TWR014 - The Physics of Comedy (with Gonzalo Alarcón)

(recorded on April 22, 2020)

GONZALO ALARCÓN (Brussels, BE) started as a Circus performer on the streets of Chile. He then discovered the Art of the Clown, which continues to be his focus. His latest performance Chiringuito Paradise tells the story of the grand opening of a bar which ends in complete catastrophe.

This is the second part of a series of conversations spiraling around comedy. As these episodes will be quite long, you can use the chapters to jump to what interests you.

We are back in the room with Gonzalo talking about comedy. After some preliminary talk about the question “KEATON or CHAPLIN!?” we take our time to discuss the classic masters and why we need to look at their work and what we can learn from them; then we dive into the “anatomy” of the joke, the punchline, how to create a problem and finding a surprising solution to it, how to increase the “potential energy” of the joke, comparing it to music and especially concentrating again on rhythm. We find a lot of nice analogies to the laws of nature and are proud of having discovered the “Physics of Comedy”!

Part 1: The Music of Laughter
Part 3: Something Has To Communicate

Shownotes:
Larry Griswold Slapstick

Thanks to Eric Kooger (Amsterdam, NL) for the drum tracks.
Thanks to Jonas de Rave (Gent, BE) for the accordion tracks.

Chapters:
00:00:00 Keaton or Chaplin!?
00:00:32 Back in the Room with Gonzalo Alarcón
00:02:00 Chiringuito Paradise
00:06:45 Visual Comedy
00:08:28 Keaton and Chaplin
00:25:25 Learning from the Masters
00:31:00 Clichés, Principles, Intuition
00:36:53 Physics of Comedy
00:43:04 Tensions and Expectations
00:51:13 Know your Objective
00:58:10 Potential Energy – Building up the Problem
01:05:02 Too Much is Not Interesting
01:07:29 Rhythm
01:11:50 Bonus: Jesus joke


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