How It's Made: 22 Minutes edition

Be regaled

Oh, the antics they get up to!
Oh, the antics they get up to!

Continuing with the comedy avalanche that is a major part of the Halifax Pop Explosion, This Hour Has 22 Minutes Presents: Meet The Writing Team Behind the Comedy pulls back the curtain to reveal the wizards behind the long-running political comedy show (Thursday, October 24, 7pm, The Seahorse Tavern, $15). It’s one measure inside baseball, and another How It’s Made. Hosted by Stephen Cooke, the 22 Minutes writers (Jon Blair, Bob Kerr, Mike Allison, Sonya Bell and Greg Thomey) will pull out all the stops, providing an uncensored look at how to make jokes. Aspiring writers/comedian hopefuls/currently boring people should attend and take careful notes.

HPX comedy curator Stephan MacLeod says the event was “inspired by The Paley Center's YouTube videos—awesome panel discussions with writers of TV shows. Shows like this tend to cater to comedy nerds and aspiring writers that want a peek behind the scenes of cult shows.”

The panel show also gives you a chance to see the comedy stars of tomorrow, today. Treat them with the appropriate amount of respect, OK? “It seems like today comedy writers are building followings of their own that can almost rival the popularity of the shows they write for, this format is perfect for highlighting their contributions,” says MacLeod. “With 22 Minutes a ton of up and coming comics are off camera contributing awesome things so it’s cool to get a look at who they are and learn about their process.”

About his experience working in the 22 Minutes writers room, Jon Blair says: “You hear about these things being meat grinders, I certainly did, but that's never been the experience for me.” Blair says new writers are brought in regularly from a variety of backgrounds to provide a fresh perspective.

The panel will give fans of the show a chance to see exactly how much gets left on the cutting room floor when writers are spitballing jokes. “I think one thing that might surprise people is the amount of material that gets produced in the room on a weekly basis,” says Blair. “There's a lot of us in there and we're all taking our own shot at different topics, so when a joke gets told about something on the show, it's actually the one that got chosen out of like 10 jokes we wrote on that topic. We also shoot a lot more every week than actually makes air, we probably use about half of what we shoot.” And here I am feeling guilty throwing out elastic bands.

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