Thinking 'bout: anyway
"There are no good quotes about anyway."
Let's break up with "anyway." We don't need it.
I was watching a not great cartoon the other day, and they were big into "anyway" humor. You know it, it looks something like this:
Two people are watching a stand-up comedian who happens to be an ear of corn. The corn stand-up tells a joke, the audience laughs.
Person 1: Wow! What a corny joke!
Person 2 stares in silence.
Person 1: You know, 'cuz he's CORN.
Person 1 or 2: Anyway...
Writers: If you're writing "anyway" then chances are you should edit out whatever you just wrote. "Anyway" at best means "let's get back to the stuff that actually matters" and at worst means "I don't like what was just said, and it doesn't matter."
Improvisers: the latter reason is why you should break up with "anyway." If you're saying it, then you're not responding to the last thing that was said...in fact, you're probably denying it. You're trying to direct a scene back to something which has already passed, so you're not present. You're not supporting. Anyway is your enemy.
And in life in general (and therefore, sometimes in writing and improv, too) anyway is often an unnecessary apology. It's a diversionary tactic to run away from judgment and/or awkward silence. But what if we didn't grab for the "anyway" life preserver? What if we swam in silence just a bit longer?
So, I've been thinking 'bout anyway.
And any way I think 'bout it, I don't think I want it.