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Keep up or fuck off

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

There's a bit in the podcast with Paul Hawksbee when he talks about how much previous knowledge you have to assume in the reader for a joke to work. This is a point that many people get wrong and it ruins everything.

Hawksbee's mantra came from his days in magazines, when he created 90 Minutes, back in the days before Italia '90.

There were jokes and cultural references in the mag that talked directly to the small group of people who read them and go them.

Once you water these down, go for the bigger pool of readers, you bland the whole thing out. Hawksbee has written Bafta winning scripts for Harry Hill and worked with some of the best comics in the land. He knows how jokes work.

'Sometimes you've just got to say, Keep up or fuck off'.

Love that.

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