For those of you who are not screenwriters or sketch comedy writers, a “Blackout” is the way a scene or sketch can end, by quickly turning out the lights (or just cutting to a black screen in editing).
It is also used to describe a very short sketch with a quick comedic payoff. It’s kind of like a scene with a guy slipping on a banana peel – quick, fast, funny, and then weeks of back surgery later. But we don’t see the back surgery, because there’s a blackout!
Here are a couple Blackouts for your enjoyment.
INT. – VEHICLE
A man grabs tightly onto his steering wheel.
Get the hell off the road you piece
of shit! Oh, I’ll drive right up
your ass! I’ll fuck you like the
bitch you are, you cocksucking
He pulls over to the side of the road.
Lincoln Heights Elementary. Everyone off.
EXT – STREET
A young girl runs up to a man walking down the street.
Oh my God! I saw you on TV! You
were great! With the crying and the
pleading! And then your wife dying
under that bridge. So moving.
Are they going to renew you
for a second season?
That was the news.
So no then?