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2 comedians, 1 source of material. 1 was funny, 1 was not. How does that add up?

2 comedians, 1 source of material. 1 was funny, 1 was not. How does that add up?

In other words, maybe you do have a story to tell.

You’re concerned that the story you have brewing in your mind has been told already. In fact, better writers have already written pretty much the exact same story you’d like to write. I challenge you to write your story anyway.

So just how important is delivery? Timing? Personality? Setting? Chance? Luck?

We saw two comedians in two night perform very much the same material. No, it wasn’t a contest to see which comedian could perform exactly the same jokes in different ways (although that would be a very interesting challenge!). But for some reason, the material was very similar. Still, one guy had us laughing almost the whole time and the second guy almost never.

Art or science?

Let’s pretend that both guys did have the same material. They were allowed to change a few things and mix up the order, but just for comparison’s sake, let’s say the punchlines were pretty much the same.

Maybe I just resonated with the first guy more than the second guy. Maybe the second guy resonated with other people more. Maybe they thought the first guy was dull. This is exactly my point.

The two presenters could have almost the same content and people in the audience could perceive it completely differently. They might think the one guy is a genius and the other guy an amateur.

Your story has the following plot points:

  1. Guy meets girl.
  2. Girl plays hard to get.
  3. Guy overcomes challenges.
  4. Gets girl.
  5. They fall in love.

You and 4,962 others have had the same storyline. But in a way, who cares? Your story is just that: yours. Theirs is theirs. Also, stay with me here and remember I’m a numbers guy: what are the chances that your reader:

  1. Read one or more of the other 4,962 others,
  2. Remembers it,
  3. Makes the connection that you have similar stories,
  4. BONUS: even cares that you have the same story because you told it in different ways.

2 comedians on stage. 1 source of material. 1 is funny. 1 is not. It’s just my opinion. I’m just 1 opinion.

Write your story.


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