Skit Writing – Adding the Humor

laughing_emoticonOne of the reasons it is helpful to collaborate with a small team in writing skits is that it is easier to come up with humorous elements!  While our primary purpose for the skit is to communicate the spiritual message of the retreat or event, we want our skits to be entertaining as well.  Not all skits need to be humorous, but we try to bring in as much humor as possible. I’ve learned from my co-writers, Kelly and Valerie, some easy techniques to adding humor to our skits.

* Much of the humor in a skit may be unintentional, developed on stage as characters ad-lib and even make mistakes!  We want the message of the skit to get across, and we always try to stick to the script; however, mistakes happen, and they can be funny!

* One way we purposely add humor is in the over-the-top characters who may be funny just to look at because of her exaggerated expressions or costume; but if we give her a way of saying a certain line or response (such as a funny accent, mimicking a well known personality or speaking with exaggerated sarcasm), she is funny without uttering a single humorous line.  For instance, one character chose to base her character on “The Crocodile Hunter” (Steve Irwin) – using his accent and passionate way of expressing himself.

* Another effective way we add humor is to have a running gag throughout the skit–perhaps it is a line that is repeated by a character throughout the skit.  We use this quite often.  For instance, in a skit built around an old west theme, we had a deputy who had only one line that was repeated throughout the skit:  “I guess you be right about that!”  The first time it was said, it may not have seemed funny; but by the sixth or seventh time she said the line, the audience was anticipating it and ready to laugh.  In our most recent skit (see our free downloadable skit “Mail Order Bride–Journey to True Love”), one of the main characters was a journalist writing a newspaper series about a mail-order bride.  Every time she spoke, she referred to something she had learned as “ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING!”

Posted in: News & Information, Skits

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  1. Roger Bethel May 2, 2020

    I love the info and inspiration in the post above. I’d love to learn more of your techniques in creating humor in simple short skits.

  2. Debby June 8, 2020

    Roger, I have been recovering from surgery, and just happened to read this comment. How can I help? I work with a co-writer, and sometimes the humor comes from a quirky character or a repetitive gag or phrase within the skit. We find that humor makes the skits something everyone looks forward to and the message is heard loud and clear. Let me know how I can help you!

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