Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lesson Eleven: Redundancy

Using redundancy for laughs relies on the expectation that new information is usually conveyed when we communicate.  Instead the redundant phrase repeats information and we laugh because our expectation is not met.  

Here are several classic examples from the master comedy writer S.J. Perelman from WESTWARD HA!

"The whole sordid business began on a bleak November afternoon a couple of years ago in Philadelphia, a metropolis sometimes known as the City of Brotherly Love but more accurately as the City of Bleak November Afternoons."

"In no time at all -- five minutes, to be exact -- we were laughing and chatting away as though we had known each other five minutes."

In both of these information is given once and then repeated for the laugh.  Add redundancy to your comic tool box and your comic tool box will include redundancy.  I said that already.

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