Another small unit included in my Senior year at Freestyle was the Humor unit. This unit included different parts from both my English and Digital Media classes. We began this unit by reading and analyzing Rhinoceros, a play by Eugene Ionesco. When reading this play, we mainly observed the different methods he used to add absurd humor to his writing. Additionally, we watched many different examples of comedic tools used by comedians in skits and stand up. We also brainstormed more comedic tools and methods we could apply to our own projects by doing many improv exercises in class. To complete the brainstorming process, we were given the assignment to create a Humorist Study: a paper in which we would research and take notes on the methods of professional humorists of our choice. For my Humorist study, I chose to research the Lucas Brothers and Robin Williams.
The two professional humorists that inspire me to make comedy of my own are the Lucas Brothers and Robin Williams. The Lucas Brothers are twins who have a consistent theme in their humor surrounding the fact that they are twins, often using situational humor and anecdotes to explain their experiences of being twins. One of the main reasons why they inspire me is because I often find the stories they tell to be even more humorous due to the fact that I can relate to them. Along with the personal experiences of the brothers, they mix in some situational humor that the audience may be able to relate to. Additionally, the delivery of these stories often makes them more funny because of the consistent pattern they have of saying things at the same time unintentionally, and agreeing with each other. Another professional humorist that has done work that inspires me is Robin Williams. Throughout his many years of doing stand-up, he uses a combination of blue humor, anecdotes, caricature and exaggerating in storytelling to aid in describing all the stories he retells in hilarious detail. The content of his work includes a mix of both his own experiences, and current events, which adds relatability for the audience. Robin Williams was an inspirational humorist because of his ability to exaggerate the actions of people or things in his work, which adds absurdity and ridiculousness to any story he told. When comparing the two professional humorists, I am able to see the differences in the content, style, and themes of both people. Both humorists use situational humor and anecdotes, but in their own ways. While one mostly relies on anecdotes and situational humor to retell personal experiences, the other uses blue humor and exaggeration in his stories and anecdotes to make them seem much more absurd and comical to the audience. While the Lucas Brothers use mostly personal experiences and situational humor many people may find relatable, Robin Williams uses personal experiences and commentary surrounding current events. The styles of these two humorists differ in delivery as well. The Lucas Brothers add humor to their overall performance by having a stand-up show in a style that nearly resembles banter, because of the back and forth between both brothers explaining a story and agreeing/saying things at the same time. Alternatively, Robin Williams has his own style in delivering his content in his stand-up show, often including many exaggerated motions/actions/sounds when retelling a story or describing something to make it even more comical. Though both these humorists have contrasting styles and personalities in their work, they both inspire me to create comedy of my own. When considering my own project, I feel that the use of anecdotes, situational humor, and banter are techniques that I find most valuable. Each of these techniques will aid in my overall humor project, and creating something that follows a structure to help the audience understand. The use of anecdotes will help me to explain any short stories that I would like to include. In my research, I have found that situational humor will be extremely valuable for me to explain my own experiences to the audience. Additionally, I would like to use a format inspired by the Lucas Brothers and have a banter-like delivery of our content. Subjects I found inspirational were surrounding the experiences of twins, something I find relatable and humorous. Additionally, I feel that using themes surrounding personal experiences make for more comical content overall. I was also inspired to use the technique of using an interesting and exaggerated way of delivering a story in my humor project.
After learning the many different tools and methods behind comedy, we were challenged to create the Humor Project: a 2-3 minute comedy stand-up routine, skit, parody, or any other format we felt would best represent our content. For this project, I chose to work with my twin sister and create something relatable, current, and overall funny to us: the experiences of being twins. We brainstormed what we felt were funny anecdotes and stories we had, and eventually created our script:
Script Bold = said at the same time Isabella: Hi, so hopefully you all know by now… were twins Simone: ya know 18 years of the same question just gotta get it out of the way… you just get tired of it man I: so tired, meeting anyone new is like… the same thing I: I’m Isabella S: I’m the other one I: I’m a minute older, therefore… superior S: YES BECAUSE BIRTH WAS A RACE I: So many repetitive questions that at this point, we’re thinking of making a business card for frequently asked questions: S: Pain? How does that work, do you feel each other’s pain? I: I mean if I punch her ill feel pain cuz she’ll punch right back S: Telepathy? I: Trust me, we TRIED S: The closest we can get is knowing what the other will say next: (wait for a beat) AT THE SAME TIME: Not completely telepathy, but hey, it’s cool RAPID FIRE! PUMPKIN TOAST REGRET DESK WATERMELON COW TEETH TRAIN NOT DOING OUR RESEARCH PAPER TILL THE LAST WEEK !!!! (beat) TWINS I: we always have to be careful not to do that in front of the wrong person though S: people get real scared like suddenly we are just gonna be like come play with us S: That’s why we have no friends I: I mean if there were three of us then we would actually look like we have some friends. S: Yeah, there was actually supposed to be three of us I: Poor guy, the second they met us and realized who they were stuck with for the rest of their life they jumped ship S: Couldn’t handle it I: And when we were born, you would expect the doctors at the hospital to mix us up immediately after birth S: Not the case here I: I came out of the womb lookin like i was mildly inconvenienced by being born like “Y'all... Really just gonna... Remove me?” (beat) S: 90% of baby pictures you can tell who is who solely because of her expression (beat to show pics) S: When someone is pregnant with twins, hospitals don’t give them the full info of what they are getting themselves into I: All they know is they can really capitalize on any “buy 1 get 1 free” deals, S: No one talks about the people I: In other cultures, twins are seen as good luck, S: It’s great and all, I mean it’s cool to have people randomly start celebrating your existence, I: Except when it’s at 11:00 at the grocery store and you are in sweatpants S: But as babies, people would see us and suddenly act as if they were blessed I: My presence is a gift, get blessed S: One of the times that stands out is when our mom would take us out for the day when we were babies, people would legitimately ask her if they could hold us I: Like “Hello, I am a complete stranger, give me your children” S: “Hand em over” I: My mom had to try not to say “yes please thank you, just keep them” S: And if you rub their LITTLE BALD HEADS at the same time in opposite directions, you will get 3 wishes I: Needless to say she started getting into the habit of walking faster when she knew people were approaching S: As we got older, and stopped dressing the same, we started to look less like twins because we developed our own interests and likes, people really started to see us as two separate people I: Finally! S: Only issue is we look different but are still very close so strangers have started to think we are a couple (Beat) S: A week ago we came into a restaurant and ordered food together I: and the waitress has the audacity S: The Gaul I: To say “are you together?” S: like really?? Can’t you see we are just twins trying to EAT?? I: we stood there so long, insulted, then she said: “…. or are you… paying separate?…” S: ...besides that, even if we weren’t related, you think I would date HER? I: You calling me ugly? S: We look the same, I’m calling WE ugly
Once we completed the script and recording, we chose to create a video which would include different visual aspects to add a new level of humor for the audience to enjoy.
Eventually, the final video was shown to our classmates in a presentation and filmed to show their initial reactions, and includes a Q&A afterward.