On sustained nuttiness.
Do you think longer humorous pieces benefit from the insertion of (relatively) serious matter once in a while, so that the humor "pops" more when it hits? Or can even long comedic novels deliver non-stop risible content without causing laugh fatigue?
Or do you think both methods work, assuming they're well written? Do you have a preference?
(As I'm posting this in a "Comedic" forum I feel I should end with a joke. So I will:
Why do mice have such small balls?Because very few of them know how to dance.
Thank you, thank you. Try the veal.)
Oh hell! I guess I'll jump in here.
The best humor has something serious to say. My humor involves substantial issues twisted into farce. I don't quite get what you mean by sustained nuttiness (verses intermittent nuttiness?) as if it were a choice, to be turned on and off at will. My humor is situational humor. It emerges from the telling of the story, of its own volition. I make no determination about what it should consist of. I discover opportunities and exploit them, that's all.
The undeniable absurdity of my tale drives the humor, although I do enhance it with what at first glance might be deemed scholarly/historical material, but which quickly degenerates into nonsense thanks to the involvement of a pompous, intellectually-gifted cat.
What's the name of your book? I'll look for it to pop up.
--edited by Mimi Speike on 9/11/2013, 9:27 AM--
Hi Mimi - thanks for jumping in!
Yep, I was indeed making a distinction between sustained and intermittent nuttiness. Think of, say, almost anything by Monty Python. Almost any given work of theirs is one humorous setup, line, or situation after another. They're all ceaseless parades of ridiculousness without any dramatic interruptions. That's what I consider "sustained nuttiness". "Intermittent" is, er, all the other stuff. Kinda like what they call "dramadies" on TV, those situational comedies that incorporate stretches of somber dreck in between punch lines.
Anyway, thanks for your thoughts! I certainly agree with your implied premise that pompous, intellectually-gifted cats can do a lot of damage. I'm sure it makes your novel all the more hilarious.
I haven't titled mine yet, as I'm still in the early stages. On my working copy I've just titled it after my blog, "Dangerspouse" which might not be a bad thing to stick with as I've already got a built-in audience. But we'll see.
Thanks again for responding!
You have to create a satisfying narrative. The humor must serve the story, not the other way around.
Take a look at the work of JoeTeeVee, on this site. He creates a whacky world and works it for all it's worth. It's manic, non-stop nuttiness that owes as much to the point of view and style of expression as to the plot itself. Tell your tale; let the humor find its rhythm by itself.
--edited by Mimi Speike on 9/12/2013, 2:02 PM--
--edited by Toni Smalley on 9/18/2013, 5:58 PM--
I would prefer to be amused by every letter of every word that you write.
Perhaps we must take genres into account? Crafting an Absurd reality and then stepping out of it might be a bit jarring...
Comedy operates via contrasts and the unexpected. The very best comedy is that which makes your jaw drop in surprise before you fall to the floor laughing.
Sustained nuttiness is like whipped cream, no real substance. Only if it, like tension, continues to build toward a peak is it successful if continued. And that, inherently, says there must be periods of seriousness—humor and recovery—that are analogous to scene and sequel in more serious fiction.
--edited by Zach Heher on 4/18/2014, 12:04 PM--