Caught the rerun of “The Seinfeld Story” where Jerry Seinfeld asserts he knew even as he was pitching it that his sitcom wasn’t going to be about how a comic generates material. He states pretty categorically that no one would want to watch such a thing. (Of course, a two-hour documentary called “Comedian”... that people will watch.)
While I’m not sure people would indulge in a half-hour series about comics developing material, they might view a web short on the subject. Over on aspecialthing.com, they have a little QuickTime movie entitled “Birth of a Joke,” a first in what they hope will be monthly series. In it, LA comic Sari Karplus talks about a new joke she’s has about the true story of her parents meeting. We see her try it for the first time. After sharing what she thought worked and what didn’t, we see her try out the new version a few weeks later.
It may sound a little dry, but if you have an iota of comedy nerd in you it’s great viewing. You almost want to play along and deconstruct with her, attempting to see how everything could fit together. It’s just a great little lesson-by-example in joke mechanics. I’m definitely looking forward to more of them.