A Crowd Sourced Punchline.

•August 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Late Saturday night, under the influence of caffeinated drinks and good company, I stumbled across a play on words that amused me more than it had any right to. This is often the catalyst for a comedic sketch or piece of writing. Many of the posts on this very blog had similar, dumb-but-entertaining beginnings.

In this case, it was an idea that, to implement, required a framework – it was not an idea for a sketch itself, but rather a small seed of a thought that could evolve into something more fully-formed with but a bit of coaxing and questioning from myself. I will not share it here, as it may still bear funny fruit, and I would like to make that harvest and subsequent marmalade myself. That metaphor is getting weird.

So, as much as I’d like to be the gardener solely responsible for this produce, I am also not foolish enough to think I know all. I am the moron who watered lettuces on their leaves during a very hot spell. (This kills lettuce, FYI) So I put the two variant sketch ideas to a group of people who are either co-conspirators in my comedic writing, or a group of others who I just value the opinion of; writers and just great people. Did you get asked this question? Sorry. I don’t know who you are. How’d you get this number?

What surprised me was the variant responses. Firstly, the polled peers seemed to split evenly between the two concepts. Unexpected, that. Often when I’ve done similar in the past I’ve found that whilst both choices may have appeal, people will gravitate one way or the other for distinct mechanical reasons (one option just “works” better) What I was surprised by was the leaps of creativity that each made to justify their choice. It allowed me a little insight into their thinking, and also to see a correlation in the connections that they made, both in contrast and similarity to my own. Both ideas were mechanically sound, and both had potential to go in directions that people are familiar for my writing to take.

I did not expect this response, and was very prepared for a Solomon-style response of sacrificing one in place of the other, quite readily. But this threw a spanner in the works; can I simultaneously cultivate both approaches? Do I write both into fully-fledged concepts and see what the end result is? Or do I blend the two like some kind of Frankenstein-joke? Under a midnight sky rippling with thunder, and swept by gale-force winds, I decided to take the third path: I collated their responses, and will now turn the resulting brainstorm worth of content into a feature film, and reap all the praise for myself. Please check back in for the undoubtedly exciting legal battle for recognition that this crew now engage in. I’ll be holding my own, and claiming insanity. It always works in the movies…

(For those playing at home, try and picture if you will, an AA-type meeting for vampires)