How to Write Funnier Jokes
In this joke writing article, How to Write Funnier Jokes: Tip 4 – Localize Comedy Routines, I’ll show how localizing your comedy routines can get bigger laughs for the same jokes from local audiences.
Previously in this series of joke writing articles, you learned How to Write Funnier Jokes: Tip 1 – Make Setups and Punchlines Short, and the reasons for keeping jokes concise.
In the joke writing technique article, How to Write Funnier Jokes: Tip 2 – End Punchlines with the Reveal, and how to identify the Reveal of the punchline and place it at the end, so you don’t diminish the laughter by stepping on it.
Then from the joke writing article, How to Write Funnier Jokes: Tip 3 – Use K-Words to Enhance Punchlines, you learned that replacing softer sounding words or phrases with K-words make punchlines get better laughs.
Tip 4 – Localize Comedy Routines
When writing stand-up comedy jokes and routines they can often be structured around the funny idea. The jokes within a routine might be perfectly written but lack an intimate connection to the real world.
The solution is to localize the references in your comedy routine to local or regional people, places, and events. Audiences feel flattered and respond with appreciative laughter because they recognize themselves in your stand-up routine. They know you’ve spent time researching their area to alter your routine to reflect their town.
Refer to People
For instance, if you have a joke about a politician who isn’t very bright, then ask the club manager or bartender who’s the most hated politician in the area. Then take that name and insert it into the joke or routine.
“I heard your mayor (name) seems to miss the obvious. Does that mean if he fell into a pool of breasts he’d come up sucking his thumb.”
If the audience agrees with the sentiment, you could get a roar.
If you have a joke or routine about a rough bar, ask around for the name of a local dive. Again, insert it into your bit.
“I went into your town’s finest bar, (name of tough local bar) – they’ve got some poor guy on the floor pounding the crap out of him. I said to a guy, ‘Why don’t you call a cop?’ He said, ‘Are you crazy? After the beating they’re giving this one?’”
If that bar lives up this infamous reputation, you’re likely to get a huge, long laugh.
Their local events are a great way to relate your comedy to their region. If the city or area is known for their sports and you have a sports joke, then bring that to the comedy game.
“Your area is known for your ice hockey team (name). But I’m confused. I went to a game expecting to see a hockey match, but instead it turned into the Friday Night Fights.”
If these folks are proud of how brutal their hockey players are, then this good joke will get a great laugh.
Comedy Writing Technique: Mark Your Script for Local References
Comb through your stand-up comedy jokes and routines and note the people, places, and events where you can substitute local references. Then, as a comedian, when you get to a stand-up comedy gig you’ll have a quick list to research. Or you can do this research online in advance.
Something magical happens when an audience sees their hometown immortalized in your show.
In this joke writing article, How to Write Funnier Jokes: Tip 4 – Localize Comedy Routines, you’ve learned that substituting local people, places, and events in your stand-up comedy show can turn good comedy routines into great comedy routines.
In the next joke writing article, How to Write Funnier Jokes: Tip 5 – Make Punchlines More Negative, turning the same jokes into bigger laughs.
Greg Dean’s Stand Up Comedy Classes
Greg teaches his techniques in two classes. The first is called “How to Build a Stand Up Comedy Routine” and is the beginning class (also called the “101 class”) and the “Advanced Joke Writing & Performing Class” (also known as the “201 class”).
Even though these classes are named a beginning and advanced, they are actually classes that stand up comedians of any number of years of experience can take. They are beginning and advanced in the Greg Dean system. If you’re interested in faster and better ways to create good jokes and you want to dive deeper on joke writing then you’ll want to take both of these classes.
Greg teaches his classes live in Santa Monica as well as live on zoom. If you are in the greater Los Angeles area, you can sign up for his classes at the Santa Monica Playhouse. Check our Calendar of Events to see all upcoming classes. Calendar of Events
In addition to his live classes in Santa Monica and on zoom, Greg also teaches joke writing via his on demand platform. One of his most popular classes is “Joke Writing Made Simple”. This class can be done in your own time, and at your own pace. You can find out more about this class here: https://stand-upcomedy.com/product/joke-writing-made-simple/
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