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Here’s Your Introduction To Joke Writing
Are you looking for some basic tips on joke writing? This Introduction To Joke Writing may be for you! Every Tuesday we’re posting a comedy writing series thanks to Your Logo Here partners:
Step 1: Your Introduction To Joke Writing.
- A basic joke formula
- The definition of key joke writing terms
- A tip on joke writing
This blog post is great to share with:
- New comedians
- Potential comedians
- English students
- English As A Second Language Students
If we’re lucky, you will write your own hand crafted, original joke. If we’re really lucky you will share your joke below!
A Basic Joke Formula
Set-up + Punchline = Joke
This Basic Joke Formula Begins With “Set-up”
What is a joke ‘set-up’? The set-up of a joke, sometimes called a ‘premise’, is the main idea that puts the comedy in motion.
EXAMPLES OF A JOKE SET-UPS:
- Two people walk into a bar…
- How many people does it take to change a light bulb?
- Why did the chicken cross the road?
Can you write a joke set-up?
This is the fun part! Writing your own joke is difficult but worthwhile. When you are done, you own your very own joke! If people laugh, what a thrill! If people share your joke and more people laugh, what a HUGE thrill!!!
What Is The ‘Punchline’?
The punchline of a joke is the idea that leads to the funny conclusion.
- Sometimes the punchline is the last words of the joke.
- There are jokes where the punchline is the result the set-up and punchline combine to inspire.
EXAMPLE OF A PUNCHLINE
A joke about “Two people walk into a bar… “
Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield walk into a bar. The Bartender says, “I’m not sure what the punch line is but if one of you is delivering it then I am ducking!”
The Joke Set-up
Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield are famous boxers. When they walk into a bar almost any bartender in the world might know who they are and be surprised, possibly intimidated.
The Joke Punchline
In this example, the Bartender recognizes Mr. Tyson and Mr. Holyfield and is extremely intimidated. He jokes that if one of the famous boxers is throwing the punch line, and possibly a punch, then the bartender plans to duck.
How Do You Know When A Joke Is Funny?
Many comedians that I work deliver a new joke as an educated guess. Our experience at routinely trying new jokes gives us some insight on how an audience might react. To be sure a joke works I will try it on friends or fellow comedians. You can try your joke on a friend to see if it works. Comics use social media to test jokes. That’s the whole purpose of this blog! Either I can’t hear the laughs from the blog or the jokes are just that terrible!
Writing Your Own Joke
Are you trying to write your own joke? Try watching this video, How To Write A Joke, and learn some additional tips about joke writing. You can brainstorm joke ideas by asking thought provoking questions;
- What is the set-up of the joke?
- This is a funny idea. Are there words that belong in the punchline?
- I want to write a joke for a speech. What is a good topic to write a joke about?
To ponder a punchline, consider these points:
- What part of the joke idea makes me laugh?
- Are there words that must be said in order to get the joke?
- Can I delete extra words from the joke?
- At what point in the wording of the joke do I expect to get a laugh?
Comment With Your Joke!
Did this post inspire you to write a joke? Please let our audience know! Comment below with your joke. We’ll try to laugh!
Did you enjoy this Introduction To Joke Writing? We would love to know! Please comment below.
Comedy101 LEARNING VIDEO: Introduction To Stand-up Comedy
Interested in learning stand-up comedy? Check out ‘Introduction To Stand-up Comedy’, an online course from Comedy101.ChuckRoy.com.