There are many comedians currently who feel you cannot learn how to be humorous. I see where they are coming from, but I disagree. A number of you out there may never have the talent necessary to be a stand-up comic, which clearly has not stopped lots of you from trying, bless your hearts. No measure of education is likely to transform you into a Ron White if you don’t have the talent. But here’s what is great: it is possible to learn to be more amusing. And many times it is more than enough. It is like singing. I could take as many lessons that I choose and I’ll never ever sing like Celine Dion no matter how many showers I take. But with some instruction I would sing better – its possible I could become good enough to sing back up or to sing in the choir. And, who knows, it could be there is a super star inside of me after all. It is the very same with humor. I am funny by nature. Then I started exploring how to create what I did naturally. And I trained myself to become genuinely funnier. I’m still learning. But here is what I am able to share at this point.
How to Describe Humor?
This is such a hard question and I don’t have all the right answers, but I will give one of several explanations that seems to apply to much of comedy. It’s the ability to make your audience believe you will say or do one thing, and then suddenly saying or doing another. Setting the group up to anticipate one thing and then suddenly destroying that assumption. The approaches to do this are as wide-ranging as the many assumptions we make as humans – assumptions that will vary based upon location, customs, maturity, life circumstances, etc. As an example, suppose a guy just said his spouse ran off with his best friend. There are actually several facts we tend to surmise: that he misses his wife, that he’s mad at this particular wife, that he is outraged at his very best friend, etc. I observed a comedian once proclaim, “My wife took off with my closest friend. Gosh, I’ll sure miss him.” That is funny.
We suppose mailboxes will not talk, therefore when the mailbox spoke back on Candid Camera, we all chuckled. We all suppose that if a man is walking in a straight line with absolutely nothing apparent blocking him, that he will definitely continue to travel that straight course. So the instant he stumbles, or hits the side of a tour bus, we giggle. Merely because we just weren’t anticipating it.
You Shouldn’t Look For Funny, Search For True Instead
Humor starts with the circumstances we notice to be true about daily life. At this point in the game we are not aiming to get a laugh. We are actually aiming for the topics we find to be true of living which many people, young and old, are able to relate to. It is an extensive subject. Consequently, let me try to make this easier and teach you to search for those factors in life that you think are strange, hard, alarming or foolish. A majority of these are attitude words and phrases and I’m not the first or the last to make use of them. Merely seek out a situation and ask yourself just what you uncover to be creepy, complicated, distressing, or foolish about that topic.
Such as: What’s really hard in regards to marriage? If you’re hitched, I can envision that plenty of factors come to mind. How about: What’s frightening regarding driving drunk? Or: What is actually weird about tv ads?Let me to remind you that the aim is not really to think funny, but to think truth. The amusing will come afterward. Stay to your attitude words. I advocate that you find a spiral notebook to get started compiling all these haphazard thoughts simply because you will do a a bunch of creating well before you create something you will definitely wish to keep. The moment I take a seat to write, I like to think of a problem and basically let the imaginative process loose. At times I write on the subject of what it was like being an chubby adolescent – what exactly was unusual, challenging, terrifying or foolish about it. Many times I write on the subject of being the oldest child, or being an older mom.
Two issues to guide you any time you proceed through this practice:
- Visualize problems various individuals may connect to. These people will not have to have struggled with that exact same dilemma, but you need to discover something that they ought to empathize with. You probably don’t want to speak regarding what is hard regarding growing up having a llama because chances are strong nobody in your audience will be able to relate to that. Then again they might connect to the death of a family pet, or wished for some manner of unusual animal as a pet.
- The more precise you get your situation, the better. Rather than talking about normal dating, have you considered talking about web based dating. As an alternative to using the subject of being a parent, why not look at what it is like to be a very lazy mother or father. Whenever you go for a general topic, keep in mind that 100s of other comics are throwing themselves at the same conventional concern. To be one-of-a-kind (which is key in comedy) you will need to become much more unique.
Putting the Joke Together
Let me begin the process by stating there is no standard joke. There are plenty of various recipes floating around in the world developed by different people as they share their very own original method to joke design. Choose the methods that make the most sense for you. Read the books. I recommend Judy Carter’s The Comedy Bible for starters. Then find Greg Dean’s book on Standup Comedy. Those are my two favorites, but you have a lot to choose from. Analyze. Practice. And Create!
Jokes are told and presented in lots of unique ways – almost as distinctive as the particular individual creating the joke. But if you peel it all away, you’ll find that every joke consists of two elements: the setup and the punch. You may hear it called different things by different people. However, it still means the same thing.
The setup is definitely the serious component of the joke. This is where you set your audience up. This is where you push them to come up with an assumption. Many comics will wrongly try to make their setup funny. Don’t try this. Ensure it is true.
As an example:
I dropped fifty pounds.
There’s nothing humorous concerning this fact.
Here’s the punch:
Oh, not at one time. I lost ten, gained twenty,lost five, gained two.
Okay, so it is not the funniest joke on earth, but it’s an example of how a joke comes with two parts. And, incidentally, the setup may very well be one line or even a full paragraph. Whatever it takes.
The punch will be the next section of the joke where you stun your listeners. The punch is where you exclaim what they do not expect you to say. Right here is the humorous part. And there are a slew of ways to shock your listeners.
And that is it. I recognize that sounds way too easy to be true. Believe me, it is usually anything but simple. It requires work and a great deal of writing. It will take writing twenty bad jokes to get one good one. But if you carry on and work through the process, you will get much better at it. So allow me to leave so you can get to work.