Starting in Entertainment : How to Write a Comedy Sketch


The Blues Brothers, the Spartan cheerleaders,
the church lady. Great comic sketches. How do you write comedy sketches. Well, my name
is Joe Pauly. I’ve been in the entertainment TV world for about twenty years. I write some
sketches, hopefully, I can help you out with that task of writing a comedy sketch. Alright.
First rule, it’s a sketch, not a skit. A skit is watching Uncle Charlie at the lodge put
on a dress with coconut brazier, singing a song. That’s a skit. A sketch is what you’ll
see on Saturday night live, MadTV, the Daily Show, and some of the better ones you’ll see
on YouTube, OK. Topical versus timeless. If you’re going to write a sketch, and you want
to make it topical, just remember, the shelf life for it, it’s not going to be very long.
You zero in on the two thousand four elections, after about a year or so, people are going
to be scratching their head going, oh, that’s not very funny. Timeless is something you
can watch over and over, the comedy is genuine, it’s from the character. OK. Once you know
the talent of the group you’re working for, focus on that. You’ve got a guy who can do
a great impression of a certain person, use it. Get into the sketch quickly. Remember,
this isn’t a five hundred page book here. Get into it quickly. If it’s not funny in
the first five to ten seconds, maybe you should start on a different sketch. Great if you
can end it with a punch or button. You watch the parrot sketch on the old Monty Python
show, it ends with a button. Those are tough to do, but if you can do it, it’s a home run
right there. Keep it short. Three to five minutes, no longer than that. And it better
be funny. If you’re writing for YouTube, remember you can keep it short, like thirty, twenty,
forty seconds and it’s a quick bit. Alright? Don’t forget, you can also get it on the web,
put a funny bit on YouTube. Good luck in your writing for a sketch humor. I’m Joe Pauly,
have fun.

24 comments

  • jasmine baldwin

    Good info! … Once you have a finished product and you post it on youtube how would you regulate people stealing your material? Is there a poor mans copyright solution on sketch comedy ideas like in the music industry?

    Reply
  • TheBeardedRandy

    @Nfluentz333 Just hide it from RWJ

    Reply
  • David Atkinson

    @sammiton1 Basically a punchline that ends the sketch with a laugh.

    Reply
  • rouge l'hiver

    well he made it seem easy, unlike other videos.

    Reply
  • OverTheTop Gaming

    I do impressions. My only problem is trying to find out what people think is funny. And certain flaws of the person I'm doing impressions of.

    Reply
  • LaughableSynonyms

    yea ikr

    Reply
  • Joe Crook

    You can't learn to write comedy, you're either funny or not, you can't learn it because it comes across you're trying too hard and you'll end up lame like Adam Sandler; but I guess he is a millionaire 

    Reply
  • Dr Moon Rat

    The Parrot Sketch didn't end with a button or punchline. . . it kept going. .  . and going and going. . . Until Graham Chapman came in to announce that the sketch had gotten too silly. . . But aside from that, probably a good tip.

    Reply
  • Siya Kruger

    This explanation in itself is hilarious. I get how it's a tutorial, but the way he explained it somehow to me was funny. Right near the end after explaining "the punch": "Good luck, and it better be funny." Killed me.

    Reply
  • Alex Pollock

    I just showed this to my uncle Charlie

    Reply
  • transce080

    The Blues Brothers, the Spartan Cheerleaders, The Churchlady <– just lost all credibility in my opinion. Those are horrible sketches lacking any real jokes and relying on a silly character to attempt to carry the sketch. They're time fillers when the writers couldn't think of anything funny.

    Reply
  • Ceblish

    I want to be funny.

    Reply
  • Kellie Dix

    good advice

    Reply
  • GoPro Dog

    I wrote 3 short sketches with two characters in each. I think they are funny. I am looking for a duo or group who would consider using them.

    Reply
  • rockysikander

    HELP ! ! ! HELP ! ! ! HELP ! ! !
    what did he meant when he asked to end with a button ?

    Reply
  • Just Dingers

    Very helpful!!! Seriously!!!!!

    Reply
  • GIGGLR

    All aboard the comment train… CHOO, CHOO [email protected]#3r%@c&r$!

    Reply
  • Markos H

    could this video be more 90s?! but helpful 🙂

    Reply
  • Doc Nabil

    I've tried this book, it's really helpful : Breaking Comedy's D.N.A by Jerry Corley: http://bit.ly/2DSbC49 good luck

    Reply
  • Antonio Wazzapp

    Who are you?

    Reply
  • cer spence

    You didn't say "how" to do anything. You just told us what a sketch is. Great

    Reply
  • Mr. Teen Executive

    10 Years Later 🌏 Please watch this video 💙🙂❤️ https://youtu.be/OLh_te2PEwM

    Reply
  • Roland Baskerville

    Thanks man

    Reply
  • BARRICADE GARAGE

    Like my sketch is
    https://youtu.be/QLQjR2qU00o

    Reply

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