Tuesday, 16 April 2013

How to write excellent jokes



Think of a time when you’ve made your friends laugh while just hanging out. Those laughs came from your specific shared context, which you used to make a clever observation, a cutting put-down, or something else that was funny. In this case, the premise—the setup—is woven into the fabric of ordinary life. Your hilarious quip (or whatever) was the punchline.
Lot of people have contacted me after my shows and have asked me about how to write good jokes. So I finally decided to reveal some of the tricks I normally use for writing the jokes.
Before going into the detailed discussion about how to write excellent jokes, first let us try to understand why people laugh. Because this is why we are trying to write jokes, to make people laugh!
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:

  • .      You can start to ramble and figure out how to surprise your audience
  • .      You can develop an understanding of the structures or “formulas” in comedy that create surprise for the audience, whenever you want.

So this brings us to the next question, how can we create surprise?  The simplest and easiest way to do so is to start your joke as a story, captivate your audience. Then makes them believe one thing and surprise them with something different. And that would be your punch line.
That was easy, wasn’t it? Now let me share few more tips about writing great jokes. 


  • Think about an interesting topic. An easy target may be a current event, celebrity, or something well known to your audience.
  • Twist it from something serious to anything that is entertaining or even absurd.
  •  Use familiarity in your jokes. Build up your joke on something that is common and your audience is familiar with it
  • Exaggerate things but don’t overstress while doing so.
  • Always be brief with your jokes, keep them short, simple and easier to understand for your audience
  • Show the irony in your jokes and twist them to make them funny
  • Always keep your audience in mind, be watchful of their mood
  • Playing with the numbers and always remember that truth is funny.
  • Never laugh at your own jokes, you must stay serious while telling jokes, a nice and simple smile is enough.