The first thing I do every morning, is go to the computer and work on some of my writing. I feel I need to say here that this hardly ever happens smoothly, and this is simply the description of what I would do if I were far more diligent and disciplined than I am. As soon as I wake up, I go to the computer and work on some writing. The point is just to get my mind thinking actively and creatively, not necessarily directed at any specific end. This is a vital step I quite often skip in favor of watching an episode of Law and Order: SVU, but don't underestimate it. Caffeine, I find, also helps.
|Andrew co-produces The Three Cees every Tuesday|
But that's the way I write jokes using my own personal joke writing chaff, but these are not my favorite jokes. The jokes I relish writing and telling are instead borne of experiencing the world. First I have to take in some outside stimuli, and today I was flipping through TV channels when I saw the newest commercial for Life Alert, and it horrified me. This commercial's imagery of an old woman on the floor near the bottom of an immense staircase above huge blood red letters reading "HELP!" stuck with me, and struck me as somewhat funny. I don't find humor in the pathetic helplessness of an enfeebled elderly person in trouble, I find humor in the sheer audacity of the manner in which this commercial delivered its message.
|Andrew Halter, Junior Stopka and Maggie Ednie|
The Life Alert paramedics in the commercial could also say "We gotta get you laid!" and then they go to spring break. There could be a guy who hits his Life Alert button but it's really just a surprise pizza party for the paramedics. These are just two of the hundreds of lame and mediocre jokes I could make on this topic. If I work on it and think about it long enough, I might even make a good one, or not. Through the practice of Zen Comedy, we learn that whether the joke is great or not is secondary, for like meditation, the more you practice joke writing the more effective at it you are sure to become.
Andrew Halter - Contributing Writer
Halter is a writer, comedian and co-producer of the The Three Cees' - Chicago's newest comedy showcase (along producers with Junior Stopka and Maggie Ednie).