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Feb 23

What Pro Comedy Writers Are Doing That You’re Not

Other than working and getting paid, I mean.

Here in the U.S. comedy writers are expected to have certain calling cards in order to get work or get an agent, which don’t always go hand in hand.

I’ve procrastinated on my own writing samples long enough. Admittedly it has been tough having a kid, and working a day job whilst trying to leave that day job for something less soul destroying. That and making my first feature film last year.

This is something I’ve wanted to take care of for a while. Not because I want to necessarily work in each of these areas of comedy, some are more appealing to me than others.

But mainly because I think it would be good for me as a comedy writer to know these things and to have experienced writing them. It can only improve my overall writing ability. It may help you too.

What follows is a list of writing samples that the average U.S. comedy writer is supposed to have in his or her portfolio:

– A sketch show packet
– A Talk show packet
– Screenplays
– Sitcom scripts (both original pilots and spec scripts)

If you know this already, then apologies for telling you something you already know.

Anyway, I will break this information down further in future posts. Hopefully.

I don’t know that every single comedy writer or performer has a writing portfolio. But I suspect the vast majority do or did at some point.

If you want to get hired to write for a sitcom, a Late Night show, SNL, or if you want to sell a screenplay then you will need some combination of the above.