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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


No blog this week, instead a YouTube video with lots of advice. We talk a lot about script formatting, there’s also a discussion about writing tools (and inevitably, a joke about tools). We talk about the BBC and the plans they have for reading sitcom scripts (tl/dw: looks like they

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Let me introduce myself. One of the most rewarding exercises you can do to help work out who your characters are is to think about the first time we meet them. It’s amazing how much information you can get across. I haven’t seen a James Bond film in oh, oh

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Since lockdown I’ve been running a series of courses designed to help you speed from nought to first draft in eight weeks flat. I’ve just finished the fourth course and been amazed at the response. Initially thought hardly anyone would get there. In the ad for my course I hint

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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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