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p. 494. Plotting mischieflocked

  • Matthew Bevis

Abstract

Good comedy has a knack of good timing and storytelling. It is the art of surprise, but established routine is what makes surprise possible. Jokes work because we expect the result, and our laughter when we get the joke announces a triumph. Jokes ensure our quick-wittedness is kept quick. ‘Plotting mischief’ looks at the art of joking and timing and the mischief of comedy. If comedy is about plotting mischief then the pinnacle of that is when plans go awry. We love to laugh at things that go wrong. Comedy's stories frequently take us unprepared as a way of drawing us into a less straightjacketed way of thinking.

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