Review of THE HIDDEN TOOLS OF COMEDY by Steve Kaplan
Title: The Hidden Tools of Comedy
Author: Steve Kaplan
Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions
What It's About: The Hidden Tools of Comedy is a tool for writers to understand how effective comedy writing works so that they can write things that make people laugh.
Why I Read It: I love storytelling in general, and I love to learn new things about different genres. I've written a few blog posts that have gotten some laughs, but I wanted to understand what makes something funny and what doesn't.
What I Liked About It: Kaplan's definition for comedy is extremely helpful. Comedy is about sharing real life. It makes sense, and he shows how. In drama, all the real things, the flaws that people have, are taken out. Drama is about getting the perfect moment. Comedy is about capturing moments as they really are, and this often produces funny results. He then outlines his "comedy equation," which contains the tools for creating comedy that gets people engaged and laughing. The rest of the book is spent explaining each element of the comedy equation and illustrating them through examples from popular movies and television shows. The Hidden Tools of Comedy is a very instructive book for understanding what makes something funny. It's the first kind of book like it that I've read, and it's a good one.