This idea of “Less is more” was first adopted by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969).
When it comes to joke writing, it is often a process of removing away any superfluous words, before then adjusting the others that remain – all in all, a polishing process.
As one-liner comedian Milton Jones says, “One word can make all the difference.” He continues, “When you eventually get it right, you think: this must exist, surely? There can be a purity about perfect one-liners. It’s as if it’s not from you.”
I find it fascinating how in the end, there is something that remains that you would consider to be ‘perfect’, or complete, finished. It’s as if a good joke is a logical conclusion to a thinking process, self-evident in what it is attempting to achieve and not able to be improved upon with more work.