At our first class, I gave us a homework assignment of trying to write 10 jokes with set up-punchline & tag before the next class on January 23rd.
Did you find this assignment more difficult than you ever expected in your life? Was it even harder then trying to silently open a package of
chocolate chip cookies at two in the morning so your spouse doesn't hear it?
Writing comedy can be hard!!! Sitting in front of a blank computer screen trying to be funny may be even more difficult
than standing in front of an audience trying to make them laugh. At least with an audience you can tell a knock knock joke
then say, "That's my time" and flee the stage.
This past week, I sat down a couple of times and tried to write jokes. I wrote down everything that flowed into my mind.
It all seemed so foolish and silly and nonsensical. Finally after about a half hour, I had the idea of looking online on a
website called "Silly questions that people asked." After reading a couple dozen of those, my comedy juices started flowing
and I wrote two jokes. One of the jokes made me laugh out loud for at least 15 seconds. (I am often found laughing out loud
This illustrates a comedy writing tip. Read other people's funny lines to spark your own funny lines. Get in the comedy river
and let the comedy ooze into your pores until something funny flows out of you. (Note- using a lot of water flowing symbols makes
the infants and elderly in your audience prone to having to take more bathroom breaks during your show. Just sayin')
Another technique for writing comedy is to have some comedy buddies. Five years ago, when I jumped into this foolish profession, I asked
two friends to help me out. We sat in a room and bounced ideas off of each other. None were of any value...UNTIL.... we came up
with one of my all time favorite jokes. This joke is so good (in my own head) that whenever I use it, half of the room will groan
and the other half will laugh. This joke always has an effect on the audience. So write your jokes with a couple of humor buddies. That will release a comedy brainstorm in the room. (Assuming that at least a couple of you have brains.)
DON'T GET FRUSTRATED AND NEVER GIVE UP!! In beginning your comedy growth, the biggest principle is to NEVER, EVER, EVER
EVER GIVE UP. You will win if you don't quit. (Eventually you will succeed in becoming funnier than you are and that is our goal of
The only way you can fail in this class is by giving up and not trying at all. Failing to make people laugh is not only an option, it is a
schoolmaster to teach you how to think like the audience thinks. Besides, you are comedian, you should rejoice in your failures and weave
them into future comedy bits. (If you don't believe me, check out these You Tubes :
I hope I have encouraged you to keep trying. I'm so "stoked" (whatever that slang word means) to seeing you again at our next meeting
at the library.