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Animation Writing and Development by Jean Ann Wright

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Chapter 12

Animation Comedy andGag Writing

What Makes You Laugh?

What makes you laugh? Or, more importantly, what makes your audience laugh? “Why does Brutus the Brave refuse to cross the road?” “Because he’s no chicken!” Humor varies from culture to culture and from age to age. In comedy we set up a situation, increase the tension, and suddenly we’re stopped dead by something unexpected. Emotion gushes out, tension is relieved and exploded into laughter. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. And it will work if you set up the gag right. Comedy is a contrast between two individually consistent but forever incongruous frames of reference linked in an unexpected and sudden way. A stereotype is twisted. You lead the audience down the garden ...

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