In my previous blog,Greg Dean Comedy Tip 3: Some Performing Advice, I offered several tips to improve a comedy show. In this blog, Greg Dean Comedy Tip 4: Learn Joke Structure, I’ll explain several advantages of knowing joke structure.
Greg Dean Comedy Tip 4:
Learn Joke Structure
Most comedians did not learn joke structure. Even with this lack of knowledge, working comedians can and do write great jokes. My intent isn’t to bash comedians, but rather to illustrate the advantages of knowing joke structure and to encourage working and beginner comedians to learn the mechanisms there.
To learn joke structure take my stand-up comedy classes Los Angeles. The first advantage when you learn joke structure is that it makes it easier to write jokes. All jokes have a very specific structure. It’s confusing because not all jokes have performed setups and some jokes have implied punches. So to try and learn joke structure by only using the setup and punch model is futile. Instead, I teach that all jokes have five mechanisms which connect setup and punch. Using these five mechanisms I’ve developed the first new joke writing system in the last hundred years, The Joke Prospector. You can learn joke structure in my stand-up comedy classes Los Angeles.
Joke writing from inspiration often works best, because the jokes are created from an intuition sent from the unconscious mind. The downside is that comedians must wait for a bolt of comedic lightning. If they’d learn joke structure, they’d be able to generate jokes at will, by using these five mechanisms. This is significant because working by inspiration alone hampers the quantity of material a comedian can generate. And as every comedian knows…you can never have too much material.
The next advantage when you learn joke structure is being able to analyze and fix jokes. Often the intuitive joke writer will know there’s something off with a joke, but just can’t quite figure it out. Using the five mechanisms can help pinpoint specifically what’s not working in a joke, which leads to the ability to correct it. In most stand-up comedy classes, the comedy teachers only know if a joke works or it doesn’t, not why. A few can correct the jokes, but since they also did not learn joke structure they cannot teach their students how to do this for themselves. I’m very proud that in my stand-up comedy classes Los Angeles advanced students fix jokes in class, and they’ve only been writing for just a few months. Another advantage when you learn joke structure is being able to recognize the laughs within the storytelling style of stand-up comedy as jokes. If the comedian or comedy teacher is still looking at jokes as setup and punch, they’re missing the entire class of jokes based on existing information and immediate environment. To the educated mind, the basic structure of those jokes is exactly the same as one-liner jokes. Take the time to learn joke structure.
The final advantage of when you learn joke structure is knowing that all the material a comedian performs on stage is actually jokes. I often go to comedy clubs and rooms and watch beginner and midrange comics trying material. Most of it isn’t in joke structure. They’re usually mistaking premises and absurd ideas for jokes. When they get to bits in joke structure, they get laughs. Jokes are a specialized form of communication that need to be studied so you can determine what is and isn’t a joke.
You can learn jokes structure from my stand-up comedy classes Los Angeles You can obtain all these advantages when you learn joke structure from my book Step By Step to Stand-Up Comedy or my workbook How to Write Jokes. To learn jokes structure is one of the great shortcuts to becoming a funnier joke writer and comedian.
In my next blog, Greg Dean Comedy Tip 5: Joke Misdirection – Part 1, I’ll explain how misdirection works in one-liner jokes.
• I wrote this blog at the Big Daddy Cigar Lounge in Long Beach CA while smoking the 96 rated Flor de las Antillas cigar. Great atmosphere. Excellent cigar.
• I just directed the sketch “Wrecks,” written by my wife Gayla Johnson, at the Youtube Space LA Studio. Coming Soon to a computer screen near you.