Five Tips for Being Funny

This assignment is on five personal tips for being funny. Personally, I love to make people laugh. Sometimes it’s really easy. Other times, not so much. That doesn’t mean I don’t stop trying. Now more than ever, I think it’s important to both find humor and create it with everything that’s going on. So, with that being said, here’s my list:

1. Go against the expectation

This one is fairly obvious and one of the most common tips given for anyone who is trying to be funny or write comedy. That being said, the idea is no one who is listening should be complacent in listening. If they are, it’s the defying of expectations that will “throw them off their rhythm” as John Mulaney would say, and engage your audience as well as making them laugh. That’s why the openings of comedic movies or shows or even stand-up comedy have some wrench thrown in during the beginning: to show the audience that they’ll want to pay attention.

2. Show your perspective

Humor is best when it is relatable. So, in a concise manner, you want to show the audience that what you’re saying is relatable, which will make it that much funnier when you get to the punchline, because hey, it could have been them.

3. It’s about how you say it

You could print off the transcripts of some of the funniest comedy specials and read them without any humor. Half the work is writing the jokes, the other half is delivering them. The audience, whether it’s one person or an entire theater full of people, need to be able to hear you and understand what you’re saying. On top of that, you can manipulate other nonverbal cues that may juxtapose what you are saying that make it that much funnier.

4. Remember the format of being funny or telling a joke

Comedy in itself has two parts: the premise and the punchline. The premise might be really short, or it may be an entire story, but remember the punchline comes at the end and sort of “punches” the audience in the face. It’s the punchline that is the most humorous, so delivery is also crucial here.

5. Silence can be just as funny

And finally, being silent and taking pauses in your comedy can add to the humor of it. Pauses have multiple uses, from allowing the audience to take in what has already been said to using nonverbal facial expressions and gestures to just letting the anticipation build. Silence can be daunting to use, but it can be really, really funny.

Now, these tips are both a combination of my own and ones that I’ve gotten off YouTube, so here are some links:


One thought on “Five Tips for Being Funny

  1. raemaddy says:

    This is such a good list!! I think 2 and 3 ties together quite nicely. Showing and saying your perspective in comedy is so important, and part of what makes an individual so funny; no one else has the unique perspective that you do! That’s so powerful! Additionally, I love your last tip. I think silence can be one of the funniest things in the world, but that’s also just because I love awkward humor. There’s nothing like a good awkward silence.


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