Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lesson Thirteen: Immediate Reverse

Rather than a slow retreat, the immediate reverse follows a similar structure but does so quickly.

Strong assertion.

New information.

Quick/immediate reversal in the character's position.

Bob Hope was a master of these.  Hope was a great comic actor.   The ROAD series, MY FAVORITE BRUNETTE, PALEFACE and SON OF PALEFACE, and many others.  All must see comedies.

As bungling dentist Painless Potter, Hope is mistakenly hailed as the hero who has just saved a group of women and children from a hostile band of Indians.  As the tumult and the shouting subside, Hope is prepared to make a speech.  "Ladies and gentlemen, at this time I'd like to say a few words --"  Someone in the crowd yells, "Let's get out of here before them Redskins come back!"  Hope quickly says, "Those are the words."

Hope's delivery of the line is perfect.  From bravado to cowardice.  Strong assertion to the immediate reverse revealing character.

Strong assertion -- Hope will now give his speech.

New information  -- Hostile Indians will soon return

Reversal -- Hope is ready to leave.

Character and its relation to comedy will be the subject of the next comedy lesson.

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