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Writing smart without losing your audience

Charlie Stockman and Chuck Armstrong form the comedy duo charles (Photo: Charles Comedy)

Charlie Stockman and Chuck Armstrong form the comedy duo charles (Photo: Charles Comedy)

Is there such thing as writing that is too smart for the audience? Charlie Stockman and Chuck Armstrong of the comedy duo Charles don’t think so.

“I honestly believe,” says Stockman, “that really good comedy - even when it’s smart - doesn’t go over people’s heads.”

Formed in Seattle, Charles has made a name for itself touring the country delivering brainy immersive sketch shows that somehow manage to stay accessible and thrilling to the audience. They make annual appearances at Toronto, Chicago, and San Francisco Sketchfest.  They have also won “Best Writing” and “Best Sketch Comedy” at the L.A. Comedy Festival, and “Best Film” at the Seattle Comedy Film Challenge.

In episode 4 of #TheEarlyDraft Podcast, Armstrong and Stockman sit down to discuss meaningful failure, the value of having a writing partner, and the balancing act required to make an audience of 200 see what’s funny about an 11th Century english poem.

CJ Hunt is a comedy writer and performer living in New Orleans. His NolaVie blog and personal brand, The Early Draft, is dedicated to comedians-in-the-making. It’s a look into the career decisions and creative processes of funny people chasing the dream. You will hear from comedians with big names. And those with names you haven’t heard of…yet. Check back each week for a look into that weird cluttered back-room workshop where comedians are made. Watch CJ work at GOcjhunt.com. Follow him on Twitter @gocjhunt.