This past week I worked on some skits for a youth group event coming up at my church. The theme of the event is sports, and I was supposed to write a few short scripts to entertain the audience consisting mainly of the high schoolers’ parents. Nothing serious, nothing long, just a few silly stories that will get the audience to laugh. Easy, right? Um….yeah, not so much. After a few hours of sitting in front of my laptop with one line written, that one being stolen from a Brian Regan recording I looked up on youtube, I realized that writing comedy is a lot harder than one might think.
I admit, comedy has never been my preferred genre. I revere the brilliant tragedies of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and Ibsen and am cautious to give my regard to “lighter” works. But I too quickly forget that Shakespeare wrote comedy as well as tragedy, and that some of my favorite scenes in Anna Karenina are ones that made me smile and even laugh out loud. Comedy is truly an art form, and the more I write and read what others write, the more I realize that it is an extremely difficult endeavor.
The skits I wrote for the youth group are cute, cheesy, and, at times, even funny. I was thrilled when my lines pulled a few auditory chuckles from the tough crowd of my sister and my boyfriend. But don’t expect Jerry Seinfeld to call me up and beg me to write his next stand-up routine, because my comedy writing has a long way to go. Long as in the length of the Nile River times seventeen. But it’s something I enjoy and want to work on. And it’s also a genre I’ve come to respect, as I have found it takes creativity, skill, hard work, and an outstanding sense of humor.