Rushmore. Given the elusiveness of good comedy, it isn’t surprising that many books have been published analyzing the genre and offering advice to screenwriters on how to accomplish it. In Laughing out Loud, Andrew Horton, Professor of Film and Video Studies at the University of Oklahoma, tells us that comedy is broken into three major areas: comedian-driven (based on a particular personality), situation-oriented (story-based) or character-centered (based on character growth, as in classic comedy). In discussing the comic perspective, he writes that comedy is more a way of looking at the universe than a particular genre—a perspective apparently shared by Woody Allen, who is credited with the line “comedy is tragedy plus time” from Crimes and Misdemeanors.The dictionary definition of comedy is “a light movie or play with a happy ending,” while humor is something “funny or comical.” Not much meat there, but perhaps that’s all that can really be said about the essence of comedy: it’s something that makes us laugh. And perhaps that’s also why comedy is so difficult to define, particularly on a universal level.People laugh at different things. Something humorous in one culture or demographic group may be received like a hand grenade in another. A disproportionate number of teenage boys like genitalia jokes, for instance, while the gentry tends to prefer the likes of The Importance of Being Earnest. Thus, comedies that tap that universal funny bone, the ones that make the entire theater erupt in simultaneous laughter, are rare. So how do comic writers achieve those rare, genius moments?MM decided to seek answers from the people who have brought howls of laughter from the bellies to the lips of millions: writers Anne Rapp (Cookie’s Fortune, Dr. T and The Women) and George Wing (50 First Dates), writer-directors Harold Ramis (Animal House, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Analyze This) and Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black) and the writing team of Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and Dave Mandel (The Cat in the Hat, Eurotrip, “Seinfeld”).Sitting at the venerable Driskill Hotel in Anne Rapp’s adopted hometown of Austin, Texas, we were reminded once again that the paths to becoming a successful screenwriter are as varied as creatures of the Great Barrier Reef. Rapp says that she never intended to become a screenwriter, and never remotely considered herself a comedy writer. Rapp grew up in a town of 300 people in the Texas Panhandle and eventually went to a college 90 miles away on a basketball scholarship. To earn money for school she spent her summers picking cotton. In the cotton fields she began her training for storytelling, calling on her imagination “to stay alive” through the excruciating heat and boredom. Her education continued at night, as she listened to the old-timers telling tales in a place without television and movies. Later, when the movie industry came to Dallas, she got work in commercials and eventually moved to Hollywood to become a script supervisor. After 15 years she saved enough money to pursue her real desire, and enrolled in a program for short story writers in Oxford, Mississippi, the hometown of William Faulkner. En route to her dream, Robert Altman discovered her first published short story and asked her to come write for him. “Getting a big, important laugh requires a big, important subject.”– HAROLD RAMIS “I never set out to write a comedy,” Rapp says. “I don’t think of myself as funny. I think I’m emotional and dramatic. Writing Dr. T and The Women was actually painful. When I read my scripts after they’re done, I see that they’re funny, but it’s like the absurdity of life sneaks up on me. Every sad situation I create ends up as a joke.” She feels her comedy comes not from wit or clever turns of phrase, but from letting life’s incongruous details surprise her. An important element, she believes, is creating characters who are truthful, without telling the audience that their situation is actually sad. She says that her favorite comedic moments come almost as if the character is saying the line to her—but the “joke” is of course funnier when the character doesn’t know he’s being funny. If you want to write comedy, she advises, just open your senses, pay attention and observe very specifically what is happening around you. Mississippi, for example, is a locale “rich in the human condition.” Every day there, she says, you can find something that makes a comedic story. Texas is also a place rich in material, because Texans have so much pride that they drive other people crazy.One of the many reasons Rapp lives in Austin is her need to be “within shouting distance of the kinds of people and places” she writes about. Dr. T and The Women, a movie much under-appreciated at the box office, is a perfect example of her need for proximity. A successful Texas gynecologist (Richard Gere) is surrounded by a group of neurotic, self-centered, demanding, hypochondriacal, alcoholic, sexually deviant, perfectly ordinary women (played by a great ensemble cast). The movie is classic Rapp, presenting the daily life of a wealthy Texas doctor, while exposing the underpinnings of insanity.

Muzak

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GOZER's Blog

Animated Headers Made Easy

Want to get even more creative with your page header? 

Here's how:

First, create each frame of your header  (955 pixels wide X 195 high) in Photoshop or PhotoFiltre then use this great animated GIF maker to create your header: GIF MAKER

Once you've got your GIF created simply upload it in a new blog but save the blog as a draft only, do not publish.

Go to the new blog with the uploaded GIF on it, select Preview, click on the animated gif so that it goes to a new window and then copy the long URL, and paste it into this code between the ( ). Then simply copy, paste the code, click 'Customize My Page > Advanced' and then paste it directly below any existing code.  Press Save and you're done! Here's the code:  (be sure to substitute your URL between the () and you're ready to paste it into your CSS)

 

#xg_masthead /*Top Image*/

{margin: auto; display: block;height:195px; width:955px; background-color:transparent; background-image: url(http://api.ning.com/files/o2W2jISK9wd94EyUwBTsG1ZSMyMXaqHs*QFjJhF8i-uT7Rsus85uK*Fk731TGNREzynQ3HSOsmSr6h0sNBRM2zVxg18GUXxT/RudolphHeaderGIF.gif); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: top center}

_

 

_

Enjoy.

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To Clarify (because only some of it is in red)  This is the part of the code that you replace with your own URL:…

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Continue

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 5:00pm

HYPNOTOAD

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 9:00pm

ADVANCED DESIGN MADE EASY

Here's a quick way to have some fun:

(Go to: Appearance>Advanced>paste code)

 

If you would like to add an image to your hello box then add this code to the top of your CSS Box. You can also add it to the bottom of the Body Section in the code. This code is adjustable too.



1.) You can adjust the height of the hello box in the height line.

2.) You can also align the image left, center, or right in the background-position line.

3.)You can add a background top margin if you need to adjust the image within the box as well. Sometimes the picture starts under the module header and you can't see it. So you can move it down by adding a top-margin.

4.) If you have a small image and want it to repeat, Change the background repeat to: background-repeat:repeat;



Note: Your module backgrounds must be set to the color: transparent and not have a color or image link in order for the hello box image to show.







Code:





/* Hello Box: Adjusting height to see more of the background image) */ .account-links {

height:140px;

}

/* Hello Box Background */

#xg_module_account {

background:transparent url(image link);

background-repeat: no-repeat;

background-position: right !important;

background-margin-top: 0em !important;



 

 

Simply substitute 'image link' with your GIF URL, which looks similar to this in size & content:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Seven_segment_display-animated.gif

STAY TUNED  -  MORE TO COME SOON…

Continue

Posted on January 4, 2011 at 9:00pm

NEW EDITING FEATURES

It's easier than ever to link images in your blog to URLS. (The pic above is linked to this blog for example) While still in 'Visual Mode on your editor, click on the image once and you'll see an 'edit' below it. Click on 'edit'

You can enter any URL you want in the Link. It works with Animated GIF images too. It also helps on the blog roll, making the picture as well as the title a direct link to the blog. Click on the GIF image below the diagram for an example.

click on this image>

Posted on December 10, 2010 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

Comment Wall (174 comments)

Join Comedy Whirled today!

Join Comedy Whirled

At 12:59pm on April 24, 2016, Mike McHuman said…

How can I contribute without using PayPal?

At 9:57pm on September 16, 2013, Mike McHuman said…

Thanks for the recognition on the bonus capcon.

At 11:33am on August 29, 2012, Donairs said…

Thanks for the pic!

At 9:41am on August 10, 2012, theDIRTYmidget.© said…

I don’t know exactly why (and although I hate to have to sheepishly cop to never having tried your suggestions, and certainly nothing else I deliberately tried ever ended up working), but everything seems to be staying where I put it, now, and still remaining there when I leave and return, as if nothing had ever been going wrong.  Weird.  Thanks, again, for the help I was too lazy even to try. (Ha-ha!)  xo♥∞.  

At 6:37am on August 4, 2012, Mervin97 said…

Thank you for the honor, I don't really talk to myself its more of a low mumbling.

At 4:20am on July 24, 2012, theDIRTYmidget.© said…

Oh, yeah.  I’ve also been meaning to ask for quite sometime: will changing my Page-Design Template delete anything (or, Heaven forbid, everything)?  Thanks, again.  xo♥∞.PicturedMe.

At 4:08am on July 24, 2012, theDIRTYmidget.© said…

Help!  I made the mistake of temporarily trying my Music-Player in the center section, and now I’m having trouble making my ‘modules’ stay where they belong.  I’d like my Comments section to be 2nd, just below my ‘Catch-AllBox full of vids, .gifs and other crap, but every time I go to a different page and return, the Comments are at the top again. I put the Music-Player back on the left, thinking moving it had caused the problems, but the page still seems weird, unstable and uncooperative.  Other boxes have been seeming to change position randomly, also.  Any suggestions?  Thanksxo♥∞

At 7:32pm on June 20, 2012, MadAdam said…

Thanks Goz! 'preciate it.

At 11:45am on June 19, 2012, VomitFlop said…

Thanks for that! Pretty damn funny! Haha!  =P

At 3:47am on June 19, 2012, Schellshock said…

Nice!  Doesn't put me in the mood for making love at midnight though.

At 5:18pm on June 5, 2012, Owen Weber said…

Thanks, GOZER.  I'm enjoying the great stuff on the site!

At 10:00pm on May 27, 2012, Slant said…

At 8:38am on May 27, 2012, vindoc725 said…

Thanks!

At 2:58pm on May 24, 2012, Shag said…

Thanx for the Cap Gold! That was really neat. Do you have a collection of "Cap Gold" photos? If you do, I'd probably enjoy it, and I think all the other Whirled Capsters would too. Thanx again!

At 7:52am on May 24, 2012, 38chrysler said…

Thank You for the ComedyWhirled Gold on my Caption and Thanks for the Work and Effort you put into this Site to give us a place to Share and Connect with others!

At 1:28pm on April 30, 2012, KariGrant said…

Sharks and Nazis....FUNNY!!!<3

At 7:44pm on April 17, 2012, FissureFilms said…

Just saw my "Wonder bread" gold!  Damn! It's been THAT long since I've been around?!!  Well. Anyway, thanks! I love the Golden Loaf! 

At 7:07pm on April 10, 2012, LL Bein said…

Thanks. I love the smell of Exxon in the morning!

At 11:26pm on March 18, 2012, VomitFlop said…

Thanks for that! Very cool!

At 6:52pm on March 18, 2012, Iverneil said…

Thanks for the cap love!

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GOZER posted a status
"THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HILARIOUS CAPTIONS this weekend during our temporary domain outage. We should be back to 'normal' this week!"
May 14
GOZER posted a status
"DURING OUR DOMAIN HOST TRANSFER OUTAGE DELAY WE CAN STILL ACCESS CW PAGES BY SIMPLY ADDING .ning before .com http://comedywhirled.ning.com"
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Mar 9
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Mar 6
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