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.
He first dispels the myth that funny is innate an then we dive into how to be funny, starting with how to just dip our toes in the water. He teaches us how to recover from a failed joke, how to joke about subjects that might seem taboo, how to work humor into our office visits and lectures. Apparently, stand-up comics are jealous of our mundane topics. He has a system of 11 funny filters, or types of humor of which all jokes are made, and which are the most and least appropriate for physicians. If you take nothing else away from this, the one rule to follow for comedy is to afflict the comfortable while comforting the afflicted. Afflicting the comfortable might be out of our comfort zones, but comforting the afflicted is what we do!
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