This past New Years eve was great fun,

not only because of the friends I shared it with, but also because we laughed . . .A LOT. I’d like to say that it was high-brow humor, but what made us laugh the most was when my friend Susan tried to show us the constellations (we were out in Joshua Tree national park) on her ipad and she said “look, here’s Uranus.” When we realized what she’d said, we all burst out laughing like third graders. . . and then the jokes started flowing. You had to be there to appreciate it.

What’s funny about that word is not just that some scientist didn’t pay attention when he named that poor planet, but also that it’s familiar. So I thought I’d start the year off with

5 familiar things that you can always joke about. . .here goes:

1. Dieting/exercise/your weight is a way to write jokes. There are millions of jokes because there are millions of articles being published every day about weight loss – entire magazine industries are built up over it and TV careers are made because of it (think the Biggest Loser!). It’s a very familiar topic and it resonates with EVERYONE – even skinny people. So start tracking your dieting and exercise mishaps and you’ll strike comedic gold.

2. Your relationship. . .or lack there of is great for humor. You’re either in a relationship, out of a relationship, thinking about getting into one or thinking of getting out of one. . .even if someone’s never been in a relationship or they’ve been in the same one their whole life, they love listening about other people’s relationship problems. .. so analyze what you like or don’t like about your relationship and have some fun. And remember, it doesn’t have to be about your sex life (Uranus jokes aside!); there are plenty of other things. I’d stay away from the differences between men and women because that’s a little over done – get more personal about specific things that have happened in YOUR relationship.

3. Petsare always funny. People either like ‘em or hate ‘em. . .and while you usually shouldn’t talk mean about a pet (ok, I do have a joke about a cat dropping from a 3rd story window, but it’s cute, not mean), you can have fun with what your pet does. Follow rover around for the day and you’ll have a wealth of comedy material.

4. Crazy family/friends are also always funny. NOBODY’S family is perfect. . .dig into that family tree and find out where the nuts are. I have a relative who was once featured on that America’s Most Wanted TV show. I also have a kleptomaniac cousin. All are fair game. . .hey, if my cousin steals my stuff, I’m allowed to joke about her!


5. Car problems is another great topic to joke about. Tickets, tows and trashy repair shops oh my! We’ve all experienced that feeling in the pit of our stomachs when our car has cost us some unexpected cash. Have some fun with the cost or the repair or the being-stranded-story. . .you’ll get laughs along with empathy, sympathy and a few people thinking “thank goodness it isn’t me for once.”


These are just a few of the things that we share.

And, because of their familiarity, these subjects can give you an instant connection with your audience which means they’ll laugh with you (and maybe at you). People are always saying how they want to find a unique topic to joke about, but I think it was Jay Leno who once said there’s only a half dozen or so comedy premises. So put your own spin on a familiar theme . . . and you won’t have to relay on humor about our solar system to make you crack up.