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bjmendelson's avatar

What goes into a comedy writer's packet that they send to agents?

Asked by bjmendelson (7points) January 14th, 2011

I’m looking for suggestions on what to include to prospective entertainment agents. I can’t seem to find any details online other than “Then I sent them a packet”.

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8 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

Can you include a few more details about what it is you do exactly please. While I don’t work in entertainment, my father does, so do a lot of his friends, and so do a couple of people I know.

At the moment, I’m imagining someone who writes either jokes or bits and then sells them. If that is the case, one thing you will want to send for sure is video of people using your material, with lots of crowd reactions.

bjmendelson's avatar

I’m looking to write for television shows, specifically the late night ones. I don’t have delusions that they’ll take my material, I just want to have something together if an opportunity comes up.

So, that’s really my focus here.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Maybe you could get someone to do some of your material for a youtube video. You could green screen in a late show kind of set, then you could link them to the video.

The word “packet” insinuates that you would send more than just demo material, so you will probably want to include a few other things.

I would send:

* One A4 page with all contact details and an introduction letter.
* Two A4 pages containing a demo script, with a URL at the bottom to see someone doing the material.
* A DVD containing the same video as the URL on the script.
* One A4 page with technical info, such as what subjects you can cover, how long it takes you to write a script, when you are free to work and so on.
* A final A4 page that refferences past experience and examples of people on TV using your material (if any)

bjmendelson's avatar

This is very helpful. I appreciate it. What’s an A4 page?

marinelife's avatar

“First you need writing samples ready to go. Kent Haines discusses how Donald Glover got an email from the producer of 30 Rock one night (that happens to you too, right?) and sent over scripts he had ready to go.

It’s a good question, because, you see, comedy writers write. Every day. Hours on end. They generate piles and piles of useable, polished material. Comedy writers are obsessive about generating new material, with reworking old material. They have big comedy muscles that don’t get tired from generating day after day after day, for hours on end…

I constantly get asked about what goes into a writing packet. The useless but most truthful answer is that it doesn’t matter as long as it’s great. It can be sketches, top lists, jokes, columns, standup, etc. It doesn’t matter so much what it is, just that it shows that you are drop dead, unquestionably, and forever funny…”

Sandpaper Suit: The Comedy Blog of Matt Ruby

bjmendelson's avatar

Nice find. Thank you.

Jeruba's avatar

A4 is a paper size. It means standard 8½” x 11” paper.

bjmendelson's avatar

Thank you for letting me know!

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