Tag: comedy

  • Humour in the Nancy Cartoons by Olivia Jaimes

    Humour in the Nancy Cartoons by Olivia Jaimes

    I really like Scott Dikkers’ taxonomy of humour categories. Today I’m taking a closer look at why the new Nancy cartoons by the pseudonymous Olivia Jaimes work so well for so many. In short, why are these minimalist snapshots funny?

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  • The Contest by Annie Proulx Short Story Analysis

    The Contest by Annie Proulx Short Story Analysis

    “The Contest” by Annie Proulx is a short story from the Bad Dirt collection, published 2004. Like Larry McMurtry, Proulx writes two main types of stories — comical stories similar to those found in dime novels (in McMurtry’s case) and in hunting and fishing magazines (in Proulx’s case). “The Contest” belongs to the comical class, and makes a great case…

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  • Poof and Worm-Hoop Part One

    Poof The Old Lady is a graphic novel created by two neurodiverse ten-year-olds. The running gag is that an old lady by the name of Poof goes Poof! at the end of each story. But she comes alive before the next. The creators are best friends at school, and they both like to read and watch cartoons. They count among…

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  • Creating The Setting For A Comedy Series

    Creating The Setting For A Comedy Series

    Before writing a comedy series, especially one with a wacky world, the writer must be clear about the rules of that setting. These rules subsequently seem intuitive to the audience. It’s easy to forget the amount of work writers have to do to create them in the first place. Even if these rules are not written down, they at least exist…

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  • Why does Schitt’s Creek take a season to get ‘good’?

    Why does Schitt’s Creek take a season to get ‘good’?

    Schitt’s Creek is a CBC sitcom written by father and son team Eugene and Daniel Levy. You’ll either find it funny or you won’t — I think it’s the funniest thing on Netflix at the moment. That said, I agree with all the reviewers who’ve said something like this: Season 1 is decent, but Season 2 is where it really…

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  • The Weirdness of Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma

    The Weirdness of Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma

    The other day someone in a book recommendation group wanted suggestions for a 10 year old who loves Hayao Miyazaki movies. This basically describes my own kid, who’s been a Miyazaki fan since the age of three, before she even knew transmogrification wasn’t a thing. My kid enjoys Yotsuba&! (among other things, so I recommended that. Yotsuba&! is a manga…

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  • Burlesque Witches In Storytelling

    Witches have a long history in storytelling, but they aren’t always scary. They aren’t always Baba Yaga types, sometimes murderous, sometimes helpful. There’s another variety of crone who is a ribald storyteller. She’s related to the classic witch, but her function in stories is quite different. She is known as the burlesque witch. For a definition of burlesque, see here.…

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  • Humour Study: Overly Literal Characters

    Humour Study: Overly Literal Characters

    Humorous stories about characters who find themselves in strife after taking instructions too literally are old stock comedy fodder. One of the earliest recorded in Europe is the fairytale Clever Hans — an ironic title, because Hans is a fool. Hans does something stupid, his mother tells him to do it differently next time. But when Hans applies the previous…

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  • Elephant and Piggie Comedy Techniques Analysis

    The Elephant and Piggie books, invented by Mo Willems, are favourites of my 9-year-old daughter, who is otherwise long past beginner readers. She has asked for more Elephant and Piggies for her tenth  birthday. She feels a lot of similar level stories are ‘too babyish’ for her but an enduring interest in the Elephant and Piggie series demonstrates the extraordinarily…

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  • Humour and Storytelling of Kath and Kim

    Humour and Storytelling of Kath and Kim

    Kath and Kim is a satirical Australian comedy series created by Jane Turner and Gina Riley, which aired 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007. There are a couple of movies, too. Kath and Kim was remade in America but failed to achieve popularity. Kath and Kim is a specifically (pacifically) Australian series, though enjoyed equally in New Zealand, and not just because…

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  • To The Manor Born Storytelling Techniques

    To The Manor Born Storytelling Techniques

    To The Manor Born is a British romantic comedy series written by Peter Spence which aired from 1979 to 1981. The actors reunited for a Christmas special in 2007. The writer is also known for Rosemary & Thyme and Not The Nine O’Clock News. Spence is educated in politics and American studies, which come across in his one-liners — these…

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  • Boy Humour, Girl Humour

    Boy Humour, Girl Humour

    In children’s literature and film, the big-name comedy series are male heavy. Even when women write comedy and humour, they have the best chance of striking it big if they write about boys. Even better? The girls are arch nemeses (or sexualised enigmas) to the funny boys. Silly as it may sound, critics are still scratching their heads over the…

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  • Humour Writing And Spongebob Squarepants

    Humour Writing And Spongebob Squarepants

    SpongeBob Squarepants is a fast-paced children’s cartoon for a dual audience, written by a guy who is also a marine biologist. This is a highly successful and long-running show, with humour that broadly appeals. This series has been running since 1999. Critics say the show has been declining in quality in the last few years, which is what critics also…

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  • Welcome To Camp Nightmare Storytelling Study

    R.L. Stine has written a huge number of horror books for middle grade and young adult readers. I was a bit old for them when they first came out, though I recollect reading one or two. Now I’ll read some of his works to see how, exactly, Stine took the horror genre and bowdlerized it into something adults would happily…

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  • Humour In Children’s Stories

    Founding editor of The Onion wants to help with the job of learning the write comedy. Stephen Johnson argues that every joke falls into one of 11 categories. At first glance this sounds like the ‘Seven Basic Plots’ idea, which is a pretty unhelpful way of looking at story if you’re harbouring hopes of telling one — forget whether there’s…

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