Foxworthy splits her time between writing and performing | News, Sports, Jobs
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy doesn’t practice his routine while standing in front of a mirror.
He doesn’t worry about what his routine looks like when he performs because he thinks about how it’s written. He considers himself a writer.
“Writers are not writers, because we want to be writers. We write because we have to write. said Foxworthy.
He said writing is never easy and comedians don’t come on stage and tell jokes as they come to them.
“I suppose people might think you’re going out and thinking about it on the spot, but that’s not the case,” said the actor.
Foxworthy noted that budding writers should read Bird By Bird: Some Instructions for Writing and Living, by Anne Lamott. He said she recounted her writing routine and how she put her words on a blank page or an empty computer screen.
He said writing can also be cathartic and gives a writer a sense of accomplishment when they know they’ve written a good sentence or paragraph.
“And you’re like, ‘Dang, that’s good. Yeah, that’s, that’s good. You’re a writer, that’s what God put in you. he said.
Also, Foxworthy said, writing can be intimate when a writer may struggle to get words on a page. When a writer crafts his sentences and paragraphs to the point where he knows they are good, then the writer knows he has conveyed what he was trying to convey.
The comedian divides his time between writing books and his stand-up routine. According to his website, jefffoxworthy.com, Foxworthy is one of the country’s most respected and successful comedians. He is the best-selling comic artist in history, multiple Grammy nominee and best-selling author of 26 books. Widely known for his “redneck” jokes, his act goes far beyond to explore humor in everyday family interactions and human nature.
“My wife said if I didn’t do something creative, I would implode” he said. “So I always do something creative. So it’s almost like, wherever the moment takes me, if I have an idea for a book or a game, then I’m hyper-focused on that one thing for a while. And that’s where I’m going.
He said his creativity kept him busy working on projects. He will start working on comedic material (songs) and maybe try them out at a local club to gauge how funny they are. But then he will try to refine the material. And that can take a few days, he said. His wife has a picture on her phone of him sitting at their kitchen table working on his gear. He has note cards. He typed notes, notebooks, as well as notes on his phone.
“And so this is me sitting at the kitchen table writing and I didn’t even know she took the picture.” he said. “She said people would be shocked, like in The Wizard of Oz, to see what happens behind the curtain.”
And even though his board may seem full of clutter, he knows exactly where every piece of information is, so for him, it’s organized.
“If someone ever came to organize it (the table), I couldn’t find anything”, he said.
Foxworthy invented a game called Relative Insanity where players hold punchlines about loved ones in their hands. A player then launches a configuration, he said, which can be something like, “Just before Dad walked me down the aisle, he leaned over to me and whispered blankly.” So players react to the setup by throwing punchlines that they think will get the most laughs.
He said that once he formulated the game, he started writing.
“I literally sat there and wrote 1,000 punchlines. I opened up the computer, and they didn’t even have to make sense, necessarily, (they were) just things that seemed funny,” he said.
Foxworthy thinks all comedians have a giant glass bowl full of words.
“And in that, the object is to go through them and put them in the right order.”