Listen to a Young Johnny Carson Explain Humor Writing


For his senior thesis at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Johnny Carson created an audio program that explained how to write comedy for radio. You can listen to the 45 minute thesis here. (Ignore the first completely unintelligible minute or so.) Using clips from popular programs, he analyzed how to perform things like running gags and comedy duo routines. Beyond being interesting for any fan of Carson’s, he does do a really great job explaining the mechanics of certain types of bits. For example: “Step 1: Call your yourself something ‘the Magnificent.’ Step 2: Hold an envelope up to your head. Step 3: Say an ambiguous phrase. Step 4…”