I don’t do comedy!
I’m a serious actor – dramas and that – I don’t do comedy! Resonate with any of you? OMG SAMESIES!
So how do I bring the funny when I’m in a comedy? What’s the secret? Tell me the secret!!
And the secret is… THERE’S NO DIFFERENCE IN YOUR APPROACH TO COMEDY AND YOUR APPROACH TO DRAMA!
In drama, we invest in the world of whatever story we’re part of: we care deeply about what’s going on; we have real opinions about the events that are happening around us; we are sincere in our feelings about our situation.
In comedy, it’s exactly the same! The only difference is that, in comedy, what you’re invested in, what you care about is the absurd! It’s your commitment to the absurd world you find yourself in, and the sincerity of your feelings towards it that make it funny.
Remember: YOU’RE NOT IN ON THE JOKE. The audience wants to laugh AT you, not WITH you.
Hands up if you’ve ever been laughed at when you’re mid-argument… OMG SAMESIES! You don’t find it funny, but because you’re invested in an opinion that someone else finds absurd, it’s funny! The more genuinely argry off you get, the more they laugh at you!
Perfect example of this is the classic Faulty Towers. The more John Cleese loses his cool, the funnier we find it. The more serious it becomes for him, the more ridiculous is becomes for us. He’s not enjoying himself, he’s not finding it funny, and that is exactly why we laugh at it! There’s nothing funnier than someone who is sincere and invested in a situation that is ridiculous.
So invest in that situation like you’re in a really serious drama! The more you buy in to the absurd, the more absurd you become, and we love to laugh at people being stupid.