Not all jokes work, which becomes very clear when you tell one in front of an audience. Audiences laugh or don't based on a series of mysterious brain functions, and when they don't laugh, and you're the writer, you have a couple of choices. You can fix the joke, which is something every writer tries to avoid, because, well, it's work – that's not because we're lazy – or, I should say, it's not just because we're lazy. Rewriting a joke on the fly, during a show, entails rewriting it on the stage and having the actor say the new lines in front of an audience that knows exactly what's happening. Not a recipe for success. My preferred method for dealing with a joke that doesn't work is simple...
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