In the second part of my analysis of Hitchhikers I extract micro and macro techniques for creating comedy. (You don’t need to have listened to the 1st part for this to make sense).
Micro comedy techniques include:
- Garden Path – lead readers to expect a certain outcome, then deliver another.
- Emphasis on what comes last
- Not so much a humour technique, but generally the last word in a paragraph has the most impact. (like we saw in that last quote)
- Literal Mis-interpretation: take a term normally used just to convey an idea, then actually follow through with the meaning:
- Fun with Homophones
- Reframe – how can you make readers see a common thing or a common concept in a different, more humourous, absurdist, satirical way?
- Oxymoron – the linking of two ideas which really don’t make sense together
Macro techniques include:
- Genre awareness
- Surprise! (aka Subverting Expectations)
- Synthesis with the theme:
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