Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Anatomy of a Funny Blog

At cocktail parties people often ask me why I’m so funny. It’s odd really, as I’ve never in my life said a word to these people. Now, they never explicitly state that I’m funny, but usually disguise their curiosity by using euphemisms like “weird” or “strange.” I know they really mean “funny.” And since they have no idea who I am, I just assume they are referring to my blog.

If these people were to follow up with a question other than “Did you actually receive an invitation to this party?” they would probably ask how it is that I write such hilarious posts. Unfortunately, the police often show up before I have a chance to divulge my secrets. But as an early Christmas gift to my loyal readers, I will share with you the secrets of funny blog writing.

Delivering good comedy is very much like delivering a child, it’s stressful, it’s messy, and once it comes out you’ll swear it looks vaguely Asian. I usually sit down in front of the computer with no idea what to write, so I just start typing. Eventually, I’ll start forming words, and after a few hours I’ve written enough words to paste into sentences. It takes another four to six hours to write a hilarious sentence. I don’t know when or where this sentence will occur, but my dog shot five people last week. Whoa! There it is! Notice how I took the word “sniff” and turned it into “shot?” That, dear readers, is where comedy writing comes from--- words that almost sound alike.

As many of you know, there’s no way my dog could actually shoot someone because he has no fingers. This is another rule of comedy writing: dogs with no fingers are hilarious. Now take that same dog and give him some fingers. That’s not funny, is it? It’s kind of creepy, and if middle-aged men who collect Disney figurines have taught us anything, it’s that creepy and funny are two very different things.

Now let’s come up with another funny sentence, because a funny blog needs more than one: Christina Aguilera smells like hot dogs. This is funny because it’s true, and I know this because I used to live in Pittsburgh and heard from everybody that she really smells like hot dogs. Or at least I heard from people who went to high school with Christina Aguilera. Or those people heard it from people who really did go to high school with her. And I’m pretty sure she went to school in Pittsburgh, but it may have been somewhere outside Pittsburgh, but it was close enough to lend some validity to the rumor that she smells like hot dogs.

Which brings me to the next rule of comedy: don’t over explain your joke. And also: it’s okay to make fun of people’s disabilities if they are famous and smell like foodstuffs.

So let’s recap the secrets to writing a funny blog:

1. If you’re in a public place within earshot and talking about a cocktail party, I’m just going to assume that everyone’s invited whether I know you or not.

2. I was obviously normal enough to get through the front door without anyone saying anything, so why was my presence an issue when I was just standing in the corner next to the bowl of nut mix?

3. If those women didn’t want me ogling their breasts then they wouldn’t have worn those kinds of shirts.

Now, with a whole lot of luck and a pinch of skill maybe you too can write a funny blog! Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I lived in Pittsburgh for many years and everyone who has ever lived there knows that Christina Aguilara does indeed smell like hot dogs. Fact

Anonymous said...

*sigh* Nathan, you are so missed.

Rory said...

I grew up near Pittsburgh and heard the same thing. But I also knew several people who smelled like hot dogs (or at least hot dog water). Is this a regional phenomenon or a global trend? I live in Seattle now, but everyone hear smells like either patchouli or tofu dogs.

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