It is not breaking news that the biggest films in Nigeria are Comedy Film. With films like Chief Daddy and literally all Ay Makuns film breaking the box office, we wont be surprised if a lot of screenwriters are shifting towards comedy.
Before you write that comedy script, there are 3 things you need to know
Rule Number 1: A strong story without a lot of laughs is preferable to a weak story with three jokes per page.
Don’t let your story surfer because you are trying to get more jokes into your script. Your audience will probably laugh but somewhere at the back of their mind, they would know that something is wrong. You need to have a compelling story
Rule Number 2: Just because you can say funny things doesn’t mean you can write funny things:
I have friends that are really funny when they are having conversations, but they cannot deliver when its time to write comedy. So just because you know how to make jokes does not mean you would be a good comedy writer. Writing Comedy is hard work. Don’t make assumptions.
Rule Number 3: Know your Genre
Romantic comedies need laughs, but not too much. Using Isoken as an example, it was funny but not all the time. But if you are looking at writing a big comedy film(Wedding Party style) or TV Series (The Johnsons) You have to keep the jokes coming from the first page to the last. Although you are allowed to have parts of the scripts where there are no laugh lines, you cannot do that for too long.
So you need to know if you are writing a romantic comedy, comedy drama or just comedy. This will help you decide how often you are required to make people laugh.
But the real question is, if you are not a comedy writer can you be taught to write comedy. The answer is yes, just the way you can be taugh how to drive or play football or dance.
Of course there will be writers who have a natural talent for writing comedy but that does not mean you that if you learn and practise, you cannot be just as good. All the best on the script!