When writing a joke, what you’re really trying to do . . .
is to pull out the ironies – the contradictions – in the situation. Ironies are all around us, yet most people don’t pay attention to them. So make a list of the environment and anything else you know about the group or the situation, and then scan it for disconnects. You can even make 2 columns – one is stuff I know about the group, and one is stuff I know about the environment and then pretend it’s one of those games in the newspaper where you draw a line between similar things. Only in this case you’re drawing a line between things that contradict each other.
For example. . .
years ago I did a comedy show in Iowa. One of the biggest headaches/challenges that the group was facing was that they were not get raises that year. In fact most of the company was pretty unhappy about it. So I put that in my column, along with other stuff, of what I know about the group. Then I wrote down stuff I know about the environment. And the environment is everything from the audience demographics to what’s going on in Iowa. What I found was that they were having a very mild winter – there was no ice and snow like they were used to. Ahhh, the irony, and the joke. . . “So you’re having a pretty mild winter here in Iowa and there’s no snow and ice? In fact I understand the only thing frozen around here are SALARIES.” It absolutely took the roof off the place because I addressed one of their key headaches AND it’s just a really, really good observation.
Now there was a little bit more to what I did to come up with that joke, so check out the next blog to see what else happened here.
So pay attention to the disconnects that are all around you, and you’ll find some fast, easy, relatable humor.