"I learned how to write comedy from Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld and it was all about structure. Structure, structure, structure. A Seinfeld episode and a Curb episode and a League episode are all written the exact same way."
-The League co-creator Jeff Schaffer, who's previously written for Seinfeld, Curb, and Sacha Baron Cohen's movies, in a detailed interview with Fast Company about his writing process.
"I think with every project we expect something more than what happens. We all love to be disappointed… The biggest crusher for me was that my second novel, The Extra Man, was rejected by about twenty publishers. I had been certain it was a good book and had devoted nearly five years of desperate living to writing it. They were my brokest, leanest years, which included moving back in with my parents at age 30 after a crack-binge, and so I was devastated when no one wanted the book. Then, months after all the rejections had rolled in, breaking my heart and my fragile ego, one publisher did want the book." [...]
Before Joss Whedon convinced an absurdly large number of normal world citizens to see a movie about Norse gods, frozen past-men, and Robert Downey Jr.’s goatee, he was the nerd-worshipped creator of cult hits like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and (the author begrudgingly included) Dollhouse. Even before that, however, Whedon was a sitcom writer. At the tender of 24, he was a story editor and staff writer for Roseanne, securing the writing credit on five episodes in the second season: The Little Sister, House of Grown-ups, Brain-Dead Poets Society, Chicken Hearts, and Fathers and Daughters.
Staff writing on a television show typically isn’t a place for individual flair; [...]
Did you know that Lunatics, the book that an upcoming Steve Carell movie is based on, was co-written by original SNL writer Alan Zweibel and columnist Dave Barry while living many states apart from each other? This interview with Zweibel describes the writing process as a very slow, very long improv scene which is only now concluding with the book's release on Jan. 10.
Since we started writing this we have seen each other twice. Once was when Dave was up here promoting something and we had dinner. We went to dinner with the thought of ‘OK, maybe we would plot out the next hundred pages.’ That [...]
A lot of comedians complain about being asked to “say something funny.” Comedians take “say something funny” as a threat. It’s sort of the same response a scientist has when someone demands, “Prove to me right now that evolution is a thing!” Even if the scientist makes a convincing case, the denier is probably going to nod and say, “Yeah. Worms in a lab. Thought so. Deborah could be doing much better than you.”
But there are comedy challenges worse than “say something funny.” For example, “help me say something funny.”
Not to be mistaken with its entertainment industry cousin, “I'll pay you to make me funny,” “help [...]