Comedians tell jokes for a living, but they are not always the kinds of jokes that you and I would ever think of. Namely, the fact that most of these jokes have no single punch lines, as a knock knock joke or other similar type of joke would, sets them apart right at the start.
Why? Because the style of jokes that a comedian tells are meant to make you laugh constantly, not just at the climax. And thus, a comedian has a very tough job. They have to ensure that their entire routine is full of laughs, not just one single segment in which the audience chuckles.
So what could you learn about joke telling from comedians? Quite a lot. In fact, there are a lot of things that comedians know that you don’t…
How to Deliver
How many jokes are ruined by stumbling deliveries? Too many. Chances are you have experienced it: Your friend is so desperate to get this hilarious (at least to them) joke out that they start rushing in and trying to tell it as fast as they can, only to wind up getting terribly confused and stumbling around and blundering in circles trying to salvage the joke that they have made so bad it is completely unidentifiable as a joke.
The delivery is everything. If you have bad delivery, then your joke is going to suck. Plain and simple. Not all deliveries have to be smooth. In fact, some comedians’ main shtick is being awkward on purpose. But these are people who know how to pull it off, and if you notice, none of them really back pedal because they screwed up their jokes.
How to Say What You Mean
You would be hard pressed to find a dumb comedian. Sure they aren’t grammatical geniuses, and most of them would mix up there, their and they’re if given the chances to write, but hey, you try being as simple and direct as a comedian. If you were you wouldn’t be reading this. Comedians have a way with words, and that way is the right way.
They may use simple speech, but as Einstein said, “If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough.” This is the truth; simple speech is the pattern of genius. Bloat it out by over thinking and trying to use big words and you have a verbal train wreck on your hands.
How to Be Inoffensively Offensive
Insult comics are notorious smack talkers, but chances are if you enjoy them, you have never walked away after watching a routine and felt singled out and terrorized. Why? Because they are smart; they pick on everyone, not just one person with a specific quality. If smack talk is your thing, you won’t have many friends for long unless you learn to do the same.
Sure you can let your views color your jokes, but they should not be the main focus of every joke you tell. Making fun of yourself as well is they key of a good comedian. Any good comedian will crack a joke about themselves and something unbelievably stupid that they have recently done.
The reason for this is that it gives the audience a break to laugh at something that may not directly be about one of their own qualities, and thus it keeps things friendly and open, even though insults are the main soup of the game. So if you want to learn to tell jokes, the best thing to do is to study comedians!
Craig Parker writes for www.standupcomedians.com.au who list some of the funniest men and women in Australia right now.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/2960749932/