Self-Improvement and Interesting Knowledge

It can be a pretty difficult thing to go up and talk to people. We have all found ourselves in situations where we have to make small talk and mingle. Sometimes we also run into people that we like and would love to have just the right thing to say to be able to get the other person interested and smiling.

Guys can find the act of going to talk to a girl very daunting and a nerve racking affair that can have you tongue tied and sounding stupid. Girls can also find themselves in situations where they are desperate to say something witty and fun to impress and entertain. But it seems that the harder that you try, the harder that it becomes to be cool.

The ‘gift of the gab’ as the Irish call it is a great blessing and allows those blessed with it, to talk to anyone and bring a smile to all. The best way to meet girls is to be funny and the best way to not seem bitchy or snotty is to have a good sense of humor.  Laughter creates instant rapport with anyone and there is no better way to make a good impression than to make them laugh.

This article will give you all of the know-how that you will need to create a great comedy stand-up routine. Why?
Because a comic routine is sort of like a small funny story that you relate to people that allows you to bring out your inner comedian and create instant rapport with anyone.

Have you ever noticed that comedians have really hot wives??

Yeah, get a girl to laugh and they will instantly like you. Keep them laughing and you will have all the girlfriends that you can ever want. If you think that I am kidding, look at the girls that Jim Carrey has been with, or Dan Aykroyd’s wife!

Funny girls also have it good. They are surrounded with friends and can usually get away with murder since everyone likes them so much. A great example of the great appeal of a funny girl is Ellen.

So a stand-up comedy routine then is a funny story? Yes but its a lot more than that; it’s a story full of funny twists and turns with not just one joke but a bunch of jokes interwoven throughout. A great comic routine catches you by surprise and leaves you wanting more. It turns that dull everyday and twists it so that it becomes a great big fun romp.

Life is pretty boring mostly, anyone that can add a spark to our dull day, will have our thanks and will be instantly transported into our good books.

To begin, lets look into the anatomy of a joke:

•    Most jokes are really a REFRAME; this is when you change the way a person perceives a certain event and as a result, you change the meaning. All good stories have a reframe of sorts, my favorite is when you find out the Rudolph’s giant red nose is not weird and ugly but its actually the only thing that will get Santa’s sleigh safely through the snow storm.

Why did the frogs cross the road?…
It was stapled to the chicken..haha

See, you were maybe thinking ‘frogger’, but the reframe turned it into ‘the hills have eyes for amphibians’ 🙂

If you are having troubles with the whole reframe thing, just think of it as; SURPRISE! Basically a good joke is always a good surprise. You were expecting this but…Bang! You got something totally  different. A surprise is like a light bulb going off in your head. Eureka!

If you can master this notion of creating a surprise effect (or in other words, a reframe) then you  can turn anything into a joke.

And a great comedy routine is a bunch of jokes in a row that add up to a story, a really funny, ,messed  up story.

•    Another thing that we have to consider when we are trying to understand jokes is; TIMING. If you remember the idea of surprise, then the art of timing is pretty simple (most comedians will want to string me up for saying that but in the great words of Bob the Merciless, “ Fuck’em if they can’t take a joke.”).

What you want to do is to catch your audience completely by surprise…So good timing means saying things when they least expect it and to say it in ways that they hadn’t imagined.

For example you could be saying something in one rhythm but then you totally change that rhythm to say something really weird. Or you tell a really sad story with a giant smile on your face. Good timing means breaking patterns and waiting for just the right moment to let them have it!

Ok, so now that you have basic idea of the joke, how do you get started?
Well the best way to create a comedy routine is to take an ordinary story and to add a few surprises to it. Try to come up with a relevant story; that is a story about something pertinent or significant to where you are and what you are doing. Try to think of things that have happened to you, or are happening. It can be anything from you working at your computer, to going to the bookstore,  looking for a book at a bookstore, or even eating pizza.

My advice is to have a bunch of stories and to create as many comic routines as you can so that whatever happens, you will always have at least one routine that fits right into what you and others are talking about. Think of these routines as a comedy bag that you can reach into. The more stories that you have, the better your inventory, the more prepared that you will be to deal with any social circumstance.

So lets see what we can do with a simple story:

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.

So this buddy of mine…Jack, went up this hill with this chick that he had been trying to pounce for months.
Jill or something…slut.
Anywho, Jack takes Jill on this bogus walk supposedly to get water from a well or something, he told me after that she was wearing the shortest skirt ever, any shorter and it would have been a tank-top… I guess the bulge in his pants was so huge he could barely walk. Freakin pervert!
So Jacko is straining just to walk, but dumbdumb is so hot right now that he start to drop the bucket, bending down trying to look up Jill’s dress…He walks with a limp now, I guess he strained his crotch or something..
So Jack keeps dropping the bucket and bending over, when all the sudden he gets lucky and Jill gets a bit ahead of him, he looks up these hot sexy longs legs and…”God,” he screams, falls down, and starts rolling down the hill. Hits some rock or something and passes out.
Jackie boy tells me later that as he bends over and looks up at the sexiest longest legs ever, he eyes under the inziwinzy mini skirt… what could only be described as..The biggest pair of hairy tea bags ever!  So traumatized was the poor guy that he slipped, fell, and nearly broke his crown.
So he thinks he’s dreaming; bad nightmare.. but when he wakes up, there is Jill standing over him, one leg on each side of his body. He can’t help it but to look up those hot legs again and sees the biggest Johnson this side of the Mississippi..I guess Jill was flying commando.
Crazy man! I guess Jill was actually Jason a while back. She just needed one operation to make the girl complete…If you know what I mean.
What happen to jack?
Him and Jill got married last Tuesday,
They flew to Hawaii…See that’s how I got this awesome tan!

Anything has potential.  Just remember about the surprise effect and learn to tell your stories with great timing. You don’t have to swear and it does have to be a dirty story but try and take that originally dull life event, and give it a bit of color.

Have as many routines as possible, this will give you tons of practice. Before long you will be able to improvise on the spot and be able to come up with great jokes and twists that will have the people around you laughing their heads off.

One bit of warning; let other people have a word in. Don’t talk endlessly; there is nothing so unfunny as to have to hear somebody go on and on. Good timing means knowing when to shut up. Let others talk and put in your two cents, if it looks like they want to hear the rest of your story, then tell it but stop and get input from the other people.
Also, don’t laugh at your own jokes. It’s terrible when you see people going on laughing their heads off while the audience looks at them in growing horror. Tell your stories with a straight face; there is nothing funnier than to tell a funny comic routine with a straight face.

Learn to read your audience so that you know when to laugh, when to shut up, and when to talk.

Keep those comic routines handy, so that you are never caught unprepared. The best way to break the ice with people is to have a great sense of humor and to blow them away with a really good stand-up comedy routine.

You never know when you might be stuck in an elevator…with a Rabbi, a priest, and chicken…

 

Because of the great interest in ‘How to create a stand-up comedy routine’, I have put together an ebook that answers all the questions that many of you have. It explains how jokes and comedy routines are created in a a step by step fashion, how to apply good comedic timing, how to use comedy as a persuasion tool, and how to use comedy to relax and improve your health. Please check it out!

27 comments

  1. Name (Required)

    Pls I really need to learn more on how to be more creative and to be spontaneous in my delivery. I am a gospel stand up comedian in Nigeria. I am doing not too bad but want to be better infact the best in dis part of the world. How can I and what are the things I must do to get there

    1. Well chum, let me begin by saying that you probably take the cake as far as tough audiences go.
      I’m sorry but I don’t think that a single article is going to make you as good as you want to be but I can tell you that all the ingredients to
      create a real good solid routine are here in this article.

      As far as spontaneity goes, I would say that the best answer would be a certain quote that works great for soldiers of fortune, pirates, black ops teams, microbiologists, and of course comedians:

      “Chance favors the prepared mind”

      What this means is that as counter-intuitive as it might seem, the best way to seem spontaneous is to be very well prepared. As I stated in the article above, try to create as many short stories or skits as possible. Memorize these skits and practice them often in front of the mirror;
      practice and keep practicing until they flow out without you having to strain to remember them. Eventually you will be able to combine all these routines and to take a joke from one and add it to another then combine those two with the third.

      Being creative on cue is like trying to have a bowel movement in a crowded washroom; the harder you try, the tighter your sphincters get. What you need is a nice quiet place where you can be alone and relax; that’s the only way that your creativity is going to dump out.
      Try reading this article; instead of using the metaphors the article talks about to try and solve problems, use those metaphors to try and come up with great ideas for you jokes.
      Good luck!

    2. HarryPotterFanBoy

      Hey,
      I was planning to do a little act about an 18 year old who is so dumb that he is still in 3rd grade. I ask tons of questions that are answered by the stupidest answers. For recess that day, we are sitting outside and I see a bee so I ask him if he likes bees. He says,”Actually my favorite letter is A.” I say,”Its a bee with a stinger.” At this point he is bewildered by what I just said and asks,” What’s a stinger.” I but my hands on my but saying with rage,”A STINGER! A STUPID STINGER!”

      That is only part of the act, but is it good? Anything I need to add?

      1. Sounds good to me. Nice job!
        You are doing what in my book I refer to as ‘the second comedic technique’ called a reframe.
        So maybe if you want you can keep it going by having him say, “Is the bee drunk? Stinger?? that’s a cocktail right?”
        so you say, “No a bee with a stinger, a stupid stinger!”
        and he says, “hey, no need to be mean. Maybe the stinger is just misunderstood?”

        So you can keep it up like that for as long as you like 🙂
        have fun with it!!

    1. Sure! I can mail you stuff written on nice pink sticky notes like, “You are special” or “Never kiss a girl with an adams apple, she might have swallowed a golf ball.”

  2. clitoria Moore

    Well I am happy to say that I follow that rule above, I am going to do my 3rd stand up so this article just reassured me that I am on the correct path, Nice job.

  3. Hey!

    Nice article man. I’m just getting into standup and this article had some great insights.

    Cheers!

  4. Hey I’m doing stand up at my schools variety show but I need some help on my opening like I don’t know how to start… Please help

    1. Try starting by telling stories about how you feel or what you went through to get on stage. For example if you were all uptight you might want to create a story about how nervous you felt or some dumb thing you did, or what you went through to figure out what to talk about…You could even tell a story about how you had to ask some ‘schmuck’ on a website for advice on what to talk about because you had brain freeze. The story could be anything simple like that.

      When you have the regular story, turn it into a funny story using the methods that I talk about in the article; surprise them. Poke a little fun at yourself until you win the crowd over then you can poke fun at them.
      Good Luck!

  5. So at my school we are all doing end-of-the-year stand up comedy routines with partners. In order to get a good grade it has to be somewhat original and last for about five minutes. I want to just take one joke (kind of like the Jack and Jill one^) and turn it in to a joke story. (?) Help!

    1. It sounds like a cool project. Just follow the advice on the article and I am sure you will do great.
      The trick is to start with a story that just seems ordinary and then just work on it using the rules of reframe until you have something crazy and funny. In the article I just used three lines of story from the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme, but you can have a more intricate story with many lines so that it’s easier to create a good long joke story.

      Remember to practice telling the story after you write it. This will allow you to gauge the length of it so you have a story that is long enough. It will also help you to get your timing right; practice until you have your pauses down perfectly; after each punch line, pause for a little, that tells the audience that this is the part where they laugh. If you don’t practice, you will have a tendency to rush through it. The pauses are just as important as the story so make sure you have it perfect.
      Plus after you say your story to the mirror about ten times, you will be so bored of it that when you get in front of the audience, you just won’t be that nervous.

      Good Luck!

      1. George Carlin and his pause. Don’t think Anyone had better pauses. Talk about perusing outside the box. His material… just wow. Ya know… you my friend are very adept at teaching. I am SO enjoying reading you. I do hope you are still active….. seen a couple 2015 entries….. little nervous here John… s little nervous.

        1. Still kicking…what I am kicking and how often…well that is a private matter as you may well imagine, but the good news is that I am still kicking 🙂

  6. Great advice foremost. My question is I consider myself a reactionary funny. I.e. in a group convo depending on the topic of subject at hand, I can jump in with a quick joke. Not a that’s what she said but a real gut buster . Then from there go on a long, hilarious speel. . But if asked to duplicate the next day I can’t. I guess my question is how do can I transfer my “in the moment ” funny to “3.2.1 your on” funny

    1. Very good question Tpitty. It seems to me that you suffer from the ‘Natural’ syndrome. At the right moment, when the stars align, you are hilarious but you don’t know how it is that you are this good; it just happens. I think that this is great because it shows that you are naturally talented and have a really clever mind. The problem comes though when you lose that inner good feeling and you can’t seem to be able to do what was so natural before.
      That’s why you get those guys in baseball wearing a chicken feather in their caps or not washing their underwear for a season…ick.

      My personal advise to you is that you should discover the step by step formula that makes you funny. Creativity is a truly magical thing and it can’t be bottled per se, but exploring the logic behind it all can really help you because it will allow you to open up that door into comedy central in your brain, and it will allow you to do it on cue like you wanted instead of relying on just the right moment or crusty underwear.

      I personally would recommend you read my book. Sorry I am not just trying to promote myself here, I think that you will greatly benefit from discovering how your kind of comedy is created so that you can expand on it and use it like a lethal weapon whenever you want it. I think that chapters 2 and 4 will contain the information that will be most beneficial to you as they discuss the funny/ crazy rant and the funny word mutation technology that is used for the gut buster comeback.
      If not my book then look for other comedy books that discuss the process of joke creation as this will really help in augmenting your creativity and allowing you to control its delivery.

  7. Hello,
    I have been trying to write jokes for a while now, and I produce a lot of stuff, but I personally don’t believe they’re all that funny. And I have a school variety show coming up soon and I am expected to do 10 minutes of stand up. Could you tell me how I could start it, and what not to do in the process of getting an audience to like you and such.
    Thanks

    1. Hi LoopyCoopy,

      I think that the greatest quality of a good comedy writer is the ability to be able to be a strong critic of your own work. If you can work on your material and know that some things aren’t funny then there is a part in you that knows what would be funny, and it is just a matter getting your jokes to the level where your saying, “yes that’s hilarious!” Just follow your intuition and keep writing, because I think that you know what comedy is all about, you just have to get the stuff in your head on paper.

      Honestly I would really recommend my book to you. It will show you how to start your routine and it will show you how to make sure that you really wow people with your comedy.

      For an audience to like you what you don’t want to do is be boring right? Well what’s exciting?

      A surprise is always exciting so what you have to try to do is to surprise the audience; tell them and do things that they don’t expect you to do. If it’s a little crazy or maybe it’s a little weird then that’s ok, what is most important is that you catch them by surprise. If you can keep their attention on you for 10 minutes, and they are not bored for the entire ten minutes, then you won. The more you surprise them, the more they will like you.

      In the book I wrote, in chapter 7 I write all about the wow factor, which our comedian brethren often call ’timing’, and which I refer to as “Killer Comic Samurai”. 🙂
      Timing, that’s your ticket!!

  8. Patrick Preston

    Howdy,

    I did a stand up routine at a school talent show, and I told stories about teachers. Everyone loved it. Now they want me to do it again, and I don’t want to use the same material, and it’s hard to think of new material and still be both funny and PG. One joke i want to use is, “I considered joining book club, but I dropped out. There was simply too much nudity.” How’s that?

    1. I personally think it’s a great joke! Awesome one-liner, especially if you say it with a straight face 🙂

      That is always the case with comedy work; you always have to walk the line with the audience. I would suggest that you tell the joke to a trusted teacher and see what his or her reaction is, that is the best way to be sure since they are the ones that will know the line you can’t cross better than anyone…and if you get in trouble, you can always say that teacher so and so said it was ok, he he.

  9. Thanks for this great article. Im just starting to look into stand up. I currently am involved in a local Improv Troupe and they keep telling I need to try my swing at Stand up. So thanks I will definitely be in contact in the next few weeks.

  10. HarryPotterFanBoy

    Hey,
    I was planning to do a little act about an 18 year old who is so dumb that he is still in 3rd grade. I ask tons of questions that are answered by the stupidest answers. For recess that day, we are sitting outside and I see a bee so I ask him if he likes bees. He says,”Actually my favorite letter is A.” I say,”Its a bee with a stinger.” At this point he is bewildered by what I just said and asks,” What’s a stinger.” I but my hands on my but saying with rage,”A STINGER! A STUPID STINGER!”

    That is only part of the act, but is it good? Anything I need to add?

  11. Sounds good to me. Nice job!
    You are doing what in my book I refer to as ‘the second comedic technique’ called a reframe.
    So maybe if you want you can keep it going by having him say, “Is the bee drunk? Stinger?? that’s a cocktail right?”
    so you say, “No a bee with a stinger, a stupid stinger!”
    and he says, “hey, no need to be mean. Maybe the stinger is just misunderstood?”

    So you can keep it up like that for as long as you like 🙂
    have fun with it!!

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