By Thomas Leslie Willett

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Additional resources for A Reference Grammar of Southeastern Tepehuan (Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington Publications in Linguistics)

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There's no end to the ideas that can be conceived for using comedy. As we said in the beginning of this chapter, though—or as Charles Schultz said—the reward is in the doing. And that reward is much multiplied when you share it with others. A writing associate of mine always championed this cause. He told his children not to spend money for expensive gifts for him. He preferred that they put a little bit of themselves into their gifts and present him things that they made . . things like we've discussed here.

The Ability to Visualize This is a mental skill that will produce many jokes. If you analyze some of your favorite gags, you'll notice that many are funny because they conjure up a ridiculous image. I once did ajoke for Phyllis Diller's mother-in-law routine that fell into the "she's so fat t h a t . . " category. " The imagery here is that the woman looked like a battleship. The joke evolved as I let my mind wander into exaggerated visions of her size. I pictured a whale, a building, a truck, a tank, a battleship, and hundreds of other weird things.

Celebrities who came to catch his act were not exempt from his tirades—in fact, for them his assaults took on added fervor. Consequently, more and more celebrities showed up at ringside: they wanted to hear what the irreverent Rickles would say about them. I discovered firsthand how much people love to be kidded when I first began in comedy. My writing got m e a b i t o f a reputation and I was asked to be master of ceremonies at banquets. I always wrote comedy material specifically about the guest of honor.

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