How to write a joke

How to write a joke

So you want to write a joke, eh? It’s not an impossible task, because a wise man once told me, "Wherever there’s a will, there’s a way." Actually, Anna Nicole Smith said that. There you go, I’ve warmed you up. Now we can jump right into it.

Comedy is a simple beast to conquer. That is, if you understand the essence of laughter. Rarely do we ever think about why we laugh at something except for, "It’s funny because it’s true." But the Anna Nicole Smith reference wasn’t true (well, sort of not true), so why is it funny? Why does a misquote from a dead celebrity warrant a chuckle or two? It’s very simple- comedy is tragedy with a different spin.

The funny thing about comedy being tragedy’s twin sister is that you can spin your words however you want to and say things you would never want to be taken literally (literal=tragic because reality=sucks). I’ll provide an example: "I prefer dating anorexic women because I don’t mind paying for their half of dinner." Tragic in a literal sense, yes. Funny, of course, because if you can’t laugh about it, then you’re allowing tragedy to win the battle. Remember, comedy is tragedy averted.

As you can see, I have a warped sense of logic and reasoning. These deviant thought patterns do not help me in any aspect of my life whatsoever, except for, knock knock, writing jokes. While I’m not defending the previous joke as the most tasteful or well-crafted, I’m merely trying to demonstrate a point. The comedy is there, but not a shred of regard for the status quo. Comedy itself, however, is your willingness to stray from saying what’s expected and politically correct, and you must take the risk of being a hit-or-miss.

Let’s try again. A lot of great jokes come from scenarios we face in our everyday lives. Many of us drive cars or various other types of automotive conveyances, and as drivers, it’s our responsibility to obey traffic laws. Some laws, however, drive us crazy. For starters, take my third party approach to the yellow traffic light debate. I was talking with two of my neighbors last week about the matter. One thinks the yellow light means to speed up, while the other believes it means slow down. In either case, a police officer has pulled me over for not going through one, as well as stop me after I went through. This led me to disagree with both of my neighbors. The yellow light really means to start thinking of an excuse to tell the cop if he sees you.

Now you’re getting it. You have options with joke writing, and they are also a great way to show your ability to resolve an argument. Take any standard argument in our culture and have fun with it. Here’s another one: gay marriage. Many believe homosexuality is wrong, while others believe they should have the right to get married. This is an argument that clearly has no end in sight. But if you really want gays to stop having sex with each other, then you should let them get married. That joke writes itself, and best of all, nobody gets hurt.

I could go on forever with examples I have come up with over the years, but if you made it this far, you clearly have nothing better to do with your time. See, there it is again! You thought I was going to say something inspirational back there, but I insulted you instead. Don’t let me have the last laugh. The choice is yours, so get out there and open your eyes to the truth. Once you see how awful it is, comedy will be your only tool for survival. Unless you’re rich.


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