Humor & Resilience to Overcome Setbacks Podcast

Have you ever been at a serious, or worse a sad event, and felt the urge to laugh? I think that’s our brain trying to find a way to cope.

Laughter and reducing stress have been linked before, but all I know is that laughing works. Using humor to bounce back from a rough day/week/month, is good . . . and comedians know about rough days.

Comedians learn our jobs by making mistakes. We get up at an open mic, and that’s how we learn things like stage presence, timing, and even if the jokes we wrote are funny. There are MANY nights where we get our butt handed to us as we learn the ropes – but there is no other way around it. We have to learn by failure.

So aside from being funny, the other skill comedians have an abundance of is RESILIENCE. In order to overcome setbacks, like people staring at us silently, or worse yelling mean things at us, we need to strategies to over come the bad nights so we can move forward.

I was fortunate

to be interviewed on this wonderful podcast – Women Road Warriors – to talk about resilience and how to handle it. Their audience is women truck drivers, but the tips I share are universal. Whether you’re driving a truck or working at a marketing job, you’ll need to find a way to move through the tough times – humor helps.

A friend of mine once told me that she went to a comedy club, and ended up recognizing the comedian from many years ago back in high school. She said that as she listened to his act, she realized that almost all of his jokes where actual real things that had happened to him. He found a way to find the humor AND get others to laugh with him.

Below is the link to the podcast. Take a listen and pick up a few tips on finding the humor so you can bounce back. And then maybe you can get on stage years later and have people laugh with you.

And if you want a few laughs, here’s some funny short stories of stuff that REALLY happened to me. I use them in my keynotes on Resilience, Change, and Communications. Click Here.

And check out my latest newsletter right here!

Keep laughing!


Humor Article “Making Crap Up”

A LOT of people ask me how to get started in the comedy and keynote speaking business. I always take time to share my path with them. BUT I also always preface my tips with “I’ll tell you, but you’re probably not going to do it.” I don’t say that to be mean, I say it because this business is HARD. And hard usually has a lot of people running in the other direction.

Doing this job, or really any job, usually takes a lot of work and many, many different paths. In my humor news article this quarter, I touch on one of the secrets to my success. There really isn’t one path to success in most jobs, it’s slightly different for everyone.

So take a 2 minute humor break and read “Making Crap Up: The Key to Success” Just looking at the title . . .maybe you can relate!

Here’s my newsletter article. Check it out.

About Jan

I’ve written for Jay Leno’s Tonight Show monologue as well as many other people, places, and groups – radio, TV, syndicated cartoon strips, and even guests on the Jerry Springer show (my parents are proud). For 26+ years I’ve traveled country as a keynote speaker and comedian sharing my unique and practical tips on what business leaders can learn from comedians (no, it’s not all about telling jokes). I can be reached at, or  I’m also a GREAT Master of Ceremonies. Click here for my master of ceremonies website.

And for more insights into my comedy career, check out this blog post – click here. And if you want to know even more about being in this business, check out my book on Amazon titled “Convention Comedian: Stories and Wisdom From Two Decades of Chicken Dinners and Comedy Clubs.” I also have a humor writing book titled “Finding the Funny Fast: How to Create Quick Humor to Connect with Clients, Coworkers and Crowds.”

Silly Jokes and Why They Work

Silly jokes work.

We love them. Admit it. You will read a silly joke. A few comedians, such as Jackie the Joke Man, have made their living off silly jokes.

Silly jokes may not make you famous . . .

but they’ll grab your attention – sorta like reality TV. Have you ever been flipping through the channels, and just stopped on a reality TV show for a minute . . . and then an hour later you’re still watching? That happened to me with that show “tough as nails.” All of a sudden, I couldn’t not watch.

Silly jokes work the same way.

You think, “aw, that’s stupid,” but then you keep reading. I shared my keynote at a virtual conference this week in which they had an app for networking. One of the networking questions on the app was for people to post dad and mom jokes. And boy did they get a lot of posts – probably more people got involved with that questions, than the other serous questions.

Silly jokes work because . . .

For one thing, we don’t have to think. You “get it” pretty quickly, without trying too hard. We also like silly jokes because they make us feel smart. It’s like solving an easy crossword puzzle. You get a sense of, “yeah, I figured it out. I’m brilliant.” And we like silly jokes because they are funny . . . they’re not high brow humor, and most people don’t want to hear an hour or more of silly jokes . . . two or three work well. But silly jokes do make us emit a response. And reacting to a joke, with a chuckle or a groan, means the joke worked to a degree.

So, here’s a few silly jokes . . .

From my past writing for radio stations, I sold a LOT of silly jokes. The DJs love them because they were quick, and their listeners could get an instant laugh. Here’s a 45 second video of a few that I sold. Get ready to groan!


and check out my past article on asking questions.

My Main Website

5 Funny Things in Vegas

So I’m in Las Vegas for a gig today and I thought I’d look for 5 funny things that I can joke with. If you get into a habit of looking for the funny, then it becomes easier and easier until you’re doing it automatically. So here’s 5 funny things in Vegas....

Using What Works Against You

I just read an article about a guy who controls his tourettes syndrome by doing stand up comedy – I always thought stand-up comedy ENCOURAGED people to cuss. But the article mentioned that this guy has gained self-confidence and educated people on the...

Using What Works Against You

I just read an article about a guy who controls his tourettes syndrome by doing stand up comedy – I always thought stand-up comedy ENCOURAGED people to cuss. But the article mentioned that this guy has gained self-confidence and educated people on the...

Comedy Writing and Location

Looking at WHERE people are sitting Can give you great comedy material to kick off your speech. I'm doing a comedy show for a group and they told me that the top sales guys and gals are sitting at the front tables. That got me to thinking. . .where are the...

Using Stock Jokes

Two guys walk into a bar. . And find that this is not funny. Okay, should you use stock jokes, or as we comedians call them HACK jokes? I’ve talked about joke formulas like “he’s so big” or “top reasons why. . .” and I think that’s okay. You get...

Joking with Small Groups

9 People??? This week had I had the opportunity to be in front of a small group. . . 9 people. That’s NINE – single digit. . .no, I didn’t miss a zero. Before  this, the smallest I’d spoken to was 12. . . a little bit of a drop from the 4400 people I was...

Joke Writing for One Demographic

All Women All Day! This week I got a chance to present my “Finding the Funny in Communications” program to a group consisting of all women! They were great! I do a lot of programs in which there are just women, or even just men, in the audience, and I...

Joking & Disasters

Okay, so the east coast now experienced what the west coast has been exposed to for years – EARTHQUAKES!!! I’m originally from VA now living in CA, so I had to laugh at all the “check ins”. . “are you okay???” that people were doing. I’ve woken up in my...