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As Armando Iannucci highlighted in this lecture, never underestimate the intelligence of your audience. Instead, take the ‘Field of Dreams’ approach: If you build it, they will come.

What this means is, don’t try and dumb down your writing by thinking that it’s ‘Too Clever’ for your audience. Grow up, stop being so full of yourself. If it’s funny, they’ll get it. If it isn’t, then re-write it.

Dumbing down your comedy can be incredibly condescending. People like to think they’re better than other people, and with subtle, intelligent comedy, people will pat themselves on the back for getting the joke.

If they don’t get it, you’re not writing for them.
If they still don’t get it, maybe it’s too obtuse or just not funny.

Carefully consider what you’re writing and who it’s for.

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