Last month marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Two weeks after that tragic day, The Onion, the famed comedy newspaper, put out an issue with jokes about 9/11. How did they do that? Scott Dikkers, one of The Onion’s founders teaches us how. His rule is that comedy is meant to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” That’s why they put out that issue. To comfort the afflicted. As physicians, that’s what we do! How can we be funny, even in the face of tragedy?
Mr. Dikkers teaches comedy writing and has turned what seems unteachable into a science. He has described funny filters and all comedy fits into one of those filters. He teaches us which are the best for the exam room, how to recover from a failed joke, how to work humor into our office visits and lectures, and what jokes comedians can’t use, but we can!
Scott Dikkers founded the world’s first humor website, TheOnion.com, in 1996. A few years earlier he helped found the original Onion newspaper. He’s served as The Onion’s owner and editor-in-chief, on and off, for much of the last quarter century. He led The Onion’s rise from small, unknown college humor publication to internationally respected comedy brand. He is also a New York Times best seller, and Peabody Award winner.
He documented his process for creating humor in his book, How to Write Funny, and the second in the series, How to Write Funnier, and next on the way, How to Write Funniest, which are the basis of the Writing with The Onion program he created and teaches at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Scott offers other courses and free resources for comedy writers on the How to Write Funny website.