It’s been busy at work lately, as we get up and running. This week I get to take my first business trip. I’m going to New York for the New York Television Festival, and I’m really excited about it.
We’ve also been very productive at work, including taking some pitches. And I can’t believe I have to say this, but apparently not everyone realizes: child abuse isn’t a good source of comedy.I have been pitched several projects now that included plotlines where beating a child with a belt was played off for laughs. As George Carlin was so famously fond of saying, anything can be funny. But some jokes have to be played very, very carefully. None of these were. It was just assumed that the reader would find it funny. I didn’t. Especially considering one of these was a reality show, I found it horrifying.
It’s well-known that television is a boy’s club, but right now I’m working for a female-centric network. Which is not to say that everyone who works here or pitches to us is female. Good creators come in all shapes and sizes. But I can’t believe I have to say this, but when you have a defined demographic, don’t insult them. And don’t blow it off when someone in that demographic tells you you’re being offensive. Self-deprecating is fine. Just deprecating? Not so much.
The best humor I’ve ever seen comes from people who take complete joy in that which they are poking fun at. If you love comedy, it will shine through your writing and people who read your work will want to work with you. Comedy that comes from hurting the defenseless or dismissing the oppressed comes across as angry, not insightful. So have fun! Your career depends on it.