Screenwriter David Misch ("Mork & Mindy", "The Muppets Take Manhattan", "Police Squad!", "Duckman", "Saturday Night Live"), author of the award-eligible "Funny the Book: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Comedy", presents a class which comes with an ironclad guarantee that it will impart no usable skills.
Okay, that could be an exaggeration, but "The Rules" is a mini-version of "Practical Foundations of Comedy", a course with the same guarantee which David´s taught at USC, UCLA, Oxford University, Columbia University, AFI and elsewhere. The class involves no screenwriting but rather presents a critical, and serious (and funny), exploration of comedy as an art form.
"The Rules" gives actors, writers, directors, producers and Crafts Service personnel a closeup view of comedy´s innards, the idea being that understanding comedy will help you do it. Anyway, that´s my story and I´m sticking to it.
Topics include the Rule of 3 (Why are things funnier in threes? Really, why? I mean, why?); the relationship between Comedy and Logic (hint: they´re bitter enemies); the calculations involved in timing; comedy cues, and why withholding them is sometimes the best way to get a laugh; why your body is hilarious; the evil of punchlines; comedy "placebos"; and how the mechanics of jokes, tension and resolution, pattern recognition, misdirection, and surprise provide a template for all humor.
As for practical applications, the presentation includes copious clips from TV and movies which show how comedy principles translate into actual laughter. So forget all that stuff about no usable skills.
Satisfied and/or Paid-Off Customers "A sell-out crowd, lots of laughing and learning about why and how comedy works; both grad students and faculty got a lot from the evening." Alan Kingsberg, Columbia University
"It takes a serious mind to analyze comedy. It takes a funny mind to appreciate it. David Misch is of two minds." Jason Alexander
"Anyone who can engage and hold the attention of my jaded Advanced Screenwriting class knows whereof he speaks. David did for over two hours and left them wanting more." Ron Osborn, Art Center College of Design
David Misch Mork and Mindy (ABC)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Muppets Take Manhattan
Police Squad! (ABC)
David Misch, author of "Funny: The Book" (Applause/Hal Leonard), has been a comic folksinger, stand-up comedian, and screenwriter; he´s written and produced for all the major networks and cable outlets, including the multiple-Emmy-nominated "Mork and Mindy", the Emmy-losing "Duckman", the Emmy-ignored "Police Squad!", the Emmy-engorged "Saturday Night Live", and the Emmy-ineligible "The Muppets Take Manhattan". He´s taught comedy at USC, musical satire at UCLA, and lectured at Oxford University; Columbia University, the 92nd St. Y, the New School and the New York Public Library (New York City); the American Film Institute, KPCC´s Crawford Family Forum, Pepperdine University and Second City Training Center (Los Angeles); the California Women´s Conference and the SATE Themed Entertainment, Midwest Popular Culture Assocation and VIEW Cinema (Torino, Italy) conferences. More at davidmisch.com. WEBSITE | EPK