Recipe for Jokes

In Toplyn’s book he summarizes how late night shows are structured and spends a lot of time going over the specifics of how monologue jokes are written. He spends about 50 pages going over the exact formula for a monologue joke. Before this course I thought that each joke was unique and that writers would have to independently think of each joke. After reading this excerpt it is clear that all of the jokes have a similar structure and there is a joke writing process used to write every joke. This process makes it seam like these monologue jokes are just mass produced in some factory rather than hand-written by brilliant comedic writers. With the pretty simple formula of taking a popular news story and writing a simple one line joke using common comedic themes being so straightforward it makes me wonder if we could make a computer program write jokes.  With the rise of artificial intelligence technology I think we are not far from having a computer that could write jokes for us or even a robot that could write and perform standup comedy. Do you think computers will ever write jokes for us or is there some human element to comedy that can’t be replicated?


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