Scott Adams’ 2-of-6 Rule
Scott Adams has shared his secret of writing humour. Not a well-kept secret, admittedly, since he described it in more detail in his book “The Joy of Work”, but it seems like a pretty good rule. There’s six elements, and you can get humour by mixing at least two of them…
“Dilbert works best when cute Dogbert is doing something cruel, in a clever way, to people we recognize. Thatâ€™s my version of 4-of-6 and I rarely hit it. Usually I start with a recognizable business situation and just make something cruel out of it. On a good day I can do it in a clever fashion. On a bad day I introduce some bizarre character like a giant talking cucumber. On average, I hit only 2 or 3 of the elements. Thatâ€™s good enough to run in 2,000 newspapers, but it still isnâ€™t a pimple on Snoopyâ€™s buttocks.”
Go read the full article for his explanation, including comic strips that show you what he means, and why he loves Calvin and Hobbes and Snoopy so much.