Chapter 4 – How to Improve Your Jokes

Chapter 4
How to Improve Your Jokes

Do you have jokes that just don’t get the laughs they deserve? Do you have a speech that needs punching up? Do you have funny jokes that you suspect could get even more laughs? This chapter is choked full of professional comedian’s tricks of the trade that will have you making a lack luster joke shine and teach you to take a single joke and turn it into a string of laughs.


How to Improve Your Jokes
Table of Contents

ECONOMY

END THE PUNCH WITH THE REVEAL

USING HARD CONSONANTS

RHYTHMS OF THREE

COMMON REALM OF KNOWLEDGE

QUOTE WHENEVER POSSIBLE

MAKE YOUR CHARACTERS SPECIFIC AND PERSONAL

LOCALIZE

ADAPTING YOUR JOKES

USING INCORRECT LANGUAGE

MAKING UP WORDS

SOMETIMES A SIGHT GAG IS BETTER

TAG YOUR JOKES


How to Improve Your Jokes
Sample

END THE PUNCH WITH THE REVEAL

As you remember, the punch is what the comic says or does to communicate the 2nd story. Within every punch there’s a pivotal word, phrase, or action that presents the 2nd story’s reinterpretation. I call this mechanism the reveal.

To properly construct a joke, make sure that this pivotal word, phrase, or action appears at the very end of the punch. There are two basic mistakes comics tend make in this area:

Unnecessary words are said or actions are done after the reveal
Talking or performing past the reveal is one of the most common and irritating errors. It usually occurs because the comic inserts mindless prattle beyond the point where the joke gets a laugh. I’ll show you what I mean by going past the reveal of this joke written by a gay student, Robert Smith:

“Do you know why gays are such good dressers? You try spending twenty years in the closet and see what happens to you.”

The wording “and see what happens to you.” has nothing to do with the joke and should be eliminated. Here’s how Robert correctly phrased the joke, ending with the reveal:

“Do you know why gays are such good dressers? You try spending twenty years in the closet.”

The word “closet” is the reveal, so “and see what happens to you” is useless prattle that only serves to defuse the joke’s power. And when a joke is performed past the reveal, the audience will stop laughing to hear what is being said.

How to Improve Your Jokes teaches you how to improve your jokes with proven techniques. How to Improve Your Jokes has secrets unknown by many comedians.

 

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