As we cruise into the new year, “goal-talk” is in the air. . .weight loss, exercise, making a bazillion bucks. You name it, we can turn it into a goal. Well, when you’re writing humor, you have to also ask yourself, what is your goal? Are you looking for a HUGE laugh to follow some big event or just a chuckle to get everyone relaxed? When I opened for Julio Iglesias this past year, I THOUGHT it was to warm up the crowd. One minute in, I realized I was there more to settle them down. People were still eating, the wait staff was clearing dishes, and basically I realized that Julio didn’t want to go out to that – that’s why they hired me. Once I realized the goal – that I wasn’t there to get HUGE laughs – I was able to settle down and just enjoy being on stage.
What do you want to doooo
So when you sit down to write some funny material, decide in advance what are you really trying to do? Some goals you might have for the joke: A transition from one speaker or segment of the program to another A tension reliever to get people to move on from a tough topic A stalling joke while people are finishing up dinner A killer line for following something really spectacular That doesn’t mean that you write lame jokes because you’re just looking for a tension reliever versus a killer line, BUT it will take the pressure off trying to come up with a killer line if you really don’t need one.
And, as you’re writing, you may realize that a chuckle line you came up with will suffice – so you can save yourself a little time as well!