How to Break Into Comedy Writing

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How to Break Into Comedy Writing. There's always room for talented and passionate stand-up comedy writers. It's a hard business to break into - long hours spent in night clubs for little to no money - but when you do break in, the rewards are high pay and getting to be funny for a living.

Read about the comedians you find interesting.

Record comedians you see on television and study their style.

Know a good joke when you hear one. If comedians are the cars, then jokes are the gas.

Immerse yourself in the business and establish a good reputation; practice the same professionalism you would in any profession in which you want to succeed. Don't steal jokes, and if you're hired, deliver material on time and as promised.

Find out who's playing in the clubs and who the up-and-coming comics are. Then go see those comedians.

Go backstage and talk to the comedians about their work. Alternatively, don't hesitate to send a note backstage or approach a comedian at the bar. If a comedian is in the market for jokes, he or she will want to talk to you.

Make contacts; one of those comedians may one day buy your jokes. Try to develop relationships with a wide variety of performers.

Know that nobody in show business can see into the future and that most people, particularly those in power, go along with the status quo.

Feel sorry for the people who turn you down; they're losing the opportunity to work with a great writer.


Realize that "no" means nothing. Persevere. If you're working hard, luck isn't as big a factor as you think. If you don't get a break from one source, you'll get it from another.


Comedy writers are night crawlers by definition. They have to watch comedians perform in order to master different styles. This may not be a good profession for you if you are a morning person. There is a lot of rejection in comedy. Acceptance by one comedian probably means umpteen "no's" by others. On my resume I list that I wrote for Phyllis Diller and Bob Hope; I omit the fact that I didn't write for Henny Youngman.

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