The Funny Thing About Writing Funny

LA is a funny place. It encourages you to chase after something you wouldn’t otherwise pursue. Unlike San Francisco or Portland where it’s equally, if not more important, to realize that life is great and everything is what it is, Los Angeles is a city built on dreams and aspirations.

As much as the red “real American” states like to tell you otherwise, LA is a model American city — a true land of opportunity, and a place where the mantra of “you can achieve anything you want” is breathed-in-and-out on a daily basis.

* * *

I’m a funny guy. I’m fully aware that I’m never going to be an underwear model (nor should I be one) and that my chance of EGOTing is pretty non-existent, but I know I’m a good friend and a fun guy to be around with.

That said, “funny” is also a very subjective thing. Unlike a SAT score or a college GPA, I can’t really explain to you exactly just how funny I am. You either get it or you don’t.

My sense of humor is most prominent on Twitter, mostly because the service allows me to be spontaneous to jot down the many random thoughts that live in my head throughout the day. This blog, on the other hand, is pretty serious. I tend to compose my ideas and opinions from the more cerebral, cathartic side of me.

I was talking to my good friend, Michael Rawley (@mikerawley), a few weeks ago on how to combine my humorous side of Twitter with my serious side of my blog. He mentioned that he always knew that I’m a funny guy and that I just need to let go of my insecurities and just go nuts, because that’s what comedy should be.

I’ve mentioned on this blog that I believe in written words, as it’s the only medium that allows me to place my thoughts directly into a reader’s head. But as powerful as writing can be, it’s surprisingly difficult to translate my sense of humor into words.

One of the reasons is that I see comedy mainly as an interactive experience. From hosting a talk show to doing stand-up, there’s always an audience who can guide the performer forward. With text everything becomes stale and one-sided. The only reason my tweets are funny is because they’re purposefully short and on-point (though most of the time I’m too stingy to write anything less than 140 characters — there are hungry children in Africa, #amirite?), but it is remarkably more difficult to pull off comedy with actual storytelling.

Obviously, Tina Fey, Louis CK, Stephen Colbert, David Sedaris, and countless others prove otherwise. I’m constantly inspired by their work and always wish I can create something just as solid. Maybe Michael is right; perhaps I just need to stop worrying and start writing.

❤ wins

Winson Shuen works at IGN but is not an editor. All opinions expressed here are solely his own and do not represent his employer by any means. You can follow him on Twitter @vdot90.

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