Given that today is the last day of National humor month, I felt it fitting to come back to an article I wrote earlier this year about comedic storytelling. I was on the hunt to find the answer, is comedic storytelling a new art form? (See more here) Since many people in the circles I travel in are talking more and more about comedic storytelling, are we witnessing the start of something new. Are we watching the moment when Harry Reese, while working work the Hersey cholate company, decided to see what would happen if he put peanut butter into cholate cups? (See more here)
In that time I can tell you this: you can learn a lot, and it still not be enough. I’ve read responses, articles, books, talked to people and it got me thinking about things explained to me. Here are some additional thoughts I have about comedic storytelling:
- Comedic storytelling has been around for a long time, but the specific name comedic storytelling my not have been the same. I don’t have an exact time when the phrase started being used. As I read responses to my last post, it seemed that the idea of comedic storytelling been considered apart of other forms of storytelling such as liars tales and being a humorist.
- Speaking of humorist, I am learning they are an interesting group of people. But what they do is not actually comedic storytelling. It is funny. It is humorous. But slightly different. The difference I see is that humorist are telling stories in all the ways to tell stories (written, plays, oral storytelling, and more). They are doing so specifically to make social commentary. Comedic storytelling might have social commentary, but it’s not always included or implied. And, like I stated in the last article, the ideal of comedic storytelling is focused on telling this funny story on stage as a part of a stand-up comedy routine.
- Trying to understand, then then perform, comedic storytelling is super fun for me. Not every story I tell will be funny. Every story will have purpose. That’s just how I see storytelling, not necessarily the only way to see storytelling. Still, during times like now where people need a mental break, having a story with a sole purpose of making people laugh is a good thing.
Other articles about comedic storytelling:
- Jeff Simmermon article on telling funny stories
- Masterclass article on how to make your story funny (it focuses on writing, but can be used in oral storytelling)
- Jessica Robinson has been noticing the overlap of storytelling and stand-up comedy as well
- An article looking at examples of comics with storytelling specials from 2018