Comedy Writing Jobs

Are you funny? Can you make people laugh? Is your humor creative and original? Do you have a unique style? Are you a writer? If this sounds like you, then maybe you should consider a career as a comedy writer. Comedy writers write humor. It sounds simple, but comedy writers work their tails off. They are writing constantly about what they observe in life or read about in current events.

They have to be quick witted, clever, creative, imaginative, and sometimes willing to push the limits on what is appropriate.

Writing is a hard craft to master. When you add a dash of comedy, it becomes even more challenging. Usually comedy writers are naturally funny people who are able to put their humor into written words. Other times, comedy writers have to write and write before their humor blossoms and people find them funny. Once a writer decides to write comedy, he needs to choose a specific niche. Comedy writers are needed to write television scripts, advertisements, magazines, essays, newspapers, novels, columns, radio shows, plays, or even stand-up. Every niche has a different writing format, different audience, and different style.

Every comedy writer also has a humorous style. They may write jokes, spit out one liners, use sarcasm, perform sketch comedy, tell stories, make shocking comments, perform slapstick, do impressions, or make insults. What may work well in a stand up act may not work as well in a children’s sitcom or a comedy skit. Knowing what type of humor works where will help a comedy writer fine tune his writing. All humor starts as an idea. Do some brainstorming and bounce ideas off of friends. If it makes you laugh, see if it makes your friends laugh, if your friends laugh, see if strangers laugh, if strangers laugh, then maybe you have something. Be sure you understand your audience so you can tailor your humor to them. Your skills may be delivered to an audience in a comedy club, radio ad, prime time sitcom, Hollywood comedy, or travel humor novel. Ultimately the goal is to entertain.

Don’t plan on sitting at a keyboard one night and being famous tomorrow. It takes time. You have to be discovered. There is no set pathway. You have to pave your way with your own creative, original humor. But the one thing you do have to do is send your writing off to publishers, websites, or television studios. If you don’t, good luck on being discovered. Start your career by finding humor in things. Learn the fundamentals of what makes people laugh – styles, delivery methods, writing outlets, niches. Read and watch comedy constantly. Study it. Join a comedy writer’s guild. Take workshops and classes. Join a writer’s group to bat around ideas.

Then write, write, and write some more. If that’s your plan, then check the freelance writing jobs section of JobMonkey for additional ideas.

Plan on 6 months to 3 years before you even get noticed, but don’t get discouraged. If your writing is funny and entertaining, it will happen. Maybe you’ll be the next big comedy writer like Scott Adams, Steve Hely, Dave Barry, Larry David, or David Sedaris. Or maybe you’ll be an average comedy writer and make $50,000 a year. Either way it’s a cool job. Success as a comedy writer depends on your ability to entertain. If you write a book try to get the reader to laugh out loud. If you write a movie script, try to get the viewers to beg for a sequel. If you write a blog, get as many web hits as possible. Just always keep writing comedy.

Comedy writing is fun. Writing makes you writer. It’s just the words you use and the order you put them in that makes you a comedy writer.

Quick Facts About Comedy Writing

Job Title: Comedy Writer Office: Comfortable location where you can write
Description: Write comedy for magazines, books, newspapers, television, stage, film, or stand-up
Certifications/Education: No formal education required
Necessary Skills: Humor, Writing Skills, Able to read an audience
Potential Employers: TV Shows, Publishers
Pay: $50,000 per year

Helpful Links:
International Screenwriter’s Association
Comedy Exchange Association
Writers Guild of America

 

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