They say that laughter is the best medicine. Personally, I think I’ll get a second opinion from my doctor, but it’s certainly enjoyable. When you find yourself in the oh so common position of writing jokes, you may find yourself stuck. Here are some tips on writing good jokes.
Most people don’t think of comedy as something they have to study for. However, you need to educate yourself on your craft. Read jokes to get a sense of structure and timing. You should watch comedians telling jokes, too. Stick to formats similar to yours. The more you soak up, the more you will pick up on subtleties in your own jokes.
Make Yourself Laugh
If you don’t like your own jokes, why would anyone else? Write things that make you laugh yourself. When you say the joke out loud you should find yourself giggling. You will have more confidence about your jokes when you think they are funny.
When telling a joke, it’s easy to ramble on and on. While it might make sense to you as the joke writer, the people experiencing the joke are likely falling asleep before you can get to the punch line. Move quickly and get rid of any extra details that don’t matter. If the detail doesn’t add to the joke in any way, it’s not needed. Period.
Look For the Element of Surprise
It seems like every joke has already been told before. As a joke writer, you need to look for something that will surprise the people enjoying your joke. You want to throw a curveball to keep people on their toes. People will be more invested in your other jokes this way.
Establish an Identity
You should examine your style to see what kind of joke writer you are. Some people, like Mitch Hedberg, write one liners. Some people, like George Carlin, provide observational comedy. Daniel Tosh likes shock humor. Others still like to tell humorous stories. When you determine the type of writer you are, you can help guide yourself in the right direction. Feel free to step out of your lane a bit, but pull yourself back when you see yourself going off too far.
Identity isn’t only about the type of jokes you tell. You also want to establish your tone and content. Some people write dry jokes about being a loser in high school. Other people tell jokes about being a mom. Establish your identity. When you know your identity, it will be easier to establish and write for your audience.
Be Mindful of the Current Political Climate
It’s perfectly fine to push boundaries. However, you want to be careful not to push away a large portion of your audience. When writing jokes, be aware of the punchlines that might offend people due to current events. If you want to offend, be prepared for the backlash.
Check For Originality
Nothing will ruin a comedian’s career like stealing jokes. Just ask Carlos Mencia. After you write your jokes, take five minutes out of your life to search to internet. You just want to make sure that other people haven’t used your joke before. Believe it or not, you mat not be quite as original as you think. Whether you meant to do it or not, the end result will be the same.
Some people are funny. Some people are good joke writers. I happen to be neither. If you do have talent, you should use it to make the world laugh!