So You Want To/Write a Black Comedy
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A common actors' saying is "Dying is easy: comedy is hard." And Black Comedy, which uses dark and serious matters and themes as its subject matter to invoke laughter is one of the hardest things to write well.
- 1 Necessary Tropes
- 2 Choices, Choices
- 3 Pitfalls
- 4 Potential Subversions
- 5 Writers' Lounge
- 6 Departments
- 7 Costume Designer
- 8 Extra Credit
- Comedic Sociopathy. This is can make a Black Comedy become depressing or impossible to take seriously . Just don't use it too much and use irony instead of just apathy for humor.
- In general, any one can easily become an Overlong Running Gag if used excessively.
- Know your Target Audience. How dark do you plan to go?
- You want to make your audience laugh, not alienate them and get "Dude, Not Funny".
- Or they may see your effort as a tame and over-cautious pretence.
- Catch-22 - Allegedly the work the term "black comedy" was coined for. Combines increasingly hilarious running gags with an increasingly dark take on the horrors of war.
- Dr. Strangelove - It's a bona fide classic. With the power of nuclear war, Stanley Kubrick crafted a satire like no other.
- Network - Despite its dramatic elements, this film is still hilarious at times.
- RoboCop - This is an odd example. It plays itself as an action film, but still satirizes the idea of large corporations. Watch it anyways.
- Blackadder - One of the crappiest crapsack worlds with one of the most evil heroic sociopath.