RULE 3: Be brief. Bill Cosby can go on for hours with a single joke. The rest of us should only include facts in the set-up that NEED to be there for the punch to work. Delete unneeded adjectives and prepositional phrases, so that all words pertain to the punch line. I try to keep my jokes to 3 typed lines (not 3 sentences, but 3 lines). When you make a crack about Britney Spears fighting with Kevin Federline, her ex-husband, you don’t really need to say “her ex-husband.” Pretty much everyone knows his status, so you don’t need to repeat it. Really, less is better… unless you’re Bill Cosby.
RULE 4: Show the irony. That’s what you’re really trying to do is pull out the irony in a situation. Look at it as a good news/bad news… find the irony by listing out all the good and bad in a situation, either real or made-up, and then match them up to see the inconsistencies. “The good news is we’re giving out free tickets to the buffet. The bad news is, you’ll be in line behind Liz Taylor.”
Or you could take it a different direction. List out what would be bad about standing in line at a buffet. . . who you’re in line behind, how old the food is, the length of time you’re in line, etc. . when you see length of time, think up ways to imply time – watch, calendar, etc. .. and you might come up with. . “I won’t say we stood in line long, but I saw them flip the page on my calendar.”
You get the idea. . .lists are king when writing a joke. Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow.
JAN’S TOPICAL JOKES
I write a bunch of topical jokes every day for radio. . . some of the good ones still don’t make it on for various reasons. . .here’s a couple of those. . .
–RadioShack CEO Julian Day said that he still has “no idea” how the home electronics store manages to stay open. Apparently people just get some kinda sick “high” from standing in the return line.
–Environmentalist Sheryl Crow is suggesting that when you wipe your butt in the bathroom, you only use one square of toilet paper. And remember, if you need more, there’s always the “guest” towels.
–According to scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alcoholic strawberry drinks, like daiquiris, could be classified as health foods because the liquor boosts antioxidants in strawberries. Which is why I’m starting my new campaign, “a blender in the hands of every homeless person.”
–According to Askmen.com, there are six ways to pleasantly surprise your special lady. . . and not one of ‘em involves dying and leaving her beneficiary to your millions.
–Environmentalist Sheryl Crow has invented a “dining sleeve” you wear on your shirt to wipe your mouth in lieu of a napkin. Hey, I’ve got one of those on every shirt. It’s not detachable, but. . .
–Sanjaya told Ellen Degeneres that he believes his fans were responsible for his long run on “American Idol.” He came to that conclusion after ruling out the cause as “his talent.”