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Lessons on comedy and satire

As a way to bring their classroom lessons on satire and comedy out of the textbook and into the real world, Ward Melville High School Advanced Placement Literature & Composition students recently visited with a 2015 alumna and learned about her experience as an intern at Saturday Night Live.

During the event, Ward Melville graduate Rose Kelso discussed the process of bringing the show to fruition each week, which is a highly collaborative effort between the writers, guest hosts and performers. The class also discussed the elements of comedy and satire, more specifically.

Student Gabrielle Barry asked what Ms. Kelso has learned through experience, and she responded that it is important to be patient with oneself in seeking opportunities, and to be confident, it’s okay not to know everything right away, but be patient in order to learn and grow. Another student, Bobby Rau asked what makes the perfect joke, to which Ms. Kelso replied, timing, knowing your audience and understanding the situation. She added that comedy is based on contrasts (situational, ironic) and that comedic timing is measured in “beats” making the delivery of a joke as important as what is actually said.

Photo courtesy of the Three Village Central School District 

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