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Apr 12

Secret Comedy Writing Technique – Goldwynisms

In my on-going mini series Secret Comedy Writing Techniques I’m going to deal with Goldwynisms. To give you a quick context Film Studio owner Samuel Goldwyn of M.G.M was famous for his own version of malapropisms and various speech errors which ended up being called: “Goldwynisms”. The Wikipedia definition is as follows:

“a humorous statement or phrase resulting from the use of incongruous or contradictory words, situations, idioms, etc.” Some examples from Mr. Goldwyn are:


“Don’t turn it into a flop!”
“Keep a stiff upper chin.”
“In two words: im-possible”.
“Why did you name him Sam? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Sam!”

Similar to this comedic form are Bushisms, Yogiisms and Colemanballs which will be dealt with in future posts.

As I frequently say, you don’t need any of these techniques to be funny if you can naturally make people fall about laughing. If you can’t there might be something here to tickle your fancy.

But even if you can make people laugh naturally then you still might find something useful here. You might find that you have a natural affinity for creating similar lines to the ones outlined here.

If so, then Goldwynisms might be a welcome addition to you comic arsenal.

1 ping

  1. Secret Comedy Writing Technique - Colemanballs | Pro Humorist

    […] are other comic linguistic forms which are similar to Colemanballs are the related form Goldwynismsand Bushisms which are attributed to Presidents George H.R. Bush and George W. Bush. Here’s […]

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