Comedy Writing Secrets

comedy writing secrets

In the world of comedy, the ability to make people laugh is a valuable skill. Whether you dream of becoming a stand-up comedian, a comedy writer, or simply want to inject more humor into your everyday life, the book “Comedy Writing Secrets” by Mark Shatz and Mel Helitzer is a must-read. This best-selling book provides valuable insights, techniques, and exercises that will help you unlock your comedic potential. In this article, we will explore the key highlights of the book, delve into the authors’ expertise, and uncover the secrets to thinking funny, writing funny, acting funny, and getting paid for it.


Comedy Writing Secrets: The Book that Unleashes Your Funny Bone

Chapter 1: The Art of Thinking Funny

Humor begins with the ability to think funny. In this chapter, Shatz and Helitzer delve into the creative process of generating humorous ideas. They provide practical exercises and thought-provoking prompts to stimulate your comedic thinking. By embracing the power of incongruity, surprise, and clever wordplay, you’ll learn how to view the world through a comedic lens.

Chapter 2: Writing Funny: From Setup to Punchline

Writing comedy is a craft that requires structure and timing. In this chapter, Shatz and Helitzer guide you through the process of creating effective jokes and humorous stories. They break down the components of a joke, including the setup and punchline, and teach you how to construct comedy pieces that resonate with your audience. By mastering the art of comedic writing, you’ll be able to entertain and engage others through your words.

Chapter 3: Acting Funny: The Stage and Beyond

Bringing humor to life is a skill that extends beyond the written word. In this chapter, Shatz and Helitzer explore the world of comedic performance. They share valuable tips on timing, delivery, physical comedy, and connecting with an audience. Whether you aspire to be a stand-up comedian or simply want to enhance your comedic presence in everyday interactions, this chapter offers practical advice and techniques.

Chapter 4: Getting Paid for It: The Business of Comedy

Turning your passion for comedy into a career requires navigating the business side of the industry. In this chapter, Shatz and Helitzer shed light on the opportunities available in comedy writing and performance. They provide insights into the business aspects, including networking, marketing, and monetizing your comedic talents. By understanding the business of comedy, you’ll be better equipped to turn your passion into a profitable endeavor.

The Experience and Expertise of Mark Shatz and Mel Helitzer

Mark Shatz and Mel Helitzer, the authors of “Comedy Writing Secrets,” bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Let’s take a closer look at their backgrounds and contributions to the world of comedy.

Mark Shatz

Mark Shatz is a renowned humorist, comedian, and educator. With over two decades of experience in the field of comedy, he has performed on various stages and shared his expertise through workshops and seminars. As a professor at Ohio University, Shatz has honed his teaching skills, helping aspiring comedians and writers unlock their comedic potential.

Mel Helitzer

Mel Helitzer is a distinguished professor and author known for his work in humor writing. He has taught at Ohio University for over 30 years and is highly regarded for his expertise in comedy. Helitzer’s passion for teaching and writing shines through in “Comedy Writing Secrets,” where he imparts his wisdom and provides readers with practical tools to develop their comedic skills.

Frequently Asked Questions about “Comedy Writing Secrets”

Q: Is “Comedy Writing Secrets” suitable for beginners?

Yes, absolutely! “Comedy Writing Secrets” caters to both beginners and those with some experience in comedy. The book provides a comprehensive foundation in comedic techniques while also offering advanced insights and exercises for those looking to refine their skills.

Q: Can this book help me overcome writer’s block?

Definitely! One of the key strengths of “Comedy Writing Secrets” is its ability to help writers overcome creative blocks. The exercises and prompts in the book will inspire you, spark your imagination, and reignite your comedic flow.

Q: Are there real-life examples and case studies in the book?

Yes, the book is filled with real-life examples and case studies that illustrate the concepts and techniques discussed. These examples provide practical insights into how to apply the principles of comedy writing in different scenarios.

Q: Can reading this book improve my everyday sense of humor?

Absolutely! “Comedy Writing Secrets” not only teaches you how to create comedy but also enhances your everyday sense of humor. By understanding the mechanics of comedy and the techniques used by professional comedians, you’ll develop a heightened appreciation for humor in all its forms.

Q: Are the techniques in the book applicable to different forms of comedy?

Yes, the techniques and principles outlined in “Comedy Writing Secrets” can be applied to various forms of comedy, including stand-up, sitcom writing, sketch comedy, and more. The book equips you with a versatile toolkit that can be adapted to suit your comedic endeavors.

Q: Can this book help me pursue a career in comedy?

Absolutely! “Comedy Writing Secrets” provides valuable insights into the business side of comedy, including networking, marketing, and monetization strategies. By following the guidance in the book, you’ll be well-prepared to pursue a career in the comedy industry.


“Comedy Writing Secrets” by Mark Shatz and Mel Helitzer is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the art of comedy. Through its comprehensive approach to thinking funny, writing funny, acting funny, and getting paid for it, the book empowers readers to unlock their comedic potential. With practical exercises, expert advice, and real-life examples, this best-selling book is a must-read for aspiring comedians, writers, and anyone seeking to inject more humor into their lives.