Tuesday, November 23, 2010


If you watch and listen closely to and film or TV show at some point to move the story forward one or more characters will agree to do something another character wants. Once they agree the story really takes off. Cases in point:

  • Frodo and his gang of pals agree to go to Mordor to destroy the ring.
  • Don Corleone agrees to let his youngest son Michael kill the corrupt police chief so that the family can prosper.
  • Nicholas Nickleby agrees to take the horrendous job offered to him by Wackford Squeers.
If those characters had not agreed to let those things happen the stories would have been stopped dead in their tracks.

'Yes' is a very powerful word. It enables the story to be told.

The same is true of jokes and comedy.

Denial kills all jokes all the time every where, whether in real life, or online, or on blogs, or on Facebook. Nothing ruins a joke faster than someone saying 'No.' Disagreement is fine and natural, we're not all going to agree on everything all the time. What's not fine however is someone leaving a comment either here or on Facebook that denies the premise of a joke post or wall posting. If you leave a comment like that on a humorous post or a joking wall post on Facebook, I'm going to delete it.

For most of us the first word that gets beat into us when we are children is 'No!' So it's hard to escape that, believe me I know. The first thing you learn in improv comedy is to say 'Yes' to everything. After you learn to say 'Yes,' the nest thing you learn is to add to the joke/premise/scene. Agreeing and adding is the key to comedy writing and comedy enjoyment. When you deny the premise and the joke, then you've stopped the humor, so stop it. Many are guilty of doing it but I've noticed a prevalence of upper Midwesterners doing it on a regular basis, I'm not sure what the problem is, maybe all that cold and snow makes them disagreeable or something, but seriously people, get over it.

If you must comment on humorous posts, and please feel free to do so at any time, I love all the comments I get, don't make a comment that denies the joke or the premise of the post. Same goes for those of you who follow me on Facebook. Disagree and or whatever on political and pop culture posts but please stop denial on humorous ones. And if you can't tell the difference between the humorous posts and the others, then perhaps you're time would be better spent doing other things than reading blogs and following me on Facebook.


Lisa said...

God yes.

PENolan said...


PENolan said...

Actually, me and Lisa nearly always say "yes." Not always the best decision but nearly always a great story.