For the better part of my 23 years on this planet, I had it in my head that I was going to be a screenwriter. I was always torn between acting and writing, so screenwriting seemed to be a logical combination. I spent my high school days traveling to New York after school to audition for commercials and get my big break as an extra in some movies. I won’t name drop, but Paul Rudd did touch my face once and we have an inside joke about GILFs (as in, grandmas), but it’s no big deal so just let it go.
Anyway. Being the psycho overachiever that I am, I convinced my guidance counselor to let me do a screenwriting independent study with a teacher who used to work in a writers’ room for sitcoms. All I wanted to do was write for Saturday Night Live (note: still do). His first piece of advice: When something funny happens, write it down. Carry a notebook and a pen constantly, so the moment comedic genius strikes, you can remember it. Comedy is hard to create out nothing, he said. Smart comedy is funny because its basis is reality.
This might actually be one of the best things anyone has ever told me to do. I kept a log of quotes, situations, and people that I found funny through high school, through college, and through the past year of my adulthood. I have the makings of a goddamn comedic revelation here. After swiping through some of my notes, I rounded up the best out-of-context tidbits I could find. And they’re anonymous because I’m not in a place where I’m ready for my friends to hate me yet.
P.S. SNL , if you’re reading this, I’m three blocks over. .