Funny Story, Humour, ISMO, Laughing, Laughter Theoretics, NWH2019, Teaching, The essence of humour
Comedians make it look easy, but coming up with a funny joke actually takes a lot of forethought. You’ve got to pick a target and find a way to make fun of it that delights, rather than offends, your audience. It can be a fine line to walk, but the results are worth it! Read this article to find out how to make a joke that’ll have your friends rolling with laughter.
Coming Up With a Target
Joke about yourself.
Using yourself as the butt of your own joke is a sure way to get people cracking up. There’s something about self-deprecating humour that triggers schadenfreude, the act of taking pleasure in someone else’s pain, and this forms the foundation of many famous comedians’ jokes. Figure out what’s sadly hilarious about you and offer it up for laughs.
- ”I’m really good in bed. I can sleep for like 10 straight hours without waking up once.” — Jen Kirkman
- ”The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much I play, I’ll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They’re relentless.” — Mitch Hedburg
Crack one about your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend.
We’ve all seen comedians use their SOs as funny joke fodder. So many people can relate that you’re bound to get a few hearty laughs. If you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you can make fun of boyfriends and girlfriends in general.
- ”Straight guys will never know how expensive it is to be a woman. And that’s why you pay for dinner.” — Livia Scott
Target a group of people.
Hipsters, rednecks, politicians, lawyers, rich people, kids, elderly people, men, women . . . the list goes on and on. Jokes about groups of people get some of the hardest laughs of all, but be careful not to go to far – you might offend people.
- ”Everyone knows hipsters are like human bedbugs. You see one, there are probably 40 more under your bed, judging your music.” — Dan Soder
Joke about a place or situation.
At a bus stop, high school, sports dugout, airplane, office, coffee shop, bathroom, and so on are all excellent fodder for jokes. Figure out what’s quirky, annoying or surprising about somewhere you’ve been or something you’ve seen.
- ”I grew up near Newark, New Jersey. If New York City’s the city that never sleeps, Newark, New Jersey is the city that watches you sleep.” — Dan St. Germain
- ”I will never understand why they cook on TV. I can’t smell it, can’t eat it, can’t taste it. The end of the show they hold it up to the camera, ‘Well, here it is. You can’t have any. Thanks for watching. Goodbye.’” — Jerry Seinfeld
Home in on a specific person or current event.
Talk about someone or something famous, like the president, a Hollywood celebrity, a sports figure, or someone else who’s often in the news. Jokes about famous people are great, since most people will know what you’re talking about and enjoy laughing at the expense of the rich and famous.
- ”I wonder if Jeremy Irons ever quietly laughs to himself while he’s ironing.” — Jon Friedman
- ”I’ve been wearing so many scarves lately that I wonder if my ancestors were part Steven Tyler mike stand.” — Selena Coppock
Add an element of the absurd.
Create a bizarre contrast between your target and something else. This brand of humour is especially appealing to kids, teenagers, and fans of slapstick.
- ”If toast always lands butter-side down and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast to the back of a cat and drop it?” — Steven Wright
Say something shocking or unexpected.
What hasn’t already been said? What unique angle do you have? You can also get people to laugh by saying something that wouldn’t normally be said about a group or person that’s perceived as innocent, like kids, your grandma, nuns, kittens . . . you get the picture.
- ”A friend will help you move. A best friend will help you move a body.” — Dave Attell
- ”If God had written the Bible, the first line should have been ‘It’s round.”’ — Eddie Izzard
Fall back on an old standard.
Certain types of jokes seem to consistently elicit laughs even though we’ve all heard them before. Think “your mama” jokes, jokes about nagging girlfriends, and jokes about messy boyfriends.
- ”Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.” — Jerry Seinfeld
- ”A grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender says, ‘Hey, we have a drink named after you!’ The grasshopper looks surprised and says, ‘You have a drink named Steve?”’
Make it relatable.
You’re not going to get people to laugh unless they can see a bit of themselves in the joke. If they don’t identify with either you as the joker or with the target, you’re going to have some blank looks on your hands. When people relate to a joke, it gives them a cathartic release – and that’s why people like jokes in the first place, isn’t it?
- ”Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m a schizophrenic, and so am I.” — Billy Connolly
- ”Ladies gotta say no to their husbands at the movies. They gotta say: ‘No, we are watching back-to-back cancer movies. And then this movie about a cat.”’ — Tina Fey
Tell a joke so stupid it’s funny.
Puns fall into this category, as do blond jokes, baby jokes, and knock knock jokes.
- ”I will not talk to someone who has less than 10 toes. I am LACK TOES INTOLERANT.” — Gilbert Gottfried
Nailing the Delivery
Know your audience.
The target of your joke has to be funny to your audience, or you’ll be facing a stone-faced crowd. Don’t plan to target high school girls if you’re trying to make a room full of them laugh. Tread carefully if you’re targeting a political or celebrity figure in his or her hometown. A joke that would be hilarious to one group of people might cause another group to start throwing rotten vegetables.
Keep it simple and short.
Telling a long story that takes more than a minute or two will likely bore your audience. Practice telling shorter jokes so you can get a sense for how to best deliver them before you move on to telling full-blown stories. Remember that the best jokes aren’t always the smartest, most detailed jokes; you’ve got to hit people in the funny bone.
- Watch the people you’re talking to. If you see their eyes start to wander, wrap up the joke.
- You can tell more than one joke in a row if the first one gets some laughs. Build on the energy you created.
Master the deadpan expression.
If you’ve got a big grin on your face when you’re telling a joke, people will get distracted. Plus, smiling at your own joke sort of gives away the ending before you have a chance to get there. Instead, keep a straight face, make eye contact, and deliver the joke as if you were saying something as mundane as “I’m going to the store for a gallon of milk.” Your delivery is as important to the humour of your joke as the content.
Get the timing down.
After you deliver the setup of your joke, pause for a moment before giving the punch line. This gives people the chance to ponder and guess for a moment before you surprise them with your hilarious insight. Don’t wait too long, though, or the energy of the joke will die.
- ”A man walked into the doctor’s. He said, ‘I’ve hurt my arm in several places.’ The doctor said, ‘Well don’t go there any more.’” — Tommy Cooper
- ”I don’t care if you think I’m racist. I just want you to think I’m thin.” — Sarah Silverman
Take a look at he next video of Ismo, a finish comedian who lives in America. He tells a joke about the word ‘ass’. In this monologue everything that I have written about above in this article comes together.
- Most jokes aren’t made in ten minutes. It may take you a while to get one of your own that makes sense.
- You’ll get better with practice.
- Always use tact with jokes concerning race, religion, nationality, etc. Whenever in doubt, simply ask: “Would anyone object to my telling a potentially offensive joke?”
- A good and successful joke requires a good sense of ‘intertextuality’. a media term: Using the public’s knowledge in a pun, or other subject.
- Jokes are only funny once. Don’t repeat jokes, even if you think someone wasn’t listening, as this can lessen their effect. Most likely, someone else will tell them what the joke was.
- Be prepared for failure.
How do you make a joke? Or do you have any other tips & Tricks?.
Please leave a comment then !!