One of the things I try and do with this blog is assist in creating a language about why something is funny and why it isn’t. Having some sort of common ground to explain why something works has to go beyond the broad terms of “funny/not funny.” There’s an actual art to making this crap, even though when it’s done well, it appears so effortless that it’s hard to imagine any labor involved at all.
Although the movies Airplane and The Naked Gun never looked laborless (when you’re throwing that many jokes up against a wall, you don’t exactly exude lazy), the terminology for how the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team talk about creating comedy is endlessly fascinating. I think quite a few of these are common to anyone trying to write something funny, but were unnamed. Check ‘em out and use them with (or on) your writing partner the next time you’re collaborating.