Family Humor, Part I
The most accesible and most common humor in the world is family humor.
Think family sitcoms. All in the Family, Leave it to Beaver, Brady Bunch, Everybody Loves Raymond . . . Heck, it’s hard to come up with sitcoms that aren’t centered on a family. Even Friends was about a close-knit group of friends who considered themselves a family.
Check out this great excerpt from Everybody Loves Raymond
Marie: These breadsticks are old.
Frank: You are what you eat.
Marie: Bobby, give your father his helping of Miserable Bastard.
People in close contact will eventually compete with and irritate each other. Husbands compete with wives, in-laws compete with married children, children compete with parents, and entire families compete with relatives and neighbors. The mother-in-law visit is still one of the hundred most common plots on TV. Laughter is created when characters interreact with love, illness, jealousy, prejudice, death, and cream pies. Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer
If you write comedy or even if you’re just interested in how it works, I highly recommend Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer. Mr. Helitzer’s book breaks down comedy to its core elements. Plus he includes lots of funny excerpts.
Coming next . . . Part II–Mother Mona. The grossly exaggerated mother-in-law sterotype from my novel, To Kill An Armchair Husband, a dark comedy. Read a Mona excerpt and learn how I created this “Monster-in-law.”