View Full Version : ThornGhost's Thread About Making Stuff to Make You Laugh

01-19-2011, 06:07 AM
I spend a lot of my creative free time trying to make other people laugh. I have a few outlets for this - I'm part of an improv comedy troupe, a sketch comedy group and I write a story blog that trends toward trying to be funny.

I'm going to collect whatever I can of these things here, maybe offer some commentary as to the creative decisions in each posted item if people are interested, and open myself up to critiques. Critiques are especially appreciated for the blog and sketch comedy stuff. Any clips I might post of the improv show are, well, improv. There's not a lot of revision there, but if you've got good ideas to keep in mind in the future, I'm happy to hear them.

I just made a new post on my story blog last night, so I'll have that as the content for this opening post. The blog is called "Fat Riker" and traces the history of the titular band throughout its multi-decade existence.

The latest post is a transcript of an email that the band received in 2004 regarding some business dealings with a food conglomerate.

Fat Riker: Comesticorp Email Correspondence – August 16, 2004 (http://www.fatriker.com/?p=52)

02-01-2011, 08:14 PM
So I just uploaded a new video from my sketch comedy group.

Victorian roommate discovers the internet. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_lrU9Lqe8c)

02-06-2011, 05:18 PM
My favorite line was "The totality of your base are belong to him." It's impossible not to laugh at an "all your base" joke. Impossible.

02-16-2011, 07:19 AM
Oh hey, the improv group has a new video up. It's a clip from a recording of a live performance. The game is called "King's Court" - in which a king must guess what each petitioner wants without being explicitly told what it is. Yours truly plays the queen's secret lover who needs the key to her chastity belt.

Einstein Simplified - King's Court, Feb. 8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyRiiOi3-SU)

02-28-2011, 11:41 AM
I've had writer's block for a while now, but I finally finished a new Fat Riker entry.

Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin – November, 1991: Part 1 (http://www.thelasttvstation.com/fatriker/?p=57)

It's the first direct sequel to another Fat Riker post, and the first two parter!

03-31-2011, 07:36 PM
Fat Riker updated, woo! Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin Part 2. (http://www.thelasttvstation.com/fatriker/?p=64)

I was originally going to make this just a two parter, but I left our hero still in good enough shape that we might see another part of his story later on. Probably not immediately, though. Part of what makes this a fun project for me is getting to jump around between different characters, time periods and writing styles.

05-10-2011, 06:46 AM
Finally got our video setup back together for Einstein Simplified. We've had a venue change as well!

Check out some funky fresh comedy improv:

Switching Scenery (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoWMFp1Bbdg)

05-11-2011, 02:25 PM
Still catching up on the written stuff -- but I have to say, I've got major respect for anyone who can do improv comedy, especially on something like a stage presentation with limited numbers of participants.

I mean, at least with groups of friends or often random people, I've been working on improving my on-the-fly responses to situations (admittedly, non-verbal is what comes best to me) -- but there are still points where it just takes me more than a few moments to respond with something worthwhile.

So yeah. Awesome to see your stuff, seeing how people respond back and forth like that. Looking forward to seeing more.

05-13-2011, 04:24 PM
Warg, thanks for checking out the improv. It's honestly one of the more fulfilling aspects of my life at this point - performing comedy like that for a live audience. If you're interested in doing as much, I recommend going for it.

That said, there's a big different between being witty with conversation and doing stage improv. One is that doing stage improv is CONSIDERABLY easier once you know what you're doing. It's not just making funny remarks about what's happening around you - it's building a scene that sets up those jokes.

Anyone that's done improv for any amount of time will tell you the cardinal rule: "Yes, and". This means to always agree with what the other person on stage is saying and then add to it. It's all about adding "information" to the scene.

Consider two performers are on stage.

A: I want to go to the zoo today!

B: No, I don't like that.

Two lines in and we have literally no information about what's going to happen in this scene. This is because "B" denied the suggestion of A. We don't know who these two people are, how they know each other, or what they're going to do.

Same scene:

A: Mom, I want to go to the zoo today!

B: Oh, great idea! I hear they've got a new monkey that's supposed to eat food right from your hand!

This time we're two lines in and we've got TONS of information. We know that they're mother and child, that they're going to the zoo and that the zoo has an interesting new monkey that's probably going to make an appearance. A smart performer off stage will remember this to join the scene later to become the monkey.

This way the momentum of the scene progresses and we start pinning down what's going to be the pillars where the comedy stands. Maybe the monkey takes their lunch instead of the monkey food? Maybe he's a man in a suit pretending to be a monkey? Whatever happens will work out to be funny. It's important to know that. The scenes that fail are usually the ones where the participants fail to trust their stage partners.

You might not be the guy that's going to be saying the lines later on that make the audience laugh, but you'll probably get your chance. Just agree and add. "Yes, and."

06-02-2011, 06:51 PM
Awwww yeah, after a bit of a dry spell (two months!) I finally finished up the new Fat Riker entry. Most of this article was actually done more than a month ago, but I sort of let it drop by the wayside for a while. I don't understand my creative process.

Ask Fat Riker - The Wichita Music Connection, 2002 (http://www.thelasttvstation.com/fatriker/?p=78)

07-27-2011, 05:55 AM
While I haven't been uploading anything myself over the last month or two, some enterprising improv fan put up a video from last week's show on Youtube.

I like my women... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N1vINjfrk8) (Probably a bit lot raunchy)

09-27-2011, 07:28 AM
Those of you who are interested in this sort of thing may find a new bit of Fat Riker lore up in the usual place (www.fatriker.com).


As per the rather harsh emails from both the legal and accounting departments, we have decided not to hire Ricky Davidson and are pressing on without him. It may be for the best actually, the van’s speed seems to be topped off at roughly 27 miles per hour now. The band had asked the kid to try and make the engine more “cooking friendly” after the last disaster, and he seems to have retrofitted the radiator to accept vegetable oil. I think he may have assumed it would work as a deep fryer in a pinch, as it hisses and starts to smell like onion rings whenever we shift into second gear.

Read the rest here! (http://www.thelasttvstation.com/fatriker/?p=94)

11-22-2011, 01:45 PM
Fat Riker gets an update (http://www.thelasttvstation.com/fatriker/?p=110)! This time, we are seeing the review from another album released in the early 2000s.


Did they make a unique cover for each individual copy of the album? Or do they, as I have long suspected, make but a single copy to send to me? I assume they must be mass produced somehow. The idea that these madmen, whom I have never seen nor met in person, labor constantly for my sole torture is far too much for my beleaguered heart to bear.

You can read the rest at FatRiker.com (www.fatriker.com).

01-24-2012, 08:22 AM
Fat Riker's story must be told! New update is here (http://www.fatriker.com/?p=115)!


To the members of Fat Riker, I would like to congratulate you for being selected as Nutracorn’s official spokespersons for the southeastern division of our American promotional tour for our new Corn Derivatives division. The selection process was intense, but in the end you prevailed over a field of nearly half a dozen reasonably qualified candidates. We felt the strength of your local renown in the mid-eastern Tennessee region coupled with your reasonable compensation requirements made you stand far above the rest of the pack. You can be assured; your requested monthly shipment of corn niblets will not be late.

FatRiker.com (http://www.fatriker.com) is where you get the rest!