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I Laughed So Hard I Cried

On our first episode, we look at how collaboration happens in one of comedy's most storied (and tough) environments — the TV writers' room. It's where the magic happens, but it can also be one of the most brutally competitive places a creative person will ever work. We talk to two writer-comedians, Anne Lane and Wayne Federman, about their experiences working in writers' rooms on shows like Rick and Morty and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.


All original content in Plays Well with Others is available under a Creative Commons BY license.

Updated on April 26

Key Smash Notes In This Episode


The foundational element of every society is collaboration, not competition. Unfortunately, awards are given to individual humans, not teams.


Play well with others is taking an insider look at tools, techniques and realities of collaboration. They interview today's most interesting collaborators and study how they solve old problems with new methods. Every episode will tell you a story and explore one of its mechanics, such as rejection and gratitude.


"Yes, And" is about creating a forward-momentum, taking whatever the other performer is putting out and building on top of it, always adding information to the original idea in a collaborative spirit. "Yes And" enables to always keep things going, creating something ultimately bigger and better together.


You put a joke out and immediately getting it smashed up by everyone, and then you do it again and again.


If you take every flopped joke seriously, you will have a bad day. The goal is to focus on the discussion of what you are trying to achieve as a whole, as opposed to getting bogged down when your own jokes are not taken well. By collaborating and being willing to forgo one's own ideas, the group ends up with a better results as a whole.

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