Anatomy of a Joke


I’ve had a long-time fascination with and love for stand-up comedy. It’s every bit as much an artform as songwriting, painting, or swordsmithing. In this short video, Jerry Seinfeld (one of the great ones), pulls the curtain back and shows us a little of how the machine works. (If you enjoy the behind-the-scenes of comedy, you might also enjoy the 2002 documentary Comedian, which follows Jerry on his first stand-up tour after leaving TV.)

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


  1. AE

    My co-workers wandered into my office just now to see what all the fuss was. Seems my clapping, laughing, and screaming YES is disruptive. Whoops.

    Thank you for this. I’m glad to see I’m not the only writer who finds the cursor cursed and who needs the yellow legal pad to craft.

  2. aimee

    Did anyone else feel a strong desire for pop-tarts after hearing him say the word so many times? The chocolate kind, or the brown sugar, strawberry always came in dead last.

  3. aimee

    okay, chocolate flavored cardboard!

    actually, pop-tarts are wrapped up nicely with my grandmother, some hot cocoa and saturday morning cartoons. though I keep them right there in my memory, where they can still taste that 10-year-old-child-with-Scooby Doo good. It might not be wise to test them out now…

  4. Tony from Pandora

    “To waste this much time on something this stupid… that felt good to me.” that may be my new life verse…

  5. Michael Crosswhite

    The thing I like about this is it states plainly what is often misunderstood: artists spend a tremendous amount of time working on their craft. I read a book and think, “Man this is so amazing.” Then I try to write and go, “Wow this is crap.” In reality the book I read probably started out like crap 10,000 times before it was ever good. Time. Patience. Practice. It takes all three.

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