Sometimes in life we have moments like a funny joke and we think ‘it’s like in a comedy’ or even better ‘such thing never happened even in the movies’. Keeping in mind that movie industry lives longer than hundred years. It’s simple. Our experience is always unique and everyone has a chance to deliver at least one funny joke or stunning plot influenced by their own life story.
The simple truth – every great comedian is using comedic structure. One of them is amazing comedian, actor and writer Jerry Seinfeld. Watch and enjoy a short video interview ‘How to Write a Joke’ with Jerry Seinfeld by The New York Times
Tips to write a Funny Joke
Prior going to find out joke writing methods, here is a summarised list of tips that will help you to find your funny jokes.
- Find your own method that works only for you (find below more about methodology)
- In order to create funny jokes you must have an understanding of what you find funny. If you don’t know what makes you laugh how can you expect to make others laugh?
- Labour-intensive hand-written process. Write as much as possible – log every idea of yours. Soon you will bring them into next level. It’s like learning to play tennis or ride a bike.
- Sit down and think of ideas. Imagine things. The more you train your brains for that the more ideas pop into your head unexpected, simply walking down the street
- Study comedy you like – see how it works. Don’t copy it, be inspired by it.
- Consider your joke structure – there are a couple of different ways to write and deliver jokes including the traditional set up and punchline, one-liners, or short stories
- Pay attention to every word, even syllable, as well as the syntax, grammar, rhythm and even the length of pauses in your joke
- Test material on a live audience – trying your jokes on your friends and family, its perfect way to test your jokes
- Be honest – write about your own opinions and experiences as much as possible. Don’t deliver material that doesn’t feel like you and don’t give an opinion that you think audience want hear.
- Try and connect your material – work on how each jokes fits with the next and the overall set
- Be succinct – remove anything superfluous from your joke until you have the bare bones.
- Constantly refine and rewrite your material.
A Joke writing methods
Finding your own joke writing methods may be tricky, but it’s worth trying to practise different techniques.
Take an initial idea and develop it until it is ready to become a funny part in your set. Write words for this idea and observe them up until the word become the punch line. Look back over it a little later, and write up a way to present those ideas to the audience.
If something’s not funny, ask yourself why it’s not funny. Analyse it. Yu will stuck at first. That’s ok, since it’s a learning process which is always painful.
One-liner by Mitch Hedberg: “Sometimes in the middle of the night, I think of something that’s funny, then I go get a pen and I write it down. Or if the pen’s too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain’t funny.”
One of the methods to write funny jokes, is to keep writing on your notebook. Try write funny poems which is easy to rhythm and remember. Pick top 10 that makes you laugh the most. Try to put them into a structure of your writing or the speech in a live stage or stand up performance. Find a connectivity that allows the jokes to fit together and work within a larger set.
Upside down method
It’s all about turning things upside down. Looking into people’s mind and turning things into opposite. If people find that it was unexpected scenario opposite their thinking, it leaves them amazed and normally makes them laugh.
Surprise factor method
This method is very well described by Jerry Coley, a founder of the Stand up Comedy Clinic. It is so well said by Jerry that there is no need to rephrase it:
“To understand how to write a joke, we must first understand why people laugh. Fact: the number one element that triggers human laughter is SURPRISE. It’s like magic, only with words. A magician surprises the audience when he does his trick. If there is no surprise, there is no trick. The formula for any magician is to have surprise. Without formulating surprise, you’re gonna have one hell of a boring act.
It’s the same with comedy. Once you understand this, you can do one of two things: 1. You can start to ramble and figure out how to surprise your audience: or 2. You can develop an understand of the structures or “formulas” in comedy that create surprise for the audience, whenever you want.
The key is for any joke to work, there has to be some kind of surprise. So the next question is: How to we create surprise? The easiest way to create surprise is to lead the audience to assume one thing then surprise them with something different. (See how it’s similar to magic?)”
To summarise, here are only few methods how to write funny jokes and build a comedy script. As mentioned above, every person must to find their own method that works best for him. Of course, trying and working on various techniques gives the best results in any area. Practise your joke and deliver it in the funniest way possible. Good luck!
Sources: www.standupcomedyclinic.com http://20bedfordway.com
Tags: comedy, funny joke, joke, method, writing