What makes us laugh.
Everybody enjoys a laugh. It has even been proven to be beneficial for us. But making someone laugh is what some people strive to do their whole lives. I personally love making people laugh. It can be a very social skill but done wrong it can all but make you an outcast. Every time you attempt to make someone laugh you should always pick carefully in what you think will make them laugh. For instance cracking a joke about the Irish can be very damaging if delivered to say in Ireland but can be rewarding if delivered to say an Englishman. Everything has the ability to be made funny in context and what good comedians do is get the context right every time. I’ve watched many sitcoms, sketches and stand ups over the last few weeks and I am keen to write my own sitcom which I plan to produce in the near future.
Things that are farcical and surreal make us laugh. The outrageous and the stupid, things that would only happen if logic was thrown out of the window. A good example of a stand up comedian who has this style of comedy is Ross Noble. He is personally one of my favourite comedians because it makes you think is that person really sane.
People enjoy laughing at people who are worse off than you even though it may be just for a second. You’ve Been Framed is a great example of this. Somebody falling is probably the most common thing that makes us laugh. I love people falling over, even if it is just so obvious and there’s nothing that they can do. I have a guilty pleasure in seeing little children falling over. I love it and laugh every time. I just love how their legs are too small to be running as they don’t bend at the knees properly. Running like that with little balance can lead to nasty injuries but I love it. The Superiority theory at its finest.
I also enjoy this type of comedy but I feel this would only work on the tele if it was perhaps part of a sketch show. Something like this wouldn’t work if it had to continue for 30 minutes on end as people would just get bored of it. One of my favourite sktches like this is numberwang from Mitchell and Webb
I would like to make a sitcom. To get a sitcom just right it requires many things. The main one obviously is to get the viewer to laugh and enjoy what they are watching. You also have to go with the trends. Sure the old looking down a hosepipe to check the problem is a timeless gag but its one that has been done again and again. I want something original. I want something that breaks new boundaries. I don’t think I am there yet but hopefully someday I will.
I guess what you need to do is find out what has worked in the past and bring it forward into your own makings with yourself trying to add a few of your own things. The laughter sound track has worked well in the past but following comedies such as The Office a laughter track isn’t seen these days to be a sign of a great new comedy. What The Office also does not have many jokes. The only jokes tend to be the pranks played on Gareth by Tim and Dawn.
Pranks have always been deemed to be funny by at least one of the parties involved. Pranks are used in everyday life and also on television. The Inbetweeners also use a lot of pranks such as using hair removal cream on Will’s pubes and the Will getting thrown in the lake with his trouser’s round his ankles. You can also see that on tele pranks are generally done on just one character. I do believe however in a bunch of close knit friends that pranks are played on everyone. I’ve found myself on both the giving and receiving ends of pranks which works as it shows that not just one is getting picked on and you can form small alliances for a small amount of time which boosts your friendship. I feel that when in a group of three thats when pranks are best done. Two people will gang up on one person which again is seen in The Office with Tim and Dawn ganging up on Gareth.
All these are part of the superiority theory which I feel will have to slide into my new sitcom. I also mentioned that three is perfect size for mishaps and pranks to happen so I feel that 3 main characters would be about right.
I also want to make the sitcom as real as possible. Simple logistics set in perhaps only one or two places. The office is set primarily in an office, My family is set in a house and Lead Ballon is set at both a house and a restaurant. Simple settings, settings that are true to real life and ones that the viewer can relate to. I will not have a big budget by any stretch of the imagination so the set can only really be produced in my house. It’s simple and people live in houses so it relates to the viewer. By having a place where the sitcom will be based it is easier to get an idea of how it can be shot and what can and cannot be included.
Touching on things that the viewer can relate to; Gavin and Stacey is a great sitcom in my eyes. It speaks to the viewers and one thing it has in it are songs that are sung by the characters which are sung say in the car and around the house. I do like that however I don’t think it should be included as I feel it is just used as a filler to kill a bit of time and I don’t think it would suit my kind of sitcom. I feel that my sitcom will be a mixture of Lead Ballon, Peep Show and The Inbetweeners. These are sitcoms that I like
Another thing which I quite like was the Nick character in My Family. There was one thing in one of the episodes that went something like, ‘Mum and Dad are scared of me because I tell the truth all the time.’ It showed that he was fearless and also helped show the character as an idiot and will do funny things regardless of the consequences. This is also in Lead Balloon. The daughter Sam tells the truth all the time and it leaves Rick (Jack Dee) bewildered and just cant deal with it, so he always leaves it.
So a character who always tells the truth but is also a bit of an idiot. I think a mixture of Super hands from Peep Show and nick from My Family with a slight hint of his own individualism would I think be a great catalyst in making my own sitcom.
A sensible character I feel is also needed. A sensible character is what helps everything move along and it always seems to be his mishaps that drive the sitcom forward. I don’t want to make my character too sensible though as I feel I want him to be involved in the pranks aswell. A character mixed between Mark Corrigan (Mitchell) from Peep Show mixed with a young enthusiastic character who likes to mess around such as Jeremy (Webb) also from Peep Show.
My sitcom will be an comedy with not much to it. Three people, all of which don’t hold any real significance in life. One will be the sensible one that gets picked on more often than not. One who is a dim witted unemployed fellow who always seems to spice the episode up and the third will be an Australian who’s personality is in the middle of the other two.
The sitcom will be as real to life as possible, the logistic would be rather straight forward so I feel will be easy to film. Writing a script which is intentionally funny is not going to be easy but I look forward to the task and hopefully will do rather well.