How To Write a Joke

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We get asked this question a lot.  How do you write a joke?  How do you know it’s going to be funny?  I’m going to give you 2 answers to this question.

board
Courtesy of David Razowsky. Also, this is an Improv Board, it applies to joke writing too.

1.  Write a joke.  Tell it to someone.  If they laugh, it’s a joke.  If they don’t, write another.  Repeat.

2.  Pick a subject.  Write down all of the things you know about the subject in one column.  Then write down all of the questions you have about the subject in another column.  Then, without doing any research, create answers to those questions based on your logic.  If some thing doesn’t make sense, try to write about what a scenario looked like the hypothetical moment someone made a decision to create the thing you don’t understand.  Then take all of that information and structure it so that you can make your statement or ask your question.

Why is it that _______________ is always ______________________?

OR

I find that _________________ is always _____________________.

Prove your point or answer your question by choosing one of the more believable, but absurd justifications you created.  JOKE.

OK, I lied.  That’s just one of 1000 ways to write.  There’s no real formula.  Joke writing is like riding a bike. You have to just keep doing it until you don’t fall as much.  But you will still fall off your bike.

You never know if a subject is going to be interesting to an audience or if you’re going to be funny, but I can guarantee this… if it’s not interesting to you, it definitely won’t be interesting to them.  Write jokes as if you are doing a show just for you.  Audiences are really there to see you, not your jokes.

The cure for a bad joke is 100 more jokes.  They all won’t be bad, they all won’t be good and they all won’t be great.  Write and write often.  Never care too much about the joke.  It’s just a joke and you have more.  Throw away the bad, keep the good and re-work the curious ones.

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