Most people will do almost anything to avoid being embarrassed, why is why, as Rob Long explains, embarrassment is the key to making something truly funny. But there’s a difference between personal mortification — “someone saw my nudes on my phone” — and professional humiliation — “I did a stupid thing in a meeting.” The latter can be used effectively as a way to build morale on a writing staff, or it can be deployed more nefariously to cause someone to leave the business entirely. Also, Rob cautions his listeners against committing the most ignominious act of self-humiliation: complimenting a show not on the network you are working with. Oops.
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When you’re filming a movie or a television show, when it’s the last shot of the day, the first assistant director will call out, “This is the Martini Shot!” I call these stories “Martini Shots” because they’re exactly the kinds of stories we tell — and lessons we learn — after we’ve wrapped for the day. - Rob Long