The Prompt That Goes Like This

popcorn s (2)Time to hit the funny bone again this week – our creative writing prompt/exercise involves humour.

We’re on to the letter ‘P’ already – and I bet you thought I’d default to poetry, eh?

Well, OK, if you must, you can write a poem – but it must be a PARODY. You can, of course, write a story, sketch, song lyrics or a film script – but whatever you write, the point is to make fun of an existing person/book/style/film etc.

I recall Monty Python’s Spamalot, a musical written by Eric Idle which won lots of awards. It is a re-telling of the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, loosely based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And of course, it is a parody – a sending up of all things musical.

My favourite song is ‘The Song that Goes Like This’, which is a complete send-up of every musical number you’ve ever heard of! You can watch clips on You Tube, or read more about it on Wikipedia here (yes, the Spamalot show has its own Wikipedia page!).

In order to carry off your parody, you need to know your subject matter very well. Try taking a popular song by someone well known and writing new lyrics. Or a famous poem or story that will benefit from a comic makeover. Spamalot gets off to a flying start with a genius title – I mean, everyone’s heard of Camelot, right?

Begin your new work with a punny title and you are already ahead. Bring in characters from the news (Heard and Depp, anyone?) and just have fun with the process.

If you are lucky, you may find an opportunity to perform your work to an audience. Watch here The Ballad of Lidl & Aldi written and performed by Mick MacConnell at John B. Keane’s Bar in Listowel, County Kerry, and I defy you not to smile at the clever lyrics!

 There will be another creative writing prompt/exercise  posted here next Wednesday, 5pm Dublin time. More about the point of it all here.