Review of Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer
This is a book review of Mel Helitzer’s Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Book on How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny, and Get Paid for It.
Mel Helitzer is a professor at the Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Though a humorous professor seems to be an oxymoron, he has been described as the “funniest professor in the country” by Rolling Stone magazine. After reading this great book, I can see why because I found myself laughing on many occasions. The material he teaches works!
I purchased this book because I heard great things about it and wanted to teach others how they can be more humorous in conversations. The book’s title doesn’t do it justice as it isn’t just good for writing funny. It is also a good door stop. (That was my attempt at the understatement technique.)
Seriously, it is a great book to become a funnier person. If you’d like to be able to write a few funny jokes for your speeches, have funny conversations, cheer up your spouse, or make your team at work laugh, you are bound to find this book a great read.
Some people will be skeptical of this book and any book that teaches you how to be funny. People say things like, “You can’t teach people to be funny” and “You’re either naturally funny or not”. If humor can’t be learned, it would be impossible for comedians to improve their acts as they wouldn’t be able to become funnier. Humor is a communication skill that can be learned like any other. It is also valuable like any other.
Comedy Writing Secrets starts by addressing these issues people have with comedy and humor in the first section plus a few other issues commonly related to humor, like uncovering why we laugh. The reader is given many techniques in the second section to be funny like understatements, exaggerations, play on words, paired elements, triples, and realism to name a few. The third and last section deals with creating humor for specific situations like speeches, cartoons, cards, salesperson, radio, television, newspaper columns, sitcoms, and stand-up comedy. People uninterested in comedy writing can skip the third section of the book. The meat and potatoes of learning how to be funny is in the powerful second section.
…you will understand why humor works while getting plenty of laughs.
It is said to be the number one book on learning to write funny. It is a quality book that focuses on the content of humor. There a few tips on how to deliver humor, such as not giving away the surprise part of your joke away with your body language and using silence to build tension, but Comedy Writing Secrets mostly teaches you how to construct the right words to be funny.
The book is filled with hundreds and hundreds of classic examples from comedians like Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, and Chris Rock, plus many lesser known persons. The examples are well fitted with techniques described by the author so you will understand why humor works while getting plenty of laughs.
The power behind this book is in the exercises you do at the end of each chapter. The exercises provide a step-by-step guide to write funny jokes. If you do the given exercises, which can take anywhere from 1 to 30 minutes per exercise, I guarantee you can develop original jokes. Keep in mind that the book isn’t just about developing jokes, but learning how to construct humor so you become natural at it. Once you do the exercises, you’ll find yourself naturally using the techniques in conversations.
For your laughter, or lack of it, here’s one I made myself in an exercise from an early chapter:
My wife always complains about the two of us not having luxurious meals. We sit down at the dinner table and she’ll nag me about wanting to have a nice meal in a restaurant. One angry night she told me, “Come on! Take me out!” I finally had enough of her nagging so I agreed and took her out… with a shotgun.
Like all humor, some people will find it hilarious while others will think it’s stupid. I have never made a joke before and cannot even remember more than 10 jokes so you are more than capable of doing what I did or doing it better.
Overall, I was impressed by the book. This is my first book I’ve read on becoming funny. Now I understand why things are funny and how to be funnier. It is a great book I recommend you get if you’d like to have a laugh, feel good, and become a funnier person. You can grab your copy of Comedy Writing Secrets from Amazon by clicking here today.
(If you want to be funnier around friends and in general conversations with people, get my Big Talk program. Once you download the course, you’ll have a rare one-time opportunity unavailable anywhere else to download a report that’ll show you how to make people laugh without telling jokes or being a clown.)
Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"
Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to https://www.towerofpower.com.au/free/