How Comedy Works with David Misch

How Comedy Works with David Misch

About This Event


TV writer David Misch (Mork and MindySaturday Night Live, The Muppets Take Manhattan) presents a three-hour multimedia seminar which comes with an ironclad guarantee that it will impart no usable skills.

Okay, that could be an exaggeration, but David’s given the same guarantee at the Smithsonian Institute, Austin Film Festival, Actors Studio, Groundlings Theatre, Yale, Columbia and Oxford Universities, American Film Institute, University of Sydney, VIEW Cinema Conference (Torino, Italy), Second City (Hollywood) and the Burbank Comedy Festival.

How Comedy Works has no direct instruction but is a critical, and seri­ous (though funny), exploration of com­edy as an art form. It gives actors, writers, directors, producers and Crafts Service personnel a close­-up of comedy’s innards, the idea being that understanding how comedy works will help you work in comedy. Anyway, that’s his story and he's sticking to it.

Topics covered include the Rule of 3; the relationship between Comedy and Logic; the calculations involved in timing; comedy cues, and why withholding them is sometimes the best way to get a laugh; why your body is hilarious; the evil of punchlines; comedy “placebos”; and how the mechanics of jokes – tension and resolution, pattern recognition, misdirection, and surprise – provide a template for all humor.

As for practical applications, the presentation includes copious clips which show how these principles translate into actual laughter. So forget all that stuff about no usable skills. 

Doors open at 6:30p.m. Event starts at 7 p.m.

All events advertised on our “Events” page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket – not just WGA members!

In the case the event is sold out, we will have a first come, first serve stand-by line at the event. The stand-by line does not guarantee entry into the event.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library, archive and other outreach programs.

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Location / Venue

  • Address:
  • WGF Library
  • 7000 West 3rd Street
  • Los Angeles, CA 90048
  • USA
  • Time:
  • Dec 04, 2018 07:00 pm to
  • Dec 04, 2018 10:00 pm
The Writers Guild Foundation

Event to Support The Writers Guild Foundation

Founded in 1966, the Writers Guild Foundation is the premier resource for emerging writers and movie and TV lovers in Hollywood. Boasting a busy calendar of high-value events and a vast, seemingly bottomless toolbox for writers, the Foundation is unmatched in its mission to promote and preserve the craft, history, and voices of screen storytelling.  A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we’re proud of all we do for the community, including our Veterans Writing Project, our Volunteer and Mentorship Programs, our Archive, and the Shavelson-Webb Library – the world’s only library devoted entirely to writing for the screen.

About the Host

David Misch has been a comic folksinger, stand-up comedian and screenwriter. He’s written, created and/or produced programs for all the major networks and many of the major (and minor) cable outlets, including the multiple-Emmy-nominated Mork & Mindy, the Emmy-losing Duckman, the Emmy-ignored Police Squad!, the Emmy-engorged Saturday Night Live, and the Emmy-ineligible The Muppets Take Manhattan.

David’s written A Beginner’s Guide To Corruption and his Funny: The Book has been called “the best book on comedy ever written by David Misch.” He’s also been published in The American Bystander; and the anthologies May Contain Nuts; Faith: Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists Confront the Big Questions; Horrific Humor and the Moment of Droll Grimness in Cine­ma, and on the web in The Huffington Post, Vulture and National Lampoon. His play “Occupied” is in development at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles.

David’s taught comedy at USC, musical satire at UCLA, and spoken about comedy at the Smithsonian Institute, Oxford University, Austin Film Festival, Actors Studio, Yale, Columbia, University of Sydney (Australia), Lucasfilm, 92nd St. Y, American Film Institute, Groundlings Theater, Grammy Museum, Second City, Burbank, San Diego and North Carolina Comedy Festivals, and the SATE Themed Entertainment, Midwest Popular Culture Assocation and VIEW Cinema (Torino, Italy) conferences. More at and