THE BEST ADVICE NUGGETS I HAVE RECEIVED WORKING IN ENTERTAINMENT

I wish I'd been smart enough to keep a journal for the past 22 years since my 1st job in TV, but I did write down little nuggets of advice I've been given. Most of them apply to writing jokes, but I think they can work for anything, if you hope to one day hit it medium in entertainment like I have!
  1. Put the funniest word last.
    - David Letterman
  2. Don't tweak a topical premise because you think it makes your joke better. The premise needs to have integrity. Be a journalist with your premise.
    - Bill Scheft
  3. You can write the funniest thing, and if it is not in the voice of the person you are writing for, it's not gonna work. Learn someone's voice until you could speak as and for that person. Then, you can start to gradually bring your voice in until your voice becomes part of their voice. Then you're indispensable.
    - David Letterman
  4. Don't be afraid to get fired. You should look forward to your first time getting fired because you're not having the entire professional writing experience until you get fired. If you can make it so your contract comes up and you're a little sad when you don't get let go, that's the best.
    - Spike Feresten
  5. Don't ever say that you are or your idea is stupid. There are plenty of other people to do that.
    - Charles Grodin
  6. If ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage. Or, it might wind up on the stage, but you're asking someone to bring a lot to something that you haven't even started to work out yet. Try to visualize how something you're pitching would happen and if there are any chunks your brain fast-forwards over, those are the holes in your plan.
    - Rosie O'Donnell
  7. Your career aspirations aren't birthday wishes where if you tell someone about them, they won't come true. Tell everyone. All the time. Never shut up about it.
    - Judy Gold
  8. Be generous with your laughter. It doesn't cost anything. Don't be a stingy laugher, especially with yourself.
    - Phyllis Diller
  9. Try not to make people listen to you clearing your throat. Do that in private.
    - Fred Graver
  10. I think people flex their calves when they masturbate and so people with very toned calves must masturbate a lot. When someone is making you nervous, try to look at their calves and draw a conclusion about their masturbatory habits and see if it doesn't bring a new sheen to the conversation.
    - Graham Norton
  11. Women are taught to behave and to wait for permission. That can stall your writing before you even start. You have some traits people from my generation would consider mannish. So do I! Don't change!
    - Joan Rivers
  12. Get mostly comfortable in your work, but stay a little nervous. If you weren't at least a little nervous you'd be an asshole.
    - Joan Rivers
  13. Just give me your one best vag joke. Pick the crowning jewel.
    - Bette Midler
  14. Being funny is huge. Not everyone can do it. But if you can be funny while breaking someone's heart a little bit, that's a whole other thing.
    - Merrill Markoe