Writing Humor / Comedy: 5 Techniques to Write Funny Jokes | Film in Flame | Skillshare

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Writing Humor / Comedy: 5 Techniques to Write Funny Jokes

teacher avatar Film in Flame, Filmmaking Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Why We Laugh

    • 3. Humorist's Mindset

    • 4. T1 - Play on Words

    • 5. T2 - The Simple Truth

    • 6. T3 - Reverse

    • 7. T4 - Realism + Exaggeration

    • 8. T5 - Triple

    • 9. Your Project

    • 10. Final Words

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About This Class

Humor Writing is Attractive Writing.

But Humor may seem hard to deconstruct. However some have tried to do it. Some tried to deconstruct jokes. Because we need more of them!

"Humor is a magnifying glass for us to look at society, ourselves, our personalities, our problems. Humor is what we need to actually observe things, and actually put them in perspective."

- Quentin Tarantino

Yes, Yes... But  more than that, we need it because we want to laugh and make other people laugh. We want to engage people with our sense of humor. Because it's psychologically impossible to hate someone with whom you've laughed. Laughter is desired, so humor is a desired skill.

This class is for writers, stand-up comedians, comic artists, podcasters, youtubers, spokesmen and anyone who likes humor or needs humor to engage their audience.

Of course there are many different opinions on how humor works. But this particular class is mostly based on the methods of the amazing book by Mark Shatz and Mel Helitzer: COMEDY WRITING SECRETS

After this class you will know how to think funny, how a joke works, and how to structure your words into a funny joke.

In this class, you will learn...

  • 3 traditional theories of laughter and humor so you can understand why and when people laugh.
  • 5 important techniques to write jokes and humor.

You will learn them with lots of funny examples. So it’s gonna be a fun ride too.

I hope you enjoy the class.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Film in Flame

Filmmaking Teacher


Film in Flame is an online film magazine which is interested in films that are in flames.

We have such great passion for filmmaking that it makes us smile as large as the half-moon. We love great editings, big emotions, and the moments when you can feel the heat of genius in a film.

We study great masters; and here, we are to share what we’ve learned from them with you. We are willing to teach you all the aspects of filmmaking. Of course, that isn’t possible! Cause many things can’t be learned on a phone or in front of a computer. You gotta get your hands dirty in the work. But we’re gonna try our best to give you the primary knowledge so you can do the rest.

I hope you like our contents, and I wish you good luck.

See full profile

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1. Trailer: Sometimes I go like this, but then I stopped. This has been one of those times. Humor is simply wonderful. There are many great benefits in using humor. It can earn you respect as a creative person, because is your wars to be remembered? It makes you able to talk about uncomfortable or confrontational subjects. Sense of humor reduces a stress and promotes relaxation. Finally, since humor is a very loved and desired skill, you can Aaron great financial and personal rewards from it. But can everyone be funny? Off course they can, because the element that drives college E is imagine a gang and just about everyone has an imagination. Just have to learn the rules and techniques. This class teaches you exactly that in this class you will learn three traditional theories off laughter and humor so you can understand why and when people laugh. Then you will learn five important techniques to write jokes and humor. You will also learn each techniques variations, and you will learn them with. It's a funny examples, so it's gonna be a fun ride to now. Let's go to the first lecture 2. Why We Laugh: There are three primary theories about why we laugh. Surprise, superiority and relief. Surprise theory surprises the most universally accepted formula for humor, and it's the most important. A joke is usually a story, and a surprise ending is usually it's finale. When we are tricked to hear something foolish, we get surprised you left when our perception of a situation suddenly changes. Here is an example. Beware, since surprises super importance, appreciation of any piece of humor decreases rapidly through repeated exposure or when the ending is predictable superiority theory. There appears to be a strong and constant need for us to feel superior. In many ways, humor satisfies this most basic of needs. Superiority theory, estates that we left at the misfortunes and shortcomings off others because it makes us feel better about ourselves. Here is an example. Superiority is the reason why jokes are often told with hostility toward a target of subject. Here is an example, really. Theory. Humor relieves psychological tension by allowing us to face our fears, release narrows energy and overcome inhibitions. Here are some examples 3. Humorist's Mindset: to become a humorist. It's super important to deal of the humorists mindset. Humorists have one cardinal rule wishes. Don't be inhibited when riding right freely. If you're in Serrano, critic limits your creativity. You will be left with nothing. Imagination drives comedy, and if you stub your imagination, you stop the comedy, a good exercise for free imagination, considered a possible uses of on object other than its ordinary use. And remember to use your imagination and plenty of exaggeration without being restrained to practicality, for example, to round bar stool cushions. What can they be uttered on a stool? Cushions? I say symbols for people with really sensitive hearing or hemorrhoid pads for a really large person or Frisbees. Fourth athletically challenged off course Thes are no jokes yet, but they're funny thoughts, aren't they? As you probably noticed, imagination allows you to realign diverse elements into new and unexpected relationships that surprise the audience, and surprise makes people left. So when riding humor, let your imagination run wild and remember, editing and self censorship are second and third steps, never the first 4. T1 - Play on Words: play on wards. Let's call it power. Since wars are the atoms off humor, the majority off all humors based on place on wards. Writing Pau Comedy Lines is a second nature for humorists as tying their shoelaces. Pau has two sides. The first side is caring about each ward of your joke, knowing that some words are just funnier than others by nature and use them to your advantage to tell a perfect joke. Famously, Words with the chase sounds seemed funnier for the majority of people, but this is not a rule. It's very instinctual to understand which Ward is funnier than the other. The other side of Pau is the techniques. Pound can be a twist on a familiar cliche aphorism, book, movie or song title, famous code or any expression widely known by the public. There are different techniques off PAL, such as reforming the double on Tundra matter, prop, oxymoron and pond, which I'm gonna explain to you one by one. Reforming reforming is the process of altering award or expression to arrive at a twist that cleverly changes the point of view. There are several ways to use your four ng. Words can be reformed by replacing one or two layers. In order to achieve a surprise turn of phrase, they're formulated. Ward will most likely be a hominum or arriving variation like these restaurant names and not a way to reform is to use a hominem, a similar sounding ward, often with a double in tundra. Interpretation. George Carlin Waas, perhaps the most serious and prolific linguists in comedy history in his best selling books , Power and Reforming accounted for a large percentage of the humor, including the following examples. Double in Tantra. Dual and Chandra is the French terror for an ambiguous word or phrase that allows for a second, usually a spicy interpretation, the logic behind double in towns where humor is as basic as its English translation. Two meanings. The audience assumes one, meaning the comic sneaks in a nutter. Another great example of dual in town dries the ending of the movie Silence of the Lambs. The last lines of spoken by the cannibal Hannibal Lecter, as he's about to kill another victim is a classic use of power. Man, a prop, a matter prop is on unintentional mistakes mentor, misuse of a word or phrase or an accidental substitution of on incorrect war for a similar correct want to humorous effect. Oxymoron. An oxymoron is a contradiction in terms, and it provides a gold mine off humor. Material upon upon is created from the intentional confusion of similar sounding words or phrases. Ponds, which or allow with a double and tundras, can be used as the basis for a joke or to reform, award or expression. They were better when a spoken or hurt than they do in print, because the ear transmits to remind the most familiar interpretation of each ward, for example, here can sound like here hair and hair butting prints there obviously difference. 5. T2 - The Simple Truth: Sometimes all it takes to be funny is to say the truth. The simple truth technique has two variations. The simple truth and the takeoff, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Let's see what they are. The simple truth on the takeoff is a technique that uses cliches to surprise the audience cliches, an expression that was clever once but has lost its original impact through overuse like these ones. Seems cliches are short cuts to comprehension, and they are used frequently and indiscriminately. The are perfect premises before surprises, you can use a cliche to take the audience in a predictable direction. Banning can just add on audacious and surprising interpretation off that cliche to shock an audience into laughter. So you say a cliche venue. Continue with an outrageous commentary. Here are some examples. The whole truth and nothing but the truth is a technique for creating humor by considering the implications off the literal meaning of the expressions without their context off logical assumptions. By taking the literal meaning of a keyword, you can surprise the audience who have automatically interpreted the expression with his traditional meaning, and the success of a simple truth depends on an almost childlike comprehension. One of the waste understand this technique is to think like a child. George Carlin, who famously used the simple truth in his books at Monologues, examined wars closely for in Congress. Variations like these ones T O. 6. T3 - Reverse: reverses a simple statement, sending up a point of view that is effectively cancelled out by the last few words. It's when you say something, and just when the audience assumes they know what you mean. You step backward and show them they were all wrong. To maintain the elements off Surprise, the rider must drop at least one prominent clue to mislead the audience, to push the audience in a false direction. Here are some jokes and their clues. In contrast, an effective surprise remains hidden until the rider is ready to reveal it. Each phrase, idea or fact should be carefully designed, so that when the humorous reverses the train of thought, the audience is totally surprised if they can't see the reverse coming. They're not surprised, so it won't be funny anymore. 7. T4 - Realism + Exaggeration: human reality and exaggeration balance each other like equal weights on a scale. At times, one side of the scale may tip, but the variation is always a small on one side of the scale. Realism is essential in order for the audience to share hostility toward common target, to feel superior on the other side of the scale affects and conclusions or exaggerated tow bill. Tension of surprise In this joke, they're realistic element is the rising waistband off the father's pants? The exaggeration is the waistband reaching the father's head. His comedy encourages the audience to suspend disbelief. Humorists can take advantage of every opportunity to stretch the truth. Exaggeration of the truth should be like a stretching a rubber band as much as you can without tearing it. You should exaggerate the truth without breaking the logic. Humor only comes when the exaggeration is logical and finding a proper balance between realism. An exaggeration is the ultimate test of a comedy writer scale. An exaggeration can be on over a statement like this, But exaggeration also works as an understatement, which is an excellent technique for self deprecating and insults. Huer Here are some examples 8. T5 - Triple: the mystical power of the Unit three, sometimes called the holy trilogy, has been known for centuries. The triple is one former that all humorists use over and over and over. The triple increases tension with this longer build off, featuring a grouping of three examples or sequence of three actions, comments or categories. And then, after that long buildup intention, it's time to surprise the audience. The classic, a structure of a joke, is like telling his story in three parts. Set up anticipation and punch line. Here is an example. The classic is structure of telling jokes. Uses triples. In the anticipation set up is the preparation. It's the premise of the story. Anticipation includes the triple, which often includes three examples, and the punch line is the stories surprising payoff. Here is an example a common variation on this formulas to set up a job with a triple to include the triple nut in anticipation part of the formula. But in the preparation, then the second element of the jewelry first to something unrelated to the Triple and finally, the punchline references the triple in the set up T T triples can easily be combined with other joke formats. For example, we can start with a triple and add a take off. Another popular combination of techniques is to start with a triple and then switch to a reverse. Their various can either supplements or replace the third elements in the triple, and finally you can combine a triple with another triple. 9. Your Project: for your project. Choose three of these 10 cliches and use the rules and techniques you've learned to turn them into humor. I'll check all of your projects and comments on them and get creative. 10. Final Words: Congratulations, you finished the class. Since you've learned the rules and techniques to write humor, at first, it can be a little hard to think and imagine without limitation. Your jokes can be a little robotic, but don't worry, have patience and practice until you find your flow. Archive your favourite jokes and deconstruct them to master the techniques. Thank you for watching this class. Don't forget to leave a review. It helps others to make choices about this class and please follow fail lymph lay for more classes on arts and filmmaking. Adios.