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School Of Laughs

Welcome to the School of Laughs podcast. I am your host, Rik Roberts.

My goal is to help you get bigger, better, and more bookable as a comedian. Use the search tool at to find episodes on your favorites topics within comedy.  Be sure to subscribe and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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May 7, 2015

047 BOB HOPE & BEYOND - Interview with comedy writer Martha Bolton 

Martha Bolton is a joke-writing machine! As a staff writer for Bob Hope for over fifteen years, Martha developed the comedic muscles to crank out an incredible amount of comedy material. Many others including Phyllis Diller, have hired Martha to produce comedy gold.

In this interview, Martha walks us through the steps of her journey from writing jokes for “roasts” as a church secretary all the way to becoming a poet, lyricist and playwright. As if that isn’t enough, she is also the author of over 88 books!

Every generation listening will gain insight into the many facets of comedy writing. From having to throw out and rewrite an entire set of jokes merely hours before a show, to how the advent of the fax machine changed the way she delivered jokes.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • How much she got paid for her first joke
  • How many jokes her and seven other writers cranked out in one weekend
  • The staggering amount of hours of prime time television she has contributed to
  • How amazing it was to be sitting in a dressing room with the likes of Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, & George Burns
  • A unique way Bob Hope stored and protected the jokes he was given
  • A great story about Bob Hope covering for one of his writers
  • How comedians may want a president to take office strictly based on potential material
  • How she has tapped into “writing by emotion”
  • A simple but powerful tip on how to make progress as a comedy writer
  • A way of “scoring” her material to weed out the weaker jokes
  • How her and her fellow writers would react when Bob delivered one of their jokes that killed (and how they reacted when it didn’t)
  • Why other people can see a joke’s potential when you can’t
  • The confidence of Bob Hope in his patient delivery

and much, much more

To find out more about Martha Bolton ...


IMBD website



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