Comedy Writing

Troy points while making a face. Jeff looks incredulously.

Fig. 4 - Jeff and Abed from Community

As any screenwriter will tell you, all television and film are all structured in the same way. Mainstream TV shows have three acts separated by two plot points. These features are rigorously structured. There are almost no shows that are aired that deviate from this idea.

If you look closely, comedy shows share many common features, too. However these are culturally structured. There is no one setting the rules for how a comedy show should be aside from the basic TV show structure. There are simply things that we find funny.

Suggestions and explanations of this structure are not meant to make your show boring, or run-of-the-mill, or trite. This information is merely exposing the underlying commonalities already present in TV today. Understanding these ideas will allow you to conceptualize what you already like in shows today, and see what you can learn about where you want your own show to go.