How does one start comedy writing for TV? Do I need a bunch of contacts to get my foot in the door?

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Take improv classes.
If you’re in NYC, take writing classes at the PIT. Keep in touch with all your classmates and their friends and their friends’ friends.
If you’re in LA, stay in LA.
If you’re in Chicago, move to New York or LA *after* your comedy friends do.
If you live anywhere else, move there yesterday. Unless you’re Canadian, in which case read the O-1 visa requirements and cry.
If you’re lucky enough to get into a room with an agent, or crazy lucky enough to be in a room with a development exec or showrunner, you need more ideas ready than the one you came to pitch. Always have an answer to “what else ya got?”
Don’t be an asshole.
Don’t be creepy.
Being nice and normal gets you further in showbiz than it does in advertising.
Take every opportunity to be funny. Make your own shit. Tweet jokes into the void. Try standup even if you don’t love it. And if a friend needs an unpaid PA for a short film, say yes.
Talent is overrated. Hard work is underrated. Advertising is good preparation.
And yes, it’s tough to break in.


Amazingly on target reply. Love talent is overrated. Hard work underrated.

Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV is a great read. The author includes advice on braking in and putting together a packet.

Honestly, I reccomend it to every ad CW as it's great advice for short form video of any kind.


Yes. Also, yes.


Read books on comedy writing, listen to podcasts, take an online class (second city offers tv writing)


I would recommend going to an improv place and talking to an instructor.


First, let’s hear something funny.


Start as a writers assistant and work your way into a writers room after a few years.

Either that or write some great fucking scripts, get representation, take a bunch of meetings most of which will be bullshit and fruitless, get rejected because you don’t have a celebrity attached, finally sell something and then have it quashed during pilot season because it didn’t test well and go back to the drawing board.

Or shoot your own script and hope it goes viral/does well on the festival circuit.

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