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E.C. Henry

Very funny "42" Act III twists, Jen Winn has a keen sense of humor. If you get stuck maybe you can knock on her door.

Glad to hear you're keepin' busy. It'll keep you outta trouble -- at least for the time being.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


I'm glad that despite your brain melting in place you still managed to open up enough to use the phrase "taking a dump."

It's the little things that keep me coming back.

Now, for serious, how do you keep it all straight and not mix up plots or gags or etc between all these different stories?
(I count 7 scripts and 16 pitches, all needing the attention of a man who takes pride in his work)


I've often wondered why so many movies promoted as romantic comedies (or even comedies) aren't particularly funny. Some are good, but not funny - they're good more as light dramas. As far as funny goes, it sounds like the exec has the right idea.

Christian H

Some of those were really funny - it would be great to have a topic named after me - but the notes from the exec have to have made my day.

I have had notes that suggested just the opposite: take a fluff comedy and make it into a global conspiracy. Hey, fluff is not bad, it's good - especially in hard times.

Note to self: comedies are not studies in the human condition, they are a series of funny events leading to a funny climax.

Anna from Sweden

Hi Billy,
I agree with you and Christian H: comedies should be funny, first of all. That's a problem we have here in our little European country Sweden, that producers in general don't dare to just let it be a comedy. They always look for the drama elements.
I totally understand your brain-leak. For myself, I'm right now writing two crime scripts and it takes a lot of brain cells, I tell you. It pays the rent but I'm longing for my romantic comedy-projects... But in June it's time to go on with my love story between the 50-year-olds, remember that one? The story has developed and is beginning to look really interesting now...


Actually, EC, I'm never entirely out of trouble.

Chris: Years of brain abuse has made it possible, but I do take notes. As to whether I remember any of them less than 24 hours later, that's a different story.

Bill: Amazing, eh? An exec who's actually right.

Christian: A series of funny events leading to a funny climax. And also: funny.

Anna from Sweden: Aren't they 50-something by now? ;->


I came back to this post again because, although it was not your "Usual," I've keeping thinking about it and have a suggestion.

Sometime, perhaps you could do a post on, "How do you write 'funny'?"

While I understand it has to be in the script, it strikes me that funny is really in performance and editing. For me, the funniest scenes in the Beverly Hillbillies TV show (as an example) were the reactions of Mr. Drysdale. I think of Eugene Pallette as Mr. Bullock in My Man Godfrey. How do you communicate that in a script?

Being a visual medium, I often find there are clever, witty, funny lines in the dialogue but I really don't pick up on them until a second or third viewing. It's the visual I first respond to (and more often than not, the double takes, the reactions).

Maybe you've already written a post on this. But if not, how do you write funny? What makes a script, on paper, read as if it will be funny on screen?

Just a thought.

Joanna Farnsworth

Would everyone please stand and raise their glass to our un-sung hero - Billy Mernit.

Reader Extraordinaire, who, day after day, month after month, year after year, plods his weary way through that never-ending pile of script sludge.

His brain fries, his heart numbs, his words fail. Yet onward he ploughs, valiantly searching for one little diamond. Some tiny gem, for a movie audience that is giving up hope too.

Please, somebody out there, give the man a great script. He deserves it.

So do the audience.


Bill: Thank you for giving me a blog post to write. I'll be happy to oblige some time soon.

Joanna, you are too sweet. And hope springs eternal.

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