Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On Technique.

I’ve started taking showers specifically to write new material. Jokes come so fluidly in there. It seems that my naked body is my muse. But it has to be in the shower. I tried just standing around my room naked but it was to no avail. No good material came out of it.

But in the confines of our world-map themed shower curtain, blistering water spitting all over me, I am an ancient comedy seer. Some of my best material has been written in here while my unmentionables go unscrubbed.

Usually my roommates have left for the day, off pursuing some sort of gainful employment (idiots.) Before entering, I stand naked in front of the mirror, envisioning a svelte version of myself by wrapping my towel several inches above my waste to hide my expanding stomach. I can’t make my pectoral muscles jiggle independently, but I use this moment to pretend that I can.

ANYWAY, once prepared I enter the shower and let the water rip. I surge through the cleaning process as quickly as possible, sometimes using the body wash and shampoo interchangeably. I don’t even bother below the knees. Please. Once this is taken care of I turn my back to the water and just stand, usually 30 to 35 minutes, while I await comedic inspiration. Once I have it, I fist-pump to myself and sometimes high-five Turkmenistan.

Grabbing one of the shower bottles as an impromptu microphone, I begin riffing on my new material. Recently I got into a bit about a substitute-teacher boot camp, in response to New York State’s ludicrous assertion that substitute teachers go through a training program. Come On! How much training does one need to force children to watch Miracle on 34th Street while he checks his Facebook?

In the rare instance that comedy gold eludes me, I resort to drastic measures to conjure up the funny. Often I engage in a little amateur alchemy, combining conditioner, shampoo, and soap into a mega-cream and then I massage it on my temples or drink it. Watch out it doesn’t get in your eyes though. Ouch!

Following three of four hours of vomiting, I’ll make a last ditch effort and pour myself a tub. I don’t slack on the ambience. I grab red-wax candles, the bubbles, and a bottle of Duboeuf Saint Amour Domaine du Paradis (I Googled “romantic wines” and this came up. Truthfully, it would be ginger ale.) Have you ever wondered where I got the joke about watching porn on a cell phone? Bingo.

So there’s my comedy writing technique. I’m not saying it works for everyone but if you find yourself dealing with a bout of writer’s block, feel free to give it a try. But the part about drinking the shampoo-soap-conditioner mix? Don’t do that - that was a joke. It might actually be poisonous.


  1. you'd better be glad we don't pay our own water bill

  2. i always wondered why you brought your cell phone into the shower with you...

  3. I thought you got that cell phone porn joke from colin.