How to write a comedy show: 24 comedians reveal their secrets

Comedy festival season is in full swing, so we asked a few comedians to share their creative processes and tips for writing comedy.

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With Melbourne International Comedy Festival in full swing, and the Perth and Sydney Comedy Festivals waiting in the wings, there’s never been a better time to consider the art of comedy.

But wait. Is comedy an art form? Absolutely. As Jorge Menidis, Artistic Director of Perth and Sydney Comedy Festivals told ArtsHub last year, ‘The notion that because your art sits in a discipline called comedy, that it is somehow less of value or second rate, is actually quite silly. It decries the effort, genius and complexity of the creative work that comedic artists engage in.’

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021.

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