This blog, composed of original content created by UPP Studios, discusses comedy writing as it pertains not only to the entertainment industry, but also to UPP Studios specifically. Comedy is extremely subjective. It is rare to come across content that is universally considered funny. Furthermore, material that works in one format may not work in another. A comedy routine created for purposes of stand-up may not work as the basis of a sketch comedy video concept. Although many think that comedic writers create under a less serious lens, the best comedy is comedy that is treated as seriously as any other genre.
There are two main focuses of any piece of written dialogue: concept and character. To write the best material, the two must not only NOT be mutually exclusive but, rather, they must also be considered of equal importance. Anyone can come up with a great concept. However, without rich characters with developed back stories, that concept will fall apart. “Breaking Bad” was a phenomenal television show. It would not have been nearly as good or as powerful, however, had the characters not been created with as much depth as they were. The pains of main character Walter White's life (not only the obvious and literal being his health, but also his pride taking a hit by his position in life and his constant financial struggles despite his innate brilliance) all fed into his character, further facilitating the great concept and giving the actor loads to pull from in his performance.
Placing equal value on concept and character may be even more important in comedy. Much of today's comedy has elements of improvisation trickled in (at the very least), to provide for a more organic feeling from the performers. Development of character back stories allows for better, more thoughtful improvisation, that can produce very worthwhile content, because it's coming from a pre-existing foundation of details about the characters and their idiosyncrasies. “Louie”, a show created, written, directed by and starring Louis CK, is the epitome of this idea in practice from a comedic perspective. "A man who can never seem to get the upper hand in life, mostly because he gets in his own way" in concept alone would not have become the repeatedly Emmy award winning show that it is today without the richly developed character that is Louie.