Writing a movie script is hard. Like really hard. Like, you are going to need at least a few hours and some really good concentration. Now you say you want that script to be funny, well, that’s going to be even harder pal (budget a few more hours). But with a few helpful tips, you can turn your boring movie about a professor, into a hilarious box office hit about a Nutty Professor.
1. It is important to develop a catch phrase that your main character will repeat throughout the film. It doesn’t necessarily have to be funny, but it has to be a phrase you can catch, like “Oh No you DIDN’T!” or “Dinner’s ready!”. The more your character repeats it, the funnier it gets (also a great way to add some pages to the script). If you can’t think of your own catch phrase, just recycle a classic like, “Wasssssssssupppp?”, “Did I do that?” or “Welcome to Jurassic Park”. No one will even notice.
2. If nothing funny has happened for a few minutes, have one of the characters fart. Have the fart stink real bad, so it’s funnier. I know the audience can’t smell the fart (how funny would that be!), but by the characters reactions, we will know that it’s a real stinker. Maybe add some stink lines in post. But make sure it’s a real fart, no sound effects, impose some method acting, so you get a real performance, people can tell when it’s fake, and it’s just not as funny.
3. If you are running low on laughs/ideas, maybe add an animal to the script. Everybody loves animals, dogs, dolphins, monkeys, orangutangs, chimpanzees, gibbons, bonobos, apes, gorillas, etc. Animals are cute, the scene writes it self, also, if you could have that animal fart, that would be hilarious. Be sure to pan to the animal’s face afterward and have the animal have a bewildered look on his face like, “what was that?” God that’s funny! There is really no cinematic effect quite as powerful as the tension breaking hilarity of an animal farting. Again, make sure the animal really farts, we’re not looking for cheap laughs, this is art.
4. Has your script hit a dull point? Not to worry, a sure fire way to get back on the laugh track is to apply a carefully choreographed shot to the groin of your film’s antagonist. There is literally nothing funnier than somebody taking a hit to the nuts. Especially if it’s to a disagreeable character. It’s funny because it is an unpleasant experience. Maybe have the character go cross eyed, then grab his groin, and fall over. Hahaha, can you imagine? It’s hilarity is universal, it transcends any language or cultural barrier. You see somebody get hit in the balls, you laugh, it’s what makes us human, it’s what separates us from the animals.
4.5 Speaking of animals, if you could have an animal kick a character in the testies, you might take home an Oscar. Again, the character really has to get hit in the nuts. No protection should be worn. There is nothing funny about protection. I want to hear the character’s testicles getting pounded. If the actor isn’t in pain, there is no comedic gain.
5. Have you written yourself into a corner? Do you need a new character to add some exposition and a few laughs? Well, you’re in luck, because there is nothing funnier than a man (get this) dressed up (wait for it) as a woman. Are you laughing yet? Well you should be, because having a man dress up as a woman is hilarious. Because men normally wear men’s clothes and act like men, but when you have a male character that dresses like a woman, it is a novelty that literally cannot run out of steam. Even Shakespeare would have young men play the female roles, because he understood comedy.
6. Three words: Fat suit. Fat Suit. Fat Suit. Have the character wear a fat suit. And I’m not talking about Average American fat, I’m talking about pushing 500 or 600lbs. That’s really fat. Comically fat you might say. Oh I’ll say it!
7. This ones simple: A guy, dressed as a girl, wearing a fat suit. Did I just shatter you funny bone? I’m sorry. A really really fat lady, but it’s a guy. LOL for sure!
8. Don’t let the film go more than a few minutes without a laugh. If people aren’t laughing, they’re bored. Even if the scene doesn’t call for it, or it doesn’t make sense, have something wacky happen. Have a bear dancing, have an old person rap, have a burglar get hit with a paint can. Don’t be lazy. Your movie is worth it.
9. Let’s face it, making a movie isn’t cheap (six bucks for a Medium Popcorn??), but that doesn’t mean you need a big budget for every laugh. I’m not entirely sure why this is funny, but have a white person who is talking to a black person say, “For shizzle.” White people don’t know what “For Shizzle” means, but black people do, that’s why this is so funny. Misinterpreting someone else’s culture is a time tested comedic gold mine.
10. Comedy is all in the timing, be sure to have a stop watch on set at all times.
11. They say tragedy + time = comedy for a reason. My mother died ten years ago, and now it’s hilarious (miss you Mom!). Why not poke fun at some tragedy that has passed. Reminder: it is very important that enough time has passed since the tragedy happened, for example the Civil War is funny, but the War on Drugs is not funny. The plague is super funny, but me getting a parking ticket last month is not funny at all. Use your best judgement.
See, that wasn’t so hard. Now you should have all the material you need for a cinematic masterpiece. I can hear the movie patrons ROTFL already. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the movies!