Dear SNL: How to write a sketch


Dear SNL,

I realize writing a comedy sketch can be difficult. And it’s not like you’ve had over 35 years to work on perfecting the practice so I can’t expect them to all be really good but what you have been putting out there as a sketch just ISN’T!

As such I have taken it upon myself to give you a short instructional on how to write a comedy sketch. Now, while I’m not a professional comedy sketch writer, I do apparently know a few basics that you are missing. As my instructional I will simply write a sketch outline right now.

First, we need an idea. Recently, Words with Friends has bound beyond the interactive App world into traditional board games. You know, like our grandparents used to play back in the 20’s. So, there is a words with friends board game. My idea, a factory worker at Words with Friends starts mocking a factory worker at Scrabble.

You know, things like “Screw you, Scrabble. WORD!” or “Factory closing down Mr Scrabble? Triple word SLAM!” and so-on and so forth.

So, the start of a sketch. Now, the difference between WRITING and what you do is, you now stop coming up with further development of a sketch and instead just fill 3 to 5 minutes with the same joke said a different way 20 times. This of course only leads to two things, a completely unmemorable sketch and everyone watching going, “This stopped being funny 3 minutes ago.”

So what’s missing? Well, the story. Granted we only HAVE 3 to 5 minutes but that doesn’t mean a story can’t be put in there. So what do we need? How about a set up. Ok, the Scrabble factory just closed down because Words with Friends is now a board game, too. Premise, Words with Friends workers are very cocky about this and make fun of the old people leaving the Scrabble factory. (Yeah, they’re old, they’ve been there forever.

Now, we need it to go somewhere. Let’s say, the Scrabble factory workers burn down the Words with Friends factory.

And then, we need a payoff. How about, the Scrabble workers are on trial, the judge is about to let them off because he understands their mental anguish after being laid off, when he says hold on, it’s my turn to play a word. He picks up his phone to play and the scrabble workers rush him and destroy his phone.

One step further? They then end up in jail and the only game to play is the Words with Friends board game.

There, we have a mini story with a funny premise and a payoff. That wasn’t that hard, was it? In fact, you can use my idea on 2 conditions. 1000 dollars and can’t look at the cue cards. REALLY there is a rhythm to acting and comedy especially that you can’t get by reading your lines from cue cards. But that’s another rant. Happy writing.

Sincerely,

GoodGeekRanting

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