The waiter said to me and my wife as he led us to the table, "Our special tonight is a succulent Mahi Mahi."
I said, "Well, I'd like a cold beer beer."
That was a line that I wanted to put in one of my manuscripts, thinking that it might get a chuckle. So, as critique groups have taught me, I ran it by a couple of friends and acquaintences at some soiree. Indeed it drew some cackles.
Ever obsessive about my writing, I said, "Are you guys sure that it's not just cute because you know that I'm a wise ass?"
Consensus deemed it funny. In fact, they said I should try stand up comedy.
Well, I never figured out how to insert the joke into any of the scenes--haven't used the line yet in any of my books, but the comment that I should do comedy hung out in the lounge of my thoughts smoking ciagarettes, patiently thumbing through magazines. The party wasn't the first time I'd heard that I should be a comic.
So, for about two years, writing jokes became one of my projects. I tried them out at open mic nights here and there in town. I crashed once pretty hard, but we can always learn from failures (kind of like in a critique group) and I edited/fixated on the material until I was sure I had a solid set.
Last Tuesday night, I took the stage at the Comedy Works in LODO Denver. To say that I was satisfied with the results is an understatement. I basked in the accomplishment for several days. The talent coordinator at the Comedy Works said that all my jokes got big laughs, especially for my first time in a club. He merely suggested that I move the mic stand to the back of the stage next time. Echoing what the coordinator said, several comics added that they were impressed that I was clean. I also heard accolades for not being offensive.
You might be surprised at who I want to thank first for this.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
Of course, my wife has been beside me in this endeavor all the way, but as I've alluded, RMFW made me obsessive to what the reader (an audience) wants and it worked for writing funny stuff as well.
Now I'm addicted. More ramblings about humor are on the way as I get to them and as I learn more.