Sunday, April 17, 2016

Introduction to Humor 101: How to Tell Jokes for Power, Prestige, Profit, and Personal Fulfillment

Do you want to become more attractive to members of the opposite sex? A look at the personal ads shows that a good sense of humor is the attribute people desire most in significant others. Well, next to money, anyways. Do you want mental, physical, and spiritual health? Science is proving that laughter truly is the best medicine. (Which prompts me to ask, If laughter is the best medicine, why isn’t comedy part of anyone’s health care plan?) Do you want raw unadulterated power? Humor is power. A great joke can help persuade people to support your cause or to withdraw support from your opponent’s cause.

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
Mark Twain

Humor 101 is a self-study course for people who want to tell jokes effectively. You may be a public speaker seeking to improve your Likeability Quotient (LQ) during your opening. You may be a manager or business owner who occasionally has to make a presentation. You may have dreamed of being a standup comedian, like most people, but never found a way to work it out. Or you may just want to get better at telling jokes because you know there’s something very funny deep inside you that’s going to die a tragic death if you don’t figure out how to set it free.  

“I got started in show business very young. My mother swears I performed prenatally. She says I got a few laughs on the way to the hospital. It was the best womb I ever played.”
Billy Crystal from Absolutely Mahvelous

Many people have mistakenly believed the myth that a sense of humor is inborn – that it cannot be learned or taught. It’s true that few people are born with as good a sense of humor as Billy Crystal was blessed with. Even with diligent practice, few people stand much of a chance of becoming as funny as him. However, while it is true that some people are born with more natural comedic abilities than others, even people who have been clinically diagnosed as laugh-impaired can learn how to tell jokes by applying the simple techniques of Humor 101. And anyone who can tell a dozen jokes well will become the life of many parties, dazzling friends and colleagues.  

“In business, ideas presented with humor gain more support, and after five, the person who gets more laughs gets more dates.”
Judy Carter from Standup Comedy

Al Gore was a fine example. When he took office as Vice President, he was horribly, tragically unfunny. It’s amazing that he got as far as he did in politics without having a clue about how to tell a joke. By the 1996 campaign, he and his handlers realized it was a big problem, and they worked on his sense of humor. It worked! Al Gore mastered the art of self-deprecation and he learned how to tell jokes. His stiffness had been a liability. When he learned how to tell jokes, his stiffness became the setup for most of them. He’s an inspiration to all who have the hope of becoming funny.

“They laugh that win.”

Laughing and winning frequently go together. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way for Al Gore. However, after he lost the election of 2000, he went on to host Saturday Night Live and he did a decent job, probably a better job than he would have done as President. The point is,if Al Gore can learn to tell jokes, anyone can. As you do, you will reap the benefits that joke-tellers all over the world have been reaping since the dawn of creation. Power, prestige and personal fulfillment – not to mention truckloads of money – can all be yours when you master a few simple techniques.

But this course will not only teach you how to tell jokes. Humor 101 will also show you where to find jokes and how to pick appropriate jokes. I tip my hat to you as you strive to improve yourself. By studying this material, you’re already showing that you have the desire to tell jokes, and that’s the first key. When you learn how to tell jokes, you will not merely be improving yourself. You’ll be improving the world we all live in. I commend you for that!

“Without laughter life on our planet would be intolerable.”
Steve Allen from Funny People

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