Comedy makes communicating most ideas much easier. Hence I find myself in Brighton on a sunny bank holiday Sunday at my first comedy workshop. Jill has taught and been recommended by the best, including Jimmy Carr (quite a funny man according to one attendee).
Today we have a few screenwriters, a handful of amateur comedians and a few corporate types, including myself. During the next few hours I’m amazed by how comedy transforms, instantly giving a glossy sheen of charm to even the most awkward people.
We learn a few basic gag constructions. Jokes are perhaps 80% intuition and 20% structure. I find myself reaching for the scraps of general knowledge I always knew would be useful one day to form a gag like, “The Brighton festival is like Glasgow without the mortality rate”. Ok, it’s not the best, but it’s got potential.
Some jokes click and everyone nods in understanding. Others confuse spectacularly but somehow morph into confused laughter. Jokes are like weapons for diffusing fear and encouraging lateral thinking. With this in mind, I start collecting them. Even the worst have a place in someone’s heart.