I'm wondering if I dare try to sketch out the comic toolkit for Crafty TV Writing. I am even less of a crafty comedy writer than a crafty TV writer (thass why the book will have interviews), but I am noticing certain standard bits in the comedy I watch, e.g.:
The Two Edged Conversation
Ross is talking to Joey about A; Joey thinks Ross is talking about B. The dialog is crafted so it makes perfect sense to Ross, but makes embarrassing/wacky sense to Joey, who responds accordingly. A variant of this is --
Phoebe is pretending she's Estelle, but she doesn't know Joey knows Estelle is dead. So when Phoebe (as Estelle) says "I don't think I should visit you," Joey is far more relieved than he'd have been if Estelle had said it while she was alive.
Familiar Dialog in a New Situation
Chandler and Joey act like jealous ex-lovers, but they're just ex-roommates. The dialog is written so it sounds just like a lover's spat, but because we know they're straight, it's funny. The same thing happens when Monica has gone shopping at Bloomingdales with Julie, whom Rachel hates. When Rachel finds out, Monica says all the things cheating girlfriends/boyfriends say ("It didn't mean anything to me!") but because they were just shopping, it's funny.
Boy, explaining jokes sounds stupid.