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But who was she before all that? In Bossypants , the Tina Fey story is brought to life, in the sort of autobiography everyone wishes they had written—and lived. In Good Omens , these two warped and witty Brits serve up their version of the end times, in which a witch whose prophecies always come true lets everyone know the world will end next Saturday before dinner. Too bad the Antichrist was switched at birth by a Satanist nun. Lamentations of the Father: Essays , by Ian Frazier Ian Frazier, accomplished novelist, essayist, and social satirist, whose classic comedic stylings have long graced the pages of the New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly , is at his all-time best in this collection.

This read proves a thriller can also be a killer comedy.

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The good news? Notaro is a comedian, and she took her unthinkable predicament onstage to deliver one of the most raw, illuminating, and darkly hilarious standup performances of all time. Her brave book tackles those same topics and is a must-read for its deep delivery of hope and laughter. Novak B. Novak of The Office and standup fame does something unexpected and wonderful with his debut book: he tries his hand at fiction, not memoir, and the result is amazing.

At its core, however, it is entirely original, and every piece of prose within tackles why humans are always searching for that one thing that will complete them. Shrill , by Lindy West Lindy West was an incredibly shy child who struggled with her weight and her large, often controversial, viewpoints. Yet she grew up to be one of the freshest, wisest, and downright funniest voices of modern feminism. In her blockbuster memoir Shrill , in a voice both charming and unapologetic, West tackles everything from rape jokes and internet trolls to activism and intestinal fortitude or lack thereof.

As well as hilarious. There's an old maxim in baseball: "I'd rather be lucky than talented. Laughs can be put in. Maybe not by you, but if it's a great story your chance of getting an agent or a deal has just gotten closer to the goal line.

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If you have a page script with lots of laughs but a mediocre story, well, it's a lot harder to punch up a plot. Let's say you're a serious, reliable screenwriter with a clear understanding of not only the 3-Act Structure, but 5-Act and 7-Act structures, as well. You know that characters should be three-dimensional, have internal and external conflicts and be properly motivated. You've read all the screenwriting books especially mine The Screenwriter Within , gone to the important seminars, studied, analyzed and deconstructed films, read the key biographies and autobiographies of screenwriters Adventures In The Screen Trade, The Devil's Guide To Hollywood, Bambi Vs Godzilla to name a few and subscribed to the best screenwriting magazines.

There's only one problem: you are incapable of writing a funny line of dialogue. Unfortunately, all the ideas you come up with are way too serious and downbeat like that bio-pic on Damien the Leper you've been mulling over for three years. You need to get together with a certain kind of person. It's the perfect convergence of talent.

Check the credits on sitcoms. You'll find at least one and often two writing teams on every show. Same with screenplays. It's fair to assume that most of these teams got together because they each brought their strength to the table. Finding your writing soul mate isn't easy. It's like finding someone to marry. You have to look around, see how you get on and hope that it works. If it does work you'll both be in a much better place than going it alone. When we go to a Farrely Brothers movie we expect a certain kind of product.

Lots of gross out humor in largely unrealistic, high concept plots with a handful of genuinely inspired lines and moments. Woody Allen films, especially his early and mid-career efforts offered a witty, neurotic take on the human condition, especially romance. His fans know that we were going to see a unique, intellectual kind of creativity and wit.

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If Judd Apatow's name is on a film be it writer, producer or director we know it'll be something high concept with an abundance of sex jokes, but with an undertone of sweetness. The thing is, depending upon the kind of comedy you're writing, you may not need to be as funny as these guys. Romantic comedies need laughs, but not tons of them.

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Take two Reese Witherspoon films. Sweet Home Alabama wasn't a laugh a minute. Neither was Legally Blonde, but it was funnier and had a higher concept. Both had compelling stories. Guy comedies or buddy comedies need more laughs than a romantic comedy. Let's look at television. I used to hear people refer to Sex and The City as a sitcom. It wasn't. It was a drama with occasional laughs. Cry Wilderness , about a little kid who pals around with Bigfoot, stands up to any of the classic episodes. After you watch the British series that inspired it all, you can take a deep dive into bingeing the nine-season-long American adaptation.

While little actually happens at paper company Dunder Mifflin, its hilarious, hum-drum employees know exactly how to spend a day in the office by using their time more for inappropriate behavior and pulling pranks on one another than anything else. There's something to laugh about with each of the characters, and was a pinnacle career launch for Steve Carell as the lovable idiot boss, Michael Scott, but when everybody's clashing personality comes together on the day-to-day, it's workplace comedy gold.

Michael Shur and Greg Daniels takes this ensemble workplace comedy to an unsuspecting place: A small-town Indiana Parks and Recreation department, and thank goodness they did. This series, led by Amy Poehler as the devoted public servant Leslie Knope, features an incredible cast of characters that one would only be so lucky to find in a government office.

Together, they put up with a lot of ridiculous bureaucratic bullshit, but ultimately they do it because of how much they love their strange town "First in friendship, fourth in obesity! IFC's hit show wrapped up its impressive run in , so now's a good time to reminisce about what made it great: the bookstore, the goths, the Mayor, the spot-on sendup of hipster culture, and, of course, the inimitable Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen. Get a bird tattoo and shed a single tear.


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Not for the weak-stomached. Ellie Kemper plays the freed kidnapping victim, who heads to the Big Apple without a clue on how to exist in the modern world. Luckily, Titus, a penny-pinching, Broadway-belting man in desperate need of a roommate, takes her in and trains her in the art of living. Beware: It'll take three binges just to catch all the jokes.

Life Is Too Short For Long Stories: Light-hearted Tales of Sex, Love, Life and Lots of Humor

The strength of this series is its willingness to poke fun at the very nature of the repetitive, sequel-driven boom TV and movies are experiencing, with the same actors playing the characters they originally portrayed as though no time has passed in the decade-and-a-half since the movie appeared. Your browser does not support the video tag. Share on Facebook Tweet this article Pin it Email.

Arrested Development Netflix. Share on Facebook Pin it. American Vandal American Vandal , about teen documentarians who investigate the innocence of a classmate accused of vandalism Jimmy Tatro , is much more than a four-hour dick joke. Big Mouth present Big Mouth is a relatively new animated comedy series from the platform, and it's bound to make you slightly uncomfortable.