How to Write Jokes

How to Write Jokes – Joke Premise Part 1


In my previous article, “How to Write Jokes – Association List,” I showed you how to use the association list to generate many ideas and details for your topic. In this article, How to Write Jokes – Joke Premise Part 1, I’ll define and discuss how to use the association list to create joke premises. Comedians talk about the joke premise all the time, but if you ask one to define it, they hem and haw and end up telling you one of their premises as an example. It strikes me as funny that an important technique such as the joke premise for how to write jokes has no clear definition and no one agrees on what it is. So, I’ll give you my definition the joke premise: a negative opinion about a subject A premise is not a topic. A topic is broad. The function of the premise is to narrow down the topic into more specific subjects. I can’t write jokes about the topic, “family,” because there are no details. But I can write jokes fr

How to Write Jokes – Association List


In my previous article, How to Write Jokes – Topic, I defined a topic and discussed how the jokes are in the details. In this article, How to Write Jokes - Association List, I'll  show how to use a list to uncover all of the topic's details to learn how to write jokes. The function of the association list is to take a broad topic and help you explore and compile the details related to the context of your topic. When beginning students have difficulty learning how to write jokes, it’s usually because they’re attempting to find jokes within some broad, general category. As soon as they dig into details, they find a wealth of ideas for how to write jokes. Let me define association list – a method to assemble related ideas and details. Making lists has been a primary tool of how to write jokes for centuries. The more details you list, the more subjects you’ll have for joke premises. Also, when detailed information is fed into a c

How to Write Jokes – Topic


In my previous article, How to Write Jokes - Introduction, I the importance of identifying and define the major terms and techniques of how to write jokes. In this article, How to Write Jokes - Topic, I’ll define the topic and discuss its role in how to write jokes. If you’re starting from nothing, the realization that you can write jokes about everything can be overwhelming. Therefore, narrowing your ideas from generalities to specific details is the primary function of all joke writing methods. The reason for this is that you cannot know how to write jokes about generalities. The jokes are in the details. The topic is the generality, and then it’s the function of list making and the joke premise, etc., to dissect your broad topic into details so you can then know how to write jokes. Topic: Single Category with Something Wrong There are two parts to this definition, “Single Category” and “Something Wrong.” Let’s go over t

How to Write Jokes – Introduction


In this article, How to Write Jokes - Introduction, I'll discuss the importance of defining all the terms to make it easier for you to learn how to write jokes. Every working stand-up comedian has been asked this question by someone – “Where do you get the ideas for your material?” The answer, of course, is “my life.” I say that because I don’t know anything about your life. There’s an old writing adage that says “Write what you know.” And, really, if you think about it, what else can you write? As a comedian you have one incredibly precious thing that no one else in the entire world has - your own perspective. That’s why I strongly urge you to know how to write jokes about your world as you perceive it, and the things that interest you and your own opinions and feelings. Tell your truth. Whether the audience agrees with you is not an issue. Many artists, from Picasso to Chris Rock, have expressed points of view that ran cou

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