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A gag-packed insight into the inner workings of the comedy world.” – Bruce Dessau, Beyond the Joke

“Utterly indispensable guide for anyone wanting to make a living at comedy” – British Comedy Guide.

Comedian, Perrier nominee in a previous century, founder member of the Comedy Store Players: in the 1980s Dave Cohen was Britain’s Most Averagely Successful Stand-up Comedian. In recent years he has become Britain’s Most Averagely Successful Comedy Writer. He has worked on Have I Got News For You and Not Going Out and wrote most of the lyrics for the award-winning hit BBC Childrens’ Show Horrible Histories. He is one of the most respected teachers of comedy writing in the UK.

“An engrossing entertaining read.” Steve Bennett, Chortle

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About Dave Cohen

Writer, comedian, Edinburgh Festival Perrier Award nominee, founder member of the Comedy Store Players, Dave has been a constant presence on the British comedy scene for more than 35 years.

He – okay let’s drop the pretence that someone else is writing this. It’s me, Dave. I’ve written for some of the most successful TV shows including Have I Got News For You, Spitting Image, BBC sitcoms Not Going Out and My Family, and dozens of radio shows including News Quiz, Dead Ringers, Sunday Format and the award-winning 15 Minute Musical, which I co-created.

Dave Cohen in black & white, smiling

Latest blogs


For the last couple of weeks I’ve been urging you to be like the characters in your sitcoms, and to take a more proactive approach to your desire to be a comedy writer. I can’t guarantee that you won’t also end up like them. You might get into scrapes because

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Last week I congratulated you for becoming a capitalist. I appreciate you coming back for more. I know the majority of comedy writers are namby-pamby left-leaning do-gooders and you probably didn’t take kindly to being labelled as wannabezos with giant warehouses packed full of cheap shoddy merchandise stuck together by

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the changes happening in comedy right now are most advantageous to you, whether you’re starting out or have been bashing away for years.

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Welcome to February. Apologies if January was boot camp in tone. I find it hard not to get swept up in the excitement and anticipation generated by the artificial deadlines we impose on ourselves around this time of year. As though if we have a new idea on 28th December

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If you want to make a living as a comedy or drama writer, sooner or later you’re going to expect to spend some time working for the BBC. It’s as true now as it was when I began my comedy writing career writing jokes for BBC shows in 1983. There

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