Sports celebrity comedy is a specific genre that requires a unique skill set to coax authentic comedic performances from top athletes. Thor Raxlen has been building this toolkit along with his body of work for years and has found that his ability to write compelling scripts has greatly assisted him in this process. For instance, with his work for Dunkin’ Donuts, he walks onto set with 3 or 4 variations of lines from the script and then plays off what seems most natural and authentic for the talent.

The trick is to get the specific lines/humor that the brand needs but in the voice of the talent. "Sometimes you have to be prepared to let go of your ego if something better happens in the moment. I try to craft the best moments possible but then be open to happy accidents because that is often where comedy gold is born. It's never going to be funny if you're being too prescriptive," Thor says.

To share a good example of this, everyone expected Kayvon Thibodeaux to do his famous on-field dance on set but it turns out he didn’t think it was right, so Thor came up with this great little moment of him and his petite Dunkin Staff member having a muscle flex off instead.

While working with Nestor Cortés Jr, Thor took the opportunity to play off of his Hispanic background with the “My little Nestorcito” line. At the end of the day, the secret sauce is to be well prepared, but also be prepared to let go. 

View Thor's work and bio here: