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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


If you want to make a living as a comedy 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 are no

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In the current episode of Sitcom Geeks ( James Cary and I talk about the importance of reading. James discusses it in its noblest form – you read to expand your knowledge of the world, not just to confirm your prejudices as you scroll down your reading machine of choice.

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Last week we looked at topical comedy as one of the quickest ways to become a professional paid comedy writer. There’s still time to decide if that’s for you – don’t forget you can sign up at today for 10 free daily emails. Unfortunately writing topical comedy is also

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Less than a week into the new year it’s still time for sweeping announcements of bold predictions. I can still confidently predict that if you want to become a comedy writer then 2021 is going to be a fantastic year to put good habits into place and to learn how

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Can you have comedy without jokes?

Every so often there’s a review of a comedy show (invariably in The Guardian) that says something like “this is such a great comedy show and one of the reasons is that they don’t bother with jokes.” I exaggerate for comic effect, but not much.  You should see us comedy

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Plotting – the final journey

Welcome back to Part Two of the Holy Grail of Plottery. Yesterday I left you in suspense – all was lost for our main character, everything that could possibly go wrong had gone wrong, the only possible outcomes were humiliation, destitution, isolation, pain, death. Given that this is supposed to

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