Increase the humor content (and laughs) of your professional presentations, informal business talks, and every day conversation.
My first joke, I was lucky. I sold to a gentleman called Bob Orben. Bob Orben publishes a newsletter (and I will talk about this later as it is a potential market.) The newsletter is 4 pages of one liners, topical material. He paid $3 a joke and I sent him a batch and in my first batch he bought a joke. That was my first honest to God joke ever sold.
This was when Richard Nixon was running for re-election, before Watergate and the thing about it - it was obvious that Nixon was going to be reelected. There was no doubt about that whatsoever. So the joke I had - the Republican's just did this big 3 day convention to determine who they were going to nominate for the presidency which is a little bit like Adam coming up to Eve from behind, covering up her eyes and saying "Guess who." But then you know, to me, 'Well I've sold a joke.'
Got $3 bucks for it but am I really a comedy writer? Because it really wasn't to a comedian, it was to a humor service, it was only $3, it was only one. But I had a sale. When I really started selling material though - does anyone here remember those large, 8.5x11 cartoon/joke books, Sex to Sexy? They put out a whole series of Sex to Sexy, number one. And number two - that there was about 250 of them. They bought jokes a $1 a piece. And I was just churning stuff out. I was probably selling them 10 to 20-30 jokes a week and once again, I thought "Well, gee, I'm selling more stuff but kinda of to a sex club publication. Did that really make me a comedy writer?
It's really difficult when you're starting out. You're very unsure of yourself. But I was writing material and along the way I got involved in performing. And I also got involved in producing at the Holy City Zoo. And this is where I really learned a lot about comedy writing. Because when I was at the Holy City Zoo, from '76 to about '79, there were two things going on. I was involved with the Holy City Zoo and also in 1976 I started my own humor service, Comedy Update.
Now Comedy Update essentially was just like Bob Orben. I thought, why go through a middle man. Eliminate the middle man! Then I became a publisher, editor and all else. I did that for three years. Four pages of one liners every other Friday. Now that's when you sit down and learn to produce. You do not wait for inspiration folks. Every Friday. People pay you the money up front. They subscribe on a yearly basis. There was Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller... about 125 radio DJ's across the country. They paid their money to subscribe and every other Friday they expected something to be mailed to them. You really learn how to sit down and write on demand.