Yes, I tell jokes.
I write jokes. I think Jokes. But that’s not the only way I use humor. . .you can be funny in other ways.
Tell real stories. . .
Real stories that really happened are hilarious – and they don’t have to be about you! I tell a funny story about having dinner with my brother and his wife and a funny thing about the check. Many stories are funny AFTER they happened, so go back in your memory and write down some things that have happened to you. Now that time has healed, you can probably find the humor in it.
Ask questions. . .
I do a funny “worst job” contest in which I bring up my first job out of college in which I tele marketed sides of beef. I last 6 hours. . .which gave me seniority. Then I turn it on the crowd and ask them to tell me their worst job story. I sometimes have to get things started by mentioning a few funny jobs past audience members have done – cleaning Exxon bathrooms seems to be prevalent. By finding this stuff out, I connect with the crowd and get some great energy and laughter. Comics call this question thing “audience work” and some comics are very good at it. For me, I’m good at it, but I also make sure I have comedy material to keep the show rolling.
Take a survey . . .
I sometimes ask how long people have been married. . .I can roll into my dating and relationship material from there, or I can follow up with some more questions. This is a great way to find out who’s in the audience and to get them involved. I of course know where I’m going with it, so I can jump back in if no one participates. . .or if too many people start shouting out their marriage numbers.
All of these humor techniques combine to make an interesting comedy event, so use several. . . it may even lead to some jokes when you pop off with a funny answer.