Comedy Writing Gigs part 3

Hilarious jokes are all set –

you’ve got some samples of jokes you’ve written and some real live people – radio, TV, comedians, etc. . who will vouch for you that you’re, or at least the jokes you write, are funny! So where do you now go to actually write jokes for money? Here’s a few ideas:

All the radio people, TV people, media people that you

haven’t promoted to for free. . .turn around and contact them to sell them jokes. You can sell to them individually, and there are also things called radio prep services that supply radio people with news stories and jokes for their daily shows. Yes I’ve written for them, and no I won’t tell you who I’ve written for. Do some research, but make sure you’re good at topical (i.e. news) jokes because that’s mostly what they look for. . . and make sure you’re good in general because there’s a lot of competition to submitting your material. You may want to hold off on contacting these services until you’ve got lots of experience. You only get one shot at them and if you’re not good enough, they’ll ignore your future requests.

comedy ideas

comedy is all over the place and people pay for you to find it

Famous comedians.

Yes, as I mentioned, do not sell material to up and coming or just your average joe comedian. . .I feel strongly that comedians need to write their own material and “buying” their way to the top by paying for material is not cool. BUT famous comedians burn up tons of material all the time. . and I’m not opposed to them buying material.

Other entertainers.

Yes, other entertainers like jokes too! AND since they aren’t comedians, they may have a harder time coming up with material. . . . magicians are good at magic, ventriloquists are good at throwing their voices and clowns are good at scaring small children. I’ve for them all – okay, no clowns but some people who I considered clowns.. .enough said. So look to other entertainers for your material. . .they don’t have to be famous. . . since jokes aren’t their main thing, just an addition to their true talent, I feel you can write for them without feeling like you’re helping them buy their way to the top. Face it, if you’re a crappy magician, but have a few great jokes, you’ll still never make it as a magician. . .unless you’re the Amazing Jonathan – he’s fantastic and in another category.

There are many other places to sell your jokes

that comedy writers usually don’t think about. . .I’ll be focusing on those in next week’s blog!

Have a great weekend!


Jan’s keynote and comedy website

Jan also emcees

Comedy Writing gigs part 2 is up next

Welcome to part 2 of comedy writing opportunities. In my last blog

I mentioned that you should network at comedy clubs. Yes, Comedy clubs are great networking avenues, but I also suggest networking to others who are in need of comedy material every, single, day. Namely radio stations. So call local radio station and offer to submit topical jokes for the morning show. DJs and radio personalities don’t have time to come up with material at 4 a.m. when they roll in for their show. And if they do have time to do a quick internet search for news stories. . .great! But chances are they don’t have time to write jokes.

grandmas radio

funny looking but it works!

This is a great opportunity for

you if you can write solid topical material about news stories – you’ll be in demand and you’ll get a lot of practice because you’ll be doing it every day. I cut my teeth writing this kind of comedy – it’s hard to build a comedy act on it because stories and news items get old. . .you can’t still be making jokes about Lorena Bobbitt (look her up!). It’s great fun to have fun with news stories. . .they’re practically giving you the set-up lines in the news. USA Today was written with ready-made comedy set up lines. And the beauty of topical jokes is. . if you’re organized, you can re-use them again and again – just switch out names. Because there’s always gonna be a messy celebrity affair, an idiot congressman, etc. . .these stories repeat themselves with only the names changing.

So call a few radio stations, and maybe even local

TV and cable shows. . .don’t call everyone, because you do eventually want to get paid so you don’t want the reputation of being free — once you get a couple “clients,” stop calling. You only need to get a couple of people saying you’re good to build on it

And of course, aside from giving out free material to people you network with, you can also

get joke writing experience by showing people that you’re funny. Yes, get on stage. Go to open mics around town and try you’re hand at comedy. If you’re funny on stage, you’ll be asked to write for other people – guaranteed! That’s where I’ve gotten a lot of my work! Other comedians saw that I was funny, and they had connections to writing gigs.

Another source of building your comedy writing resume is writing for

friends and family. Who needs jokes?? Ask around, you might be surprised. One of my first gigs was writing jokes for my dad’s retirement party – I had to nicely roast him so everyone, including him, would laugh – it worked! I didn’t get paid, but I did establish my comedy writing chops to a huge group, and to myself, that I could do it.

Next week we’ll start looking at

who you can write comedy for, once you have some joke writing samples and some comedy references.

Have a great week!


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