Comic Timing

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m fascinated by what makes effective comedy. I was recently listening to Joe Rogan’s interview of comedian, Tommy Chong, who explained his belief that the secret of comedy is the pause. Chong explained that the pause, or beat, that takes place before a punchline is necessary because it gives the audience time to formulate what they expect someone or something to do or say. I have long identified defiance of expectation as important source of comedy. The pause allows the audience the opportunity to develop the expectation that is then subverted. I agree with this and seek to continue to observe this phenomenon.

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