Web Show: How To Create a Comedy Series

People love to laugh, and the Internet allows almost anyone to create a comedy web show if they're willing to give it their best. There's more "right of entry" for the individual than ever before. On one hand, it seems like all you need is a video camera and a computer with an edit system and Internet access. But wait, there's more.

Step 1: Evaluate: Do You Have a Sense of Humor?

Are you funny? You really need to know this before you embark on this journey. Ask your closest friends, but be ready for them to tell you. If you really do have a strong sense of humor that may be able to sustain not only a single skit or episode but a series, then do it.
Step 2: Determine What Type of Comedy

Next, decide whether you want to do sketch comedy (like "Saturday Night Live") or episodic (Like "Everybody Loves Raymond"). For sketch comedy, you need a framework-is there a host? Is there a theme? For episodic comedy, you need a strong concept, the right location and strong characters with strong, differing points of view. That clash of characters makes great comedy. The best source of material for either option is your own background. What do you know? That's what you should explore.

Step 3: Develop an Idea

Okay, you have your idea, either a skit format or a strong concept with clashing characters. You need to develop it. Most of the time the best way to do this is with some of your funniest friends. There's a reason that most comedy shows have a staff of writers, and what they do is gather around a table, topping one anothers' one-liners. This can be intimidating (not for the faint of heart), but if you can develop the temperament, this can usually help you find the very funniest material to convey.

Step 4: The Process

Work with your group, and don't just write it, but rewrite it, and then rewrite it again. The marketplace is tough and you want to have the very funniest material possible. Don't just use one laugh, but make sure you have several (at least three at a time) strung together. You don't want to just be funny-you want to be funnier than anyone else. Now, shoot it and edit!

Step 5: Recognize Timing

Timing is vital for humor, but it is also critical for the marketplace. Make sure you check the timing of your humor. See if it makes people laugh. Are you "stepping on" the laughs? Then, stretch out your editing to allow the audience time to laugh. But, think about the market, too. If you have a medical comedy, and there are several that are similar to your idea already, think about another vehicle for your show. If it's unique, you've got a better shot.

All things being equal, if you have a strong sense of humor, you legitimately have as good a chance as anyone, but you can't determine whether the audience will accept your series. Sometimes it takes time for them to catch on, and sometimes they won't. Only you can determine whether it's worth it for you to keep at it.