I have been writing comedy lately, trying to be funny and as usual failing. A page that is supposed to fill up with funny things is the blankest sheet of paper a writer ever looks at because there is only one way out for the sentences and that is to be funny. With other kinds of writing you can describe the powder blue suit, or else like an elephant trying to pick up a pea, get involved in the emotions. But with comedy it’s a very simple litmus test – is it acid or alkaline?
To me writer’s block is the wrong expression for a failure to perform, because if I look myself straight in the eyes, something I try not to do too often, writing is, and apologies to more human factors, the thing I like doing best, something I never delay in getting down to. But it’s with comedy that nothing happens on the page for the longest, until the connections somehow get together into an order that conveys roughly what is meant, if anything is meant. And often after an hour or so, rather than 200 words of something that looks kind of Okay in a first draught kind of way, you are left with one single scrawny thing you have managed to get down surrounded by lots of white space.
There are two people on the top deck of a bus. First person: I went to see Wagner’s Ring. Second Person: Restricted 18 certificate was it?