Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Your Dog is Way Too Friendly with My Leg!

In my last article I made some observations about the nature of something being funny. I suppose that one lesson to learn from the fact that being funny wasn’t really something you can formulate, is that most humor is naturally observable and all you have to do is be open to capturing those observations.

Just so I don’t get letters from dog lovers who felt my use of cats as the object of my humorous observations was biased, I’m presenting some dog inspired humor to show that dogs are equally capable of being funny.

When Marty and I are writing a cartoon we try to bounce observations around and just kind of riff along and have a lot of fun. I can’t imagine that writing funny situations or developing gags for cartoons could be done seriously. Part of being open to capturing humor is to be in the right mood. We certainly do our best to get in that mood as often as possible. Now I’m not talking about being silly, I’m just taking about being relaxed and comfortable and not trying to force things. We often don’t start out with any special writing goals in mind. We just start talking about anything, usually about one of our characters and perhaps what we think that character might do in a certain situation. We are thankfully very childlike in our openness to accepting them as “real” people. We even find ourselves discussing them as if we are just talking about some mutual friends we have in common. They are pretty funny people so when we begin to discuss them we just naturally observe what they have been doing and how they are behaving and before long we are laughing out loud. It is a little like being six years old and discussing your imaginary best friends.

I suppose that if we were being observed by an outsider they might think we are completely nuts. Our best friends are bugs. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. I guess the fact that I am writing about our friends who are bugs and describing them as pretty funny people is difficult for some of you to appreciate. It is just all about letting yourself have the freedom to go to an imaginary place.


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