How to Write a Joke for Stand Up Comedy

Writing jokes is a business in the world of stand up comedy. The jokes a comedian writes will be most effective if they match his or her character. Developing a comedic personality on stage takes years but in the meantime it is necessary to get a start on that route to funny. Following a simple joke formula is the first step to writing for the comedy stage.

The formula “set up – punchline” is the most reliable comedic equation. It is a wonder that many comedians get so far off base when writing their first jokes. Usually this waywardness occurs because a new comedian usually imitates someone he or she has seen on stage at a concert or on television. What results from imitation is usually a very long and rambling set up and a punchline which is just as long and just as wordy.

An effective exercise for an aspiring comedian who is writing jokes for the first time is to write down all of these rambling words, thoughts and phrases and immediately begin the editing process. One of the hardest exercises is reducing these ideas to two sentences – one sentence for the set up and one sentence for the punchline. The most rewarding part of this type of tight editing is that if your resulting joke is funny, your laughs will come more quickly. A series of one-liner jokes will give you confidence. The laughter will affirm your instincts and give you the confidence to relax and start to write in a style that is comfortable to you.

Often times a new comedian will get ideas about how to perform by watching Cable TV. Unfortunately, these comics are not the best role models for their peers. Foul language and obscene subject matter are more often tolerated when a comedian gets his or her own HBO special as opposed to when they walk into a club for the first time. A new comedian whose jokes are filled with profanity will cause a club owner to wonder if the comic knows how to write a decent joke at all. A new comedian’s stage presence is generally not strong and a trail of x-rated jokes will only highlight their desperate attempt to be funny.

The basic element of a clean joke is to create a surprise ending. Write a one sentence set up and write the joke or “pay-off” in a direction the audience would never expect it to go. The standard “set-up, punchline” formula for joke writing will get a new comedian on stage in order to begin the journey of discovering what it is that makes people laugh.

A One Line Joke To Remember

T.G.I.F.! – The Goal Is FREEDOM!
Are you good at telling jokes?

I know that I have never been great at telling jokes. I’ve never been great at timing and pacing. I seem to always forget the punch line, or a key part of the set up of the joke. Or just how the joke goes. It’s like the part of my brain that stores jokes is full of holes. The joke goes in, swirls around a little while, and then drops out the bottom.

It’s interesting that some people are really good at telling jokes, and some aren’t. I know there are some people who practice the jokes, so that they get them right. Are you good at telling jokes?

What lies at the bottom of the ocean? A nervous wreck!

I’m pretty good at remembering one liners, especially if they are specific to the network marketing business. Good one liners are fun, and they make you think hard when you hear them. They make your prospect think hard too…

A Joke Makes You Smile!
“When you don’t know where you’re going… Every road will take you there!”

Bam! Isn’t that the truth. So many people wander aimlessly through life. Taking the road of least resistance! Make sure you know your goals and your why!

“It’s not the speed of your decision but the accuracy that counts… “

Isn’t that the truth! People so often make bad decisions for the wrong reason. Get the information, know why you are doing what you are doing!

“Just when you think you’ve won the rat race, along come faster rats.”

Just focus on the goal. The reality is that you are only racing yourself, someone will always be faster and younger. Stay the course!

A Joke Is A Little Bit Of The Truth!
“Even if you win the rat race… you’re still a rat!”

Let that one liner joke sink in.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

Do you know what your main thing is?

‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it!’ Yogi Berra, baseball great and one-liner legend.

What the heck does that quote mean? (Maybe not to pass on dessert?)

“When you are faced with a decision, not to decide is a decision”

One of the reasons people never seem to get anything going in their business is they can never seem to come to a decision. They decide to join. And then they want to think about it… and think about it and thing about it.

Like Zig used to say they became “frozen with the paralysis of analysis!” They are over thinking things too much. Just get out there and start taking action steps!

I think that some 40-year-olds are worse than children… They tell you that they want to build the business, and then they sit in their chair watching television.

You tell them to pick up the phone and call people, and they throw a temper tantrum!

If more people would look at their business, like a business instead of a hobby, and come to a basic decision to JUST DO IT they would be light years ahead! Your business is not a joke, act on it.

Don’t question and ponder and second guess that decision for 2 years, they made the decision to start, so get moving!

Sure, doubt and fear will creep into our minds, and the best way to combat that is to take action. It’s really that simple.

So what are some action tips that you can take to help you get started?

  1. Call your upline and develop some goals for you.
  2. Call your top 5 up-and-comers in your group, share some ideas and goals with them.
  3. Ask them to email you 3 action steps that they are 100% committed to doing within the next 72 hours to build their business. You should also send your action steps to your upline.
  4. Ask them to email you when they have completed all 3 action steps.

Watch to see 2 things.

  1. Who actually emails you the 3 steps.
  2. Who actually emails you that they completed all 3.

The business is about leadership. Lead through action! Leaders follow through on their commitments.

What are 3 action steps that you are 100% committed to doing within the next 72 hours to build YOUR business?

Email them to the highest pin rank in your upline.

Let them know you’re on top of your game.

“You can’t expect to take a fishing boat out and just watch the fish jump into the boat.”

Have a blessed day. Carpe Diem!

Mark

How Tell A Great Golf Joke

Say your foursome comes to a par three and there’s a backup – a 15 minute wait or so on a crowded course on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Say you’ve messed up the last hole, or one of your friends is just not playing his usual game. Or, say you’re just annoyed at the upcoming wait to tee off. Here’s how to tell a great joke:

– Relax and act confident. If you’re unsure your audience will sense it. And if you act confident, you’ll be confident.

– Don’t tell it in a monotone. Vary your voice and give sound effects.

– Tell the joke with a smile, don’t prematurely laugh – just keep a smile going.

– Tell a story joke. Short jokes don’t work too well to get out of a bad mood.

– Pause before the punchline.Wait at least one second before giving the punchline.

Here’s an example of how to tell a long golf joke.

“John Daly walks into a clubhouse bar and reads a sign that hangs over the bar:

FREE BEER!

FREE BEER FOR THE PERSON WHO CAN PASS THE TEST!

So John asks the bartender what the test is.

Bartender says, ‘Well, first you have to drink that whole gallon of pepper tequila, the whole thing at once and you can’t make a face while doing it. Second, there’s a ‘gator out back with a sore tooth… you have to remove it with your bare hands. Third, there’s a woman up-stairs who’s never had an orgasm. You gotta make things right for her.’

John says, ‘Well, I’ve done some outrageous things in my life, but as much as I would love free beer, I won’t do it. You have to be nuts to drink a gallon of pepper tequila and then it gets crazier from there.’

Well, as time goes on John drinks a few, he asks, ‘Wherez zat teeqeelah?’ He grabs the gallon of pepper tequila with both hands, and downs it with a big slurp and tears are now streaming down his face.

Next, he staggers out back and soon all the people inside hear the most frightening grappling and thumping followed by a fierce roar, and then silence. John staggers back into the bar, his shirt is ripped to shreds and big scratches are all over his body.

‘Now’ he says, ‘Where’s that woman with the sore tooth?'”

When you tell this joke, don’t have it memorized. It’s fairly easy to remember how it goes. Stand when you tell it, relax and be confident since it’s got a great punchline. Vary your voice when you relate what John Daly says and the bartenders reply.

When you get to the part when John Daly says, ‘Wherez zat teeqeelah?’ talk in a determined drunken voice. Act out John Daly staggering out back to where the alligator is and act out him staggering back scratched and ripped up. Give sound effects for the roaring and thumping too. Pause right before giving the punchline: “Where’s that woman with the sore tooth.”

Here’s another one you can tell and act out::

A New Yorker and a Texan, both high handicappers, were spraying their shots resulting in the Texan driving and bouncing the cart through very rough tough terrain trying to find their wayward golf balls. It got so bumpy the New Yorker hit his head a few times on the cart’s roof then fell out of the cart.

“Hey, take it easy partner. This ain’t a rodeo,” the New Yorker said as he got up rubbing his head.

“Pardner, you oughta learn bronc riding,” said the Texan.

The New Yorker said, “Sounds great but there aren’t any rodeos in the Big Apple.”

“You don’t need a rodeo, Pardner. Just get your girlfriend down on all fours and mount her from behind. Then reach round and cup both of her breasts and whisper,

‘Your sister has bigger ones’, then try to hold on for eight seconds!”

Again, when you tell this one, vary your voice from a southern Texas accent when relating what the Texan says and what the New Yorker says. Act it out too, and remember to pause a moment right before the punch line.

To keep tempers down, here’s a quote you to keep in the back of your mind when you or your friends are having a bad round and just about ready to throw a club. It’s from the movie, “Legend of Bagger Vance” and you’ll find it will help you or your friends to work back to their usual game.

“There’s a perfect shot out there tryin’ to find each and every one of us… All we got to do is get ourselves out of its way, to let it choose us… Can’t see that flag as some dragon you got to slay… You got to look with soft eyes… See the place where the tides and the seasons and the turnin’ of the Earthy, all come together… where everything that is, becomes one… You got to seek that place with your soul.”
– Legend of Bagger Vance

Sometimes a short one liner works well. Say you’re golfing on a day when the greens are super fast and everyone’s putting way past the hole only to miss the putt on the way back. If the greens are totally too fast remind everyone what the great Sam Snead said about the greens at Augusta, “These greens are so fast, I hold my putter over the ball and hit it with the shadow.” -Sam Snead on the Greens at Augusta.

Keep in the back of your mind taking golf too seriously may lead to disaster on the course as well as business relationships. If you’re playing with a client whose having a terrible round, quietly tell a great joke and your client or your friends will remember the joke a lot more than a bad round.

Finally, besides breaking tension, a good golf joke helps you deal with petty annoyances and build better business relationships. Again, jokes make everyone relax. As, comedian Bill Murray has said many times, “The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”