Our humor project is probably one of the most projects in Freestyle. Our task was to create a comedic piece using comedy techniques we learned in English class. The reason we are doing this is to develop our writing skills and to learn something that everybody loves, but not everyone knows how. One of my favorite things ever is a comedy. But not just comedy. A comedy that one’s right. I know that humor is subjective, but I always knew that there are a right way and a wrong way to do a comedy. I always thought comedy was art. And people who know me know I value art a lot.
Searching for inspiration
Before writing my project, I needed to write an essay about two comedians that inspires me. Here is the my essay.
“The first comedians I thought about were comedians that I grew up with. I thought about Bill Hannah and Joseph Barbera. Their names might not be popular, but the cartoons they directed are considered to be comedy golds for decades. I am talking about Tom and Jerry, and how they use Slapstick, exaggeration, and absurd humor.
On of their Oscar-winning cartoons, called “the Cat Concerto”, shows Tom playing the piano in a tuxedo, looking really serious and full of himself. The concert is interrupting Jerry’s sleep, so Jerry tries to sabotage the concert. While he tries to sabotage the concert, Tom is fighting him, even while he plays the piano without missing a single note. The thing that’s really funny is to see Tom struggles to fight with Jerry, and play the piano at the same time. At one time Jerry slams the keyboard cover on Tom’s hand, and when you see his hand, not only they are both flat, but he also is still playing the piano. This shows Slapstick humor because of Tom’s getting hurt. Jerry tricks Tom by putting a mouse trap instead of the keys. When Tom’s finger is caught in the trap, his finger enlarges, and he tries very hard not to shout.
Bill Hannah and Joseph Barbera also used the winning tool. Both the motivations of the two main characters are clear. Tom wants to complete his performance of the concerto, while Jerry wants to sleep and doesn’t want any noise. Throughout the cartoon, they each try to win by the constant back and forth, using the piano as a weapon. For example, Jerry used the hammers of the keys as real hammers on Tom’s fingers. Jerry also uses the piano bench to lift tom in the sky.
Absurd humor is also featured in the cartoon. One of them is to use anthropomorphic animals. One example is having a cat play the piano in a tuxedo. Another example is having a psychopath mouse who hurts someone because that someone is interrupting his sleep.
This is only one great cartoon they created. There are hundreds of cartoons that I can analyze from them. Barbera had a certain skill with the drawing board while Hanna had an innate knack for timing and gags, pieces crucial to the success of a cartoon. You can slo-mo the Slapstick, and see how much dedication and hard work they put into their cartoons. Hanna and Barbera won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards, and their characters are still popular and beloved until this day.
Another Comedian I like will sound like a cliche, But I also really like Eddie Murphy. Everybody knows who Eddie Murphy is. Even kids know who he is and what famous movies he’s made. But I would like to speak not in his movie career, but his stand-up career.
I watched one of his stand-up shows on youtube, and I was amazed at how much energy he brings to the stage. The voices he does, the way he tells the jokes fast, the way he moves. He really brings his own unique comedy to the stage and that is something I admire.
One of the techniques he used was satire. He said that if you want to get famous, you just need to sing and that’s it. He made spoofs about singers voices like James Brown and Elvis Presley, mocking there singing and makes fun of their walking on stage.
Another technique he brings to his show is Wisecrack. One time he joked about kids reacting to the ice-cream man, something that is relatable to everyone in their childhood. He joked about kids losing their minds when they hear the music, and how they can run fast after the truck. He steps into the child character, who is really acting childish and mocks other children who didn’t get ice cream because they are on welfare.
Defusing anxiety is another form of tool that Murphy uses. One time, Murphy talked about his family cookout experience as a child. He talked about his aunt Bunny, who he didn’t want to kiss because she has a huge mustache. The situation itself is not really that bad, but Murphy uses his imitation to present the situation as much worse than it is and he talked about the funny parts of it, and not the anxiety.
For my project, I think that I will use defusing anxiety that Murphy used, and I will also use a little bit of slapstick like Tom and Jerry.”
The main idea for my project is to laugh about really melodramatic poems. My poem will be about pain, but not in a way pain is usually represented in poems. For example, talking about eating a salty cake, but taking it in a serious way, and not a comedic way. Here is my poem/script.
“I got stung by a bee,(pause for 5 sec)
And it hurts.
I lay down on the floor,
suffering from pain,
(Pause, look like I’m almost crying) Because it hurts.
I remember a day, so grey,
So dark grey,
So dark grey that it’s not grey anymore, it was black.
A day of suffering.
When men were slaughtered,
Women have been raped,
And kids were burned alive.
It was a show that a soul would never forget. (pause)
So after I watched Game Of Thrones(pause, only if the audience laughs.)
I was hungry,
My stomach was hurt.
I went to the kitchen,
Looking for food,
My mom was there.
She said “hi”.
I said “hello”.
“Are you hungry?” she asked.
“There is a cake I made today. Go try it”
It was a dark, dark cake,
Surrounded by darkness … and sprinkles.
I took a slice,
put it inside my mouth.
I was quiet, no syllables expressing. (pause)
I vomited. (pause)
I said “mom!”
She said “what?”
“There’s salt and pepper in the cake”
So it hurts. (pause)
Costa Rica, 7 PM, Forest, night time, family trip.
We went on a family trip.
We searched for cute animals.
We found birds, monkeys, a tarantula RIGHT THERE! (shout and point at the floor.)
We keep walking.
We found a Squirrel.
The Squirrel was sitting, still sitting.
And it looked at me (pause) deeply in the eyes,
I looked at him deeply in the eyes.
It was like a god watching a human soul.
He ran towards me, he jumped and…
He bit me in the balls.
(Pause, look like I’m almost crying)
I lay down on the floor,
suffering from pain, (look like I almost crying, and hold my balls)
Because it hurts.
We had a great battle.
I fought hard,
But he fought harder,
He fought so hard, that we needed to remove him by surgery.
I wanted to have children.
And it hurts,
After we developed our humor projects, we had a show that everyone is performing there project, and ironically, it was on April’s Fools Day. Part of the joke in my performance is that I’m the only one who taking this poem seriously, which made the performance even more funny. Here is my performance below, including influences and thoughts from the audience.