How to be Funny: Complete Comedy Guide

Do you want to be as cool as Vanilla Ice, as suave as Urkel, or as fascinating as the clear eyes guy?  Probably not but learning how to be funny will make you more attractive, happy, charming, engaging, and effective.  This article is an attempt to provide a better understanding of the obscure art of comedy.  You may already be the class clown, but read on as we try to dance around comedy like grandpa on red bull.

Laughter and humor are very interestingly elusive concepts.  They are very interesting in that they are the most common form of natural expression. They have positively influenced life for thousands of years.  Laughter is a powerful communication mechanism that emerges very soon after birth to express satisfaction and happiness.  From the emergence of laughter, a child’s sense of humor grows according to experience into a beautifully complex collective known as comedy.

The diversity and joyful effect of comedy makes it the most appealing form of art because anyone can easily practice or experience it anywhere.  Your ability to laugh and make people laugh can be improved much like a painter honing his craft through apprenticeship.  While laughing and amusing others are natural things they are both shaped and improved over time through experience.

You may think studying humor like a scientist diminishes its wonder, but, in fact, it only improves appreciation.  Knowing the components of comedy and noticing types of humor allows you to make light of life’s most discouraging moments.  It allows you to recognize new comedic perspectives that may have gone over your head.  Understanding comedy is a great way to improve your ability to build positive relationships, influence others with your ideas, and spread joy throughout the world.

The study of comedy is a very vast subject that is interpreted differently all over the world.  It is hard to fully explain or provide a definition that holds true for all forms.  There are however many common fundamentals that can start the discussion of a better understanding.  This article is an attempt to open the curtain and improve our understanding of comedic communication.

What is Laughter?

As it turns out laughter isn’t just the infectious result of a hilarious joke.  Laughter is an instinctual, involuntary, and contagious language that predates the spoken word.  Laughing is less about amusement and more about bonding.  Laughter is an interesting tool that we use many times a day to communicate delight or approval to others.  A jokester can benefit from understanding what laughter is because getting others to use this expression is, in fact, the point.  Explore these topics and more with WebMD as they explain Why we Laugh.

Benefits of Laughter

Laughter really is the best medicine.  It truly is the most effective and easiest medicine for the general well-being of the mind and body.  In addition to raising the spirit up above stress and distracting the mind from depression, laughter has several other very powerful physiological benefits.  Helpguide.com has put together an extensively informative article explaining why Laughter is the Best MedicineThis article does a great job of showcasing the relationship between laughter, mind, and body.

On a side note, I want to pay homage to the late Robin Williams who taught us that laughter is the best medicine in the 1998 movie “Patch Adams.”  Robin has made a huge impact on a lot of people with his medicine.  While the media was quick to blame drugs and depression as the cause of his death, it has recently been revealed that he suffered from a brain disease called Lewy Body Dementia.  LBD is a very serious degenerative illness with dangerous symptoms that the public needs to be aware of.  This article by CNN does a great job of explaining what happened to Robin while giving a better understanding of the disease.

Sense of Humor

Let’s face it life is tough and sometimes we lose sight of happiness.  A great way to feel better about life and cope with stressful moments is to lighten up and encourage your sense of humor.  The ability to perceive humor or appreciate a joke is essential if you want to make people laugh.  Whether you are the queen’s butler or work on Saturday Night Live you can benefit from exercising your sense of humor, because sometimes in life it fades.  Joshua Lockhart of Makeuseof.com put together a great list of 5 Ways to Enrich Your Life by Developing a Sense of HumorMakeuseof.com has a huge repository of articles that help internet users make sense of technology and the modern world.

Theories of Comedy

Laughter is a very complex thing that is hard to define.  Many people have tried to explain it in definite terms, but it has proved to be very difficult.  This article by Nina Rastogi of Slate entitled, 5 Leading Theories for Why We Laugh—and the Jokes That Prove Them Wrong, explains the leading theories of humor.  It explains that although each theory may work in one context it doesn’t apply to other situations.  The theories in this article prove that humor is not a science but yet an art form with many styles.  Comedy is hard to describe in absolute terms which makes it exceptionally interesting.

Elements of Humor

A great way to understand comedy as a whole is to examine its individual elements.  This article entitled How to be funny: the 6 essential ingredients to humor by Eric Barker of Barking up the Wrong Tree is a perfect dissection of the important elements of humor.  His article provides enlightening explanations of each component along with humorous video examples of famous comedians. Once you read these factors you will have a profound perspective of humor although the complete definition is still being written.

Improving Quick Wit

Conversations are a very common form of communication and in many social situations humor is a great tool to encourage a connection.  In the heat of conversation, you need to be able to relax, read the audience, understand the conversation, and deliver the joke correctly.  Wikihow.com has a great article that outlines How to be WittierIt is a tough skill to master but being witty, much like being funny is a skill that is improved with practice.

How to be Funny

You can be funny almost everywhere, but every situation is different and requires different ingredients.  How to be Funny in 10 Easy Steps is an article from RooGirl.com that provides universal advice that you can use in nearly every situation.  This article does a perfect job of identifying simple actionable steps that anyone can use to improve their funny bone.  It’s important to know your audience and deliver the right joke at the right time.

Building Relationships through Comedy

Creating any useful relationship requires a positive connection.  There is no better way to achieve that connection than the age old use of laughter to increase appeal.  Everyone wants to be around the person who can make them feel good.  LovePanky.com is a website dedicated to love and relationships that covers every aspect and perspective imaginable.  How to Be Funny and Make People Love Your Company is a great article that talks about how to use comedy to help build lasting relationships.

Adding Comedy to Writing

If you are writing something and you want to add pizzazz or dazzle your readers then adding a bit of comedy could go a long way in keeping them intrigued.  Adding humor to writing is different than verbalizing your jokes.  Learning how to be funny in writing requires more interpretation by the reader and doesn’t have the luxury of non-verbal communication.  This article by Writers Digest, an immensely valuable resource for writers, has provided perfect insight on How to Write Better Using Humor.

Funny Public Speaker

Public speaking is hard for a lot of people.  The main reason people are scared of public speaking is because they are afraid of boring their audience or looking bad.  The truth is you can avoid being boring and looking bad by embracing your flaws and acting funny.  Become a Better and Funnier Public Speaker is a highly acclaimed course that is designed to help you entertain and engage your listeners.  It is perfect for teachers, leaders, or anyone who finds themselves speaking in front of others often.

Beginner Standup Course

If you dream of standing up on stage dodging tomatoes and infecting the audience with your funny bone then the Ultimate Beginner’s Class to Learn Stand Up Comedy is for you.  This course is perfect for you to get an idea of what it’s like to be a standup comedian.  It provides tips on how to write, time, and deliver your jokes for maximum comedic effect.  Standup comedy is a fun hobby and this course is a great way to dip your club toe in the water.

Aspiring Comedian Tips

If you are interested in becoming a professional comedian and take your career to the big stage it can be a long bumpy road.  This list of 50 Best Standup Comedy Tips provided by CreativeStandup.com is a perfect compilation of advice to take you from the gritty back alley to Comedy Central.  The list is broken down into categories such as writing, performing, marketing, and success.

For some learning how to be funny is very difficult and intimidating but the more you try the easier it gets.  On the other hand just because you think you are funny doesn’t mean you are funny to everyone.  I think I’m funny, but my wife tells me all the time that I’m not.  It is one of those things you just need to do and by examining it a little further you can gain a better understanding of it.

Whether they’re laughing at your jokes or your failure at telling them, you are still getting them to laugh and that means a lot.  Every giggle or LOL is a good deed that spreads joy to the scary unforgiving realities of life.

If you liked this article or have a resource that will add to the understanding of comedy let me know in the comments.  Subscribe to my newsletter or hit me up on social media to get more informational articles like this.  Be sure to share this article to help others spread hilarity throughout the world.

 

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5 thoughts on “How to be Funny: Complete Comedy Guide

  • February 11, 2017 at 9:44 am
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  • February 11, 2017 at 8:53 am
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    We can't wait to get our hands on those boy stamps Bev – we sympathise with your craft room, we're still living out of plastic boxes and crafting on the kitchen table lol! Hope you are soon feeling as fit as a fiddle, hugs from Mary G x

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  • January 24, 2017 at 1:59 am
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