BLITZ’s Head of Strategy, Tamer Kattan, is also a comedian. Like anyone who needs to learn a craft, he sought to understand how comedy works- timing, delivery, inflection, audience engagement, etc. Recently, he shared with me some secrets for presenting to clients.
Tamer examined the anatomy of certain comedic stories and found that the ones grounded in TRUTH follow a similar path. When a listener hears a story, they build a picture in their mind. The brain automatically makes assumptions built on universal experiences. The comedic moment occurs when the assumed story line is broken. That moment becomes memorable.
As Tamer states, there is actually a science to it.
“When people laugh, endorphins bring down their defenses. It’s why comedy is one of the few forms of communication that gets away with criticizing societies biggest taboos: religion, politics, sex, etc.. I target EXACTLY where I will use comedy to set up the parts of presentations that may / will likely meet resistance, because that is exactly where I want endorphins to be released.”
Chris Bliss, another comedian, also has something to share about the anatomy of storytelling. In the following video, he discusses all of the above, including honesty and integrity in comedy sourcing the effectiveness of Jon Stewart and Tina Fey on America’s public policy awareness.
Lastly, I leave you with this quote, sourced from the video.
“Every act of communication is an act of translation.”
– from “If This Be Treason,” by Gregory Rabassa