Tonight at dinner, I became this one woman comedy show. Not Ellen, because Ellen rarely cracks up at her own jokes, and I occasionally bring myself to tears. That's usually a combination of stress and bad jokes though. I know some of my more lovely friends might disagree with me and, look, I'm not saying I'm going to start selling tickets. I don't have enough childhood trauma and substance abuse history for more than one show's material. But I was never really a funny child. Now I get laughs - and not just pity laughs! I know the difference.
Here is why I bring this up. I'm trying, for the first time, to write some semblance of comedy. I toyed with a half hour comedy pilot a couple months ago but left it percolating. Maybe it would be better as a novel. I can write a snarky novel better than a slapstick laugh gag pilot. Half the time, I don't even know what I'm going to say is funny. So I decided to not take a risk and not work on the pilot.
Then a couple nights ago I was lying in bed awake, unable to sleep, which only happens three times a year, and I started thinking about a rom com feature. A few minutes daydreaming, and suddenly I experienced one of those fabled sit up, turn the light on, and grab your bedside notebook moments. It was good stuff. I've been looking for some good stuff to work on.
BUT it brought up the problem of comedy again. Aaahhhh.
Alright, look. I pride myself on being a person unafraid to take risks. I need to grow as a writer. It's a great marketable idea. I need to work on something. Anything. Even something that's supposed to be funny.
Hey, I'm not married to the idea. There's a lot of work that still needs to be done on it. I only take the risks that I want. But if I don't write this script, it's won't be because the laughs intimidate me.
Maybe I should go rent some Charlie Chaplins.