Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How to tell jokes: Practice makes perfect.

Sometimes people start telling a joke and get stumped on how to finish it. “Oh, how does it go? It’s really funny, believe me. I guess you had to be there.” It happens with tragic frequency.

For most people, it takes practice to get a joke right. If you’re a pro, like Chappelle or Jimmy Fallon, and you’ve told tens of thousands of jokes, it may not take much practice. However, if you haven't had that kind of experience and you’re using a joke for the first time, you should try it a few times in front of a mirror.

Once you feel like you really understand the joke and you’re comfortable with it, try it out on very small groups. Don’t warn anyone. Most of the time if you tell people you’re going to tell a joke, they’ll tense up. Just tell the joke. Try it a few different ways.

When someone laughs, pay attention to the way they laugh. Forced laughter is no good. Tense laughter isn’t much better. The worst is the laugh of pity due to the fact that you hacked up the joke.

You want the laugh that comes from deep within. You know it when you hear it. Once you start getting genuine laughter, you’re ready to use the material in social and business settings. 

These Old Jokes

Did you know there are people who actually study boredom? There’s only one thing worse than being bored, and that’s doing an academic study on boredom. DM

A private enterprise is planning to send a married couple in a spaceship to orbit mars and come back. They say the couple will be couped up in a space smaller than an RV for 501 days. I’m guessing that by the end of that little road trip, the honeymoon will officially be over.  DM

After they’ve been in space for a few weeks, the astronauts will be conducting studies on boredom. DM

Further reading

Jokes from the Road Less Travelled

How to use sight gags

Learn to tell jokes from the masters

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