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The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You're Not

The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You're Not
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: John Vorhaus
Publisher: Silman-James Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 192
Pub. Date: 1994
ISBN-10: 1879505215
ISBN-13: 9781879505216

About the Book:

Comedy is not magic, not inspiration, not a "gift." Hollywood screenwriter John Vorhaus believes that if you can equip the average person with enough comic instruments, including fearlessness and clash of context, hilarity will ensue. In other words, people can be taught the tools of comedy. Mostly, it's simple rules and structures – the logic of the illogical – tools that anyone can use.

The Comic Toolbox is a straightforward, often humorous, workbook approach to comedy writing as creative problem solving. In it, veteran Hollywood comedy writer John Vorhaus offers his tools of the trade to writers, comics, and anyone else who wants to be funny. He covers several elements of the writing routine, including getting started, comic characters and creative problem solving, the comic premise, the comic perspective and where to look for laughter behind the inherent terrors of life. Among these indispensable tools are:
• Clash of Context;
• Tension and Release;
• The Law of Comic Opposites;
• The Wildly Inappropriate Response; and
• The Myth of the Last Great Idea

You will learn that comedy = truth and pain (the essence of the comic situation), that fear is the biggest roadblock to comedy (kill your ferocious editor within and rich, useful comic ideas will flow), and much, much more.

With John Vorhaus' tools in hand, anyone can be funny.

What people say:

"Vorhaus has successfully organized and presented the comedy writing process — no easy feat, considering it's hard enough to do in your own brain, let alone on the page." — Jeff Vlaming, writer, Northern Exposure

"Just what every comic writer needs: rules, tools, and a good swift kick in the butt." — Peter Bergman, The Fireside Theatre

"After reading this book, I feel like I've known John for years — wait, come to think of it, I have." — Gary Dontzig, Executive Producer, Murphy Brown

"Aristotelian in scope, Rabelaisian in wit, a must-read for everyone from entertainment professional to living-room bard." — Bill Bleich, screenwriter, The Stepford Children

"I wouldn't want to sleep with him, but I'd certainly buy his book." — Norma Safford Vela, Executive Producer, Designing Women

"I don't think people should read this book. They're liable to learn all our secrets and take my job." — Fred Rubin, Supervising Producer, Night Court

About the Author:

John Vorhaus is an American comedy writer whose credits include episodes of The Wonder Years, Head of the Class, and Married…With Children. He has taught writing at the UCLA Extension Writers Program, the American Film Institute, and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Before turning to comedy writing, Vorhaus worked as an advertising copywriter and a folk musician. His comic essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and other publications.