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Wisdom From the Greats #3: Editing

November 19, 2010

Hey gang,

This Friday’s resource is another installment of 5 quotes from famous comics across the generations, and their views on a particular topic.  This week we will look at quotes relating to editing.

See, the pencil eraser represents editing.  We got some symbolism happening here, folks!

1) George Carlin

“[T]he audience shapes the material.  They are part of the process.  I write, they edit.”

– George Carlin (from Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin)

2) Roseanne Barr

“Take an idea, and try to boil it down to one sentence – then you are in a position to form a joke.”

-Roseanne Barr (From Comic Insights: The Art of Standup Comedy by Franklin Ajaye)

3) Johnny Carson


“A joke does not have to be a joke to get a laugh.  A line can be funny because it sounds funny.  It comes out funny.”

– Johnny Carson (From Great Comedians Talk About Comedy by Larry Wilde)

4)     Jerry Seinfeld


“Ad lib on shorter routines to build them up for use in longer sets.  It is more organic than simply trying to write a long set.”

– Jerry Seinfeld (From Comic Insights: The Art of Standup Comedy by Franklin Ajaye)

5) Jack Benny


“My four writers and myself sit down and argue and discuss whether the word “but” helps or hurts a joke.  That’s how important editing is.”

– Jack Benny (From Great Comedians Talk About Comedy by Larry Wilde)

 

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