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     Chili Challis

           Lifetime comedian, comedy writer and coach

My Blog



Posted on July 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM Comments comments ()
A couple/three of my fav quotes about writing. Might as well be talking about how to write comedy as well. ~

"A wonderful emotion to get things moving when one is stuck is anger. It was anger more than anything else that had set me off, roused me into productivity and creativity". -Mary Garden


"Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron that has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience". - Henry David Thoreau


"Don't think! Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self conscious, and anything self conscious is lazy.
You can't try to do things, you must simply do things".
-Ray Bradbury

Didn't know you ran in such good company huh?? Now go do something creative, RANT! funny! ;)


Posted on July 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM Comments comments ()
Steve Jobs once said that creativity is simply the ability to connect things. He went on to say that creative people have the ability to connect experiences they've had to synthesize new things.

Creating comedy is the exactly the same. Comedy writers connect personal experiences to almost all things and then make a twist or trap door the audience with a punch line creating an entirely new thing.
Funny people possess the ability to set the audience up by seemingly going down a familiar path and then bam!.. corrupt that path into a water slide!


William Plomer said that 'Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected'.
That makes for a great joke writing exercise....
*Write down 2 unconnected things and then find a connection however slim. Remember to think funny. I'm bettin' you write something hilarious! ;) Let me know how it works for you!


Posted on July 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM Comments comments ()
~Be well aware of your world.

~Become aware of other worlds through study and sensitivity.

~Open up


~Think and more importantly RE-think

~Feel and ask 'What if?'

~Reason without prejudice

~Be fair and fully realize unfairness exists....for there is a world of comedy in unfairness

'You're the only person in the room that has a spotlight on them. How cool is that? C'mon that is totally cool, actually it's awesome! I've done it for over 30 yrs and I know how it feels!! The hardest part is to keep proving you deserve it'.


Posted on July 21, 2013 at 11:52 AM Comments comments ()
A fun exercise in creativity is what I call writing weird.
Simply write down some weird things.
(dress weird while you do it if you want) go for the eccentric, flaky.
Have fun and write weirdness, oddity, bizarre, you don't have to make sense and you don't have to go for a joke or laughs.  Go for different!
Take a topic you already have and run it thru your weird state as I call it. See what happens and let me know. Betcha create the funny in something! ;)


Posted on July 20, 2013 at 12:27 AM Comments comments ()
As important as creating your jokes/bits/stories are, you must place the same importance into RECREATING them for your audience.
Now that is stand-up! 


Posted on July 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM Comments comments ()
I've learned that sometimes a great joke is made from that first smart ass remark you make. That quick unfiltered, unedited quip can be soulfully cutting and down to it.
For your comedy writing sake I advise you become aware of that and capture those spews.

An exercise I like to do is flip thru cable stations and make a smart ass remark about any station's programming I land on. I just go with my funny gut and have fun. I spit something out, first impression stuff no editing just go go go. 
I usually get a few ideas out of it. Give it a try, go be a smart ass and reap the comedy gold! 


Posted on July 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM Comments comments ()
.~Don't you agree that there's nothing more emotionally satisfying sometimes then to go off on something!? Just be irrational, passionate, borderline offensive??
To me it seems so soulfully human to get fed up with something or about something and so want to vent your frustrations outwardly thru physical actions, sounds and of course speech.The speech itself is more of an utterance of exhaustive pain, expressions and a few sentences, sometimes even just a few strained syllables. Now that's an emotional rant!...and ever so often fertile soil for ....comedy!

Try it. You've heard you need stage time? For a good rant you'll need a little page time! Just pour it out...remember that comedy is image and bullet points. That's how you write a rant...let the editor go and allow the thoughts and emotions to flow. ;) I'm betting you'll get some usable material....or arrested if you do this at Starbucks...but that's a personal story! Go rant and see what I mean.


Posted on June 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM Comments comments ()
I was asked recently on a business site what 'good creative' meant in regards to motivating and engaging an audience.

My answer was as follows. me 'good creative' for marketing, engaging and motivating an audience is as simple as the 'free sample or gift'....which of course can take many forms.

Applying your question to my field of humor (standup and comedy writing) I would say that nothing compares to giving the audience something to take home and mostly think about outside of just the immediate laughs.

For me it's the 'message' I have throughout my act. At my shows the audience laughs and at the same time feel as if they are 'being let in on something very positive', as in an understanding along with a few how to's to deal with life's stress and constant attacks of aggravations, etc.. to take home. They leave with something immediate that will be helpful to them long after my show has ended. 

I had a man come up to me after my show once in Memphis,  TN. He told me that he and his family had seen me a couple of years before at another venue. At that time I was doing a bit that had a catch phrase that he and his family have been using since they had seen me. He went on to tell me the catch phrase had spread thru his entire family nationwide and was used as an understanding and release of tension. In other words I had helped many branches of a family communicate better using humor. That conversation helped me grasp just how powerful a simple standup comedy piece can be. I never forgot that lesson.

That good feeling (which is always engaging) given to an audience wins me fans and motivates them to return to my next performances. They recognize (feel) that there is more to my show than just laughs. 

Emotional things are powerful (as in engaging and motivating) and standup comedy is almost pure emotion, there is no reason your standup shouldn't resonate to the point of staying power with your audience.

Your own catch phrases, funny solutions to life's problems, and personal stories of using humor to overcome adversity becomes indelible in the minds of an audience. The comic artist that does this becomes memorable, which of course means you standout to people and that equals developing an audience. Which is in the comedy world is GREAT creative!

                               Humor helps humans heal!

'You don't really lead people, you motivate people to follow'. ~comedydojo