The advice Patton Oswalt gave Joe DeRosa that changed his whole perspective on writing jokes

In this You Made It Weird with Joe DeRosa, Joe explains some advice he got from Patton Oswalt (48min in to podcast) after running a bit by him in the green room at Caroline's a while back. The bit was about how much Joe hates people on reality shows. Joe paraphrases Patton's response:

I don't see what the purpose of the bit is...All your doing is just saying that to the audience. You know you think that. You know they think that. What's the point?...What I think you need to do in bits is – and what I try to do is – have a moment of discovery. I try to have that moment in the bit where I go, "I used to think this but now I realize it's that."


Derosa then comments:

Which if you watch Patton, he does that a lot. "When I was 35, I used to think..." and he hits the funny from that side and then he goes, "Now I'm 42 and let me tell you people, I was wrong!"...From that moment on, I realized that I don't want to be the guy who gets up and just barks at the audience...I have a lot of bits where I try to turn it on myself and ask why do I feel that way? Oh, it's because here's my flaw that makes me see the situation like this.


Here's a Patton bit about moving away from the world of drugs/alcohol.



This idea reminds me of Eddie Brill's advice to comics: "It's never 'you suck.' It's 'we suck.'" If you're discovering something, it puts you in the same boat as the audience as opposed to talking down to 'em.

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