Meera Syal explores how comic effects can be created in writing using examples from '1066 and All That' by W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman. She focuses on timing, pace, rhythm, the rule of three and how through use of these constructions the reader's expectation is inverted.

This clip is from:
Curriculum Bites, English
First broadcast:
4 October 2007

This clip is useful as a starting point when exploring comedic writing, perhaps from columnist-style articles. Watch the clip, identify features, then explain how these are used in a text or compare how they are used across a range of texts.
The clip could also be used to launch a speaking and listening exercise where you ask them to do a 30 second ‘stand up’ spot. Working in pairs they can coach each other to include an 'undercutting short sentence', 'pretend evidence', 'rule of three' and 'word play' to say something funny for half a minute (you can suggest topics – my family, my journey to school, or something more topical).