In humor writing, the first person that has to think something is funny is you. If you don’t think what you’ve written is funny, probably no one else will either. Still, that’s no guarantee others will enjoy your comedy because not everyone shares your sense of humor. We’re all unique when it comes to comedy. We laugh at different forms of humor. Some like clever jokes, others visual slapstick comedy, and others dry wit. That’s the hardest thing about writing funny humor and comedy. Creating comedy that is universally funny and appeals to a large audience is challenging.
The number of times I’ve been the only person in a movie theater laughing during a particular comedy scene that I find funny is, according to my family members, ridiculous. And the loud, solo laughter at my favorite humor becomes the source of humor for everyone else. At my expense and to the embarrassment of my family. Of course, so is my solo singing, which is why I’m frequently asked to sing solo that no one can hear me. Hey…whatever lame joke it takes to get a laugh, right? So let’s take a closer look at humor.
Comedy is similar to magic. It surprises the audience. Like slight of hand, you intentionally lead the audience along a thought pattern towards a certain assumption or conclusion and then switch to the unexpected. For you, the comedy writer, it means always looking at things from a different, humorous perspective. Always asking what if? Where’s the comedy? How can I make it funny?
Tomorrow morning I have to get on a plane to Chicago…I’d prefer to ride inside the plane, but really, have you seen ticket prices lately? Work has been killing me lately because I’ve spent the last 3 weeks on the road…run over by 100 cars, 25 trucks, and picked on by 4 buzzards.
Universal humor and comedy is all around you. But you must train yourself to be observant and capture those funny moments when you encounter them. And when you see things that are funny, actively turn them over in your mind to make the comedy stand out. It’s the common problems we all face, the similar annoyances we experience, the familiar quirks of humanity we see every day. In reality, life is routine most of the time. And when you observe the comedy episodes in routine life, you’ll find humor that makes everyone laugh. Like…
The person ahead of you in the grocery store checkout line, that unlike you, is not in a hurry and uses the opportunity to share all the details of his current medical condition with the cashier. The five year old that keeps obnoxiously blurting out loud questions to his parents in the middle of an intense movie…that he shouldn’t even be at because it’s R rated.
However, it’s not just reporting these comedy moments, although sometimes, they are so naturally funny that alone is enough. What separates you as a freelance humor writer is when you add comedy, color commentary. It’s embellishing, exaggerating, and inserting the flavor of a little sarcasm. When you do, you create humor that makes us all laugh together. And it brightens up our day.