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What Does a Comedy Writer Do?

Thalia, the Greek muse of comedy.
Comedy writers author books, write jokes for comedians and do other work in the entertainment industry.
Some magazines contain clever and amusing short stories that are written by comedy writers.
Stand-up comedians sometimes depend on others to write new material for their acts.
A comedy writer might take part in holding auditions.
Comedy writers often work in film and television.
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  • Written By: Lori Smith
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2014
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A comedy writer is a creative thinker with an excellent sense of humor. People in these positions understand the rules of grammar, but know how to break them — when appropriate — to make a scene funny and engaging. They may author books for adults or children, create new jokes for stand-up comedians or write monologues for late night talk shows. Many times, they work in the entertainment industry, developing scenes, inventing unique character personas and composing funny dialog for movies, television or plays. Regardless for whom he pens, a comedy writer should know how to be funny.

Many innovative and dynamic people work in the film and television industry, and comedy writers are no exception. In fact, it is common for multiple storytellers to work together to create scenes and dialog for a television series or other project. They often brainstorm ideas with cast members and producers to come up with unique and funny situations for a show. In some cases, this individual is also a producer of a situational comedy, or sitcom. He may audition cast members and offer input while actors are reciting their lines. If, during rehearsals, the written material does not quite get the laughs the writers expected, they may need to make some quick adjustments to the script before the final production.

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Stand-up comedians sometimes depend on others to come up with fresh, new material for their acts. It is usually best if the comedy writer is familiar with the comic's wit and personal brand. This way, he can compose jokes or monologues that flow naturally with the entertainer's mannerism and performance style.

Sometimes, a comedy writer prefers to author books. Depending on his personality and preference, he may pen various types of reading material. If he enjoys writing lighthearted books for children, an illustrator may work with him to bring the story to life with pictures and humorous renditions. Other storytellers enjoy writing the type of manuscripts that adults are more likely to appreciate.

Each comedy writer is unique. One may project a dry wit, while another might excel at slapstick. Some magazines and digests contain clever and amusing short stories or quips that are written by these individuals. Not all of them enjoy that type of work, however.

Regardless of the material a comedy writer composes, a person in this role can potentially enjoy a lucrative career. Successful individuals may be nominated for awards and receive recognition that results from their hard work. While it may be difficult to break into this industry, most famous authors, comedians and film and television producers were once aspiring comedy writers.

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