I was privileged yesterday to attend the Austin Film Festival- sponsored “Conversation with Larry Wilmore.” Larry shared his insights on comedy writing from his well-rounded perspective as a television writer, producer, comedian, actor, and author.
The advice that resonated perhaps the most with me was the importance of finding the right delivery system for what you want to do. Larry stressed that it’s essential to choose the form that best fits your funny idea. Sometimes an idea may be big enough to fit the framework of a movie, but perhaps it could end up as a simple joke. (Although he concedes that a joke, while the shortest form to write, is “ironically one of the hardest.”)
Larry assesses his T.V. show ideas based on 3 criteria:
1. What’s going on in the culture that you’d like to exploit?
2. What’s going on in you that you need to express now? Is that a T.V. show?
3. What’s going on in the marketplace on T.V. now? Is this different?