Chapter 1 – The Secrets of Jokes Structure

Chapter 1
The Secrets of Jokes Structure

Jokes, interestingly enough, people usually recognize jokes whether it makes them laugh or not. Why? Because there is some consistent, intrinsic jokes structure that everyone identifies. Until now, no one has presented this structure in an understandable manner–but that just changed. Explaining jokes structure to you is exactly what this chapter is all about.


The Secrets of Jokes Structure
Table of Contents

SETUP AND PUNCH

WHAT A JOKE DOES: Expectation and Surprise

HOW A JOKE WORKS: 1st Story and 2nd Story

THE THREE MECHANISMS OF JOKE STRUCTURE

TARGET ASSUMPTION and REINTERPRETATION: Two Interpretations of One Thing

JOKES WITH SETUPS

JOKES WITHOUT SETUPS

JOKES WITH PUNCHES

JOKES WITHOUT PUNCHES

CONNECTOR: One Thing Interpreted in Two Ways


The Secrets of Jokes Structure
Sample

Secret #1: A joke requires two story lines.

The setup of a joke creates a 1st story in our minds that leads us to expect something; then the punch surprises us with a 2nd story that’s compatible with, yet different from, what we’re expecting. For example, imagine a male comic, appearing to be completely grief-stricken, telling this joke:

(SADLY) “My wife just ran off with my best friend. Boy, do I miss him.”

The 1st story leads us to assume that the speaker is unhappy because he misses his wife. We expect the story to expand on that theme, so we’re surprised when the 2nd story reveals that he’s unhappy because he misses his buddy.

If you don’t have two stories you don’t have a joke. Be sure your joke has two stories.

To learn how to write jokes, you must first understand structure. In this book, Step By Step to Stand Up Comedy, chapter one explains joke structure. Buy it now to learn how to write jokes.

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