Laughter is the Best Medicine

Get the Audience to Respond, Not Think – How to Write Jokes – Greg Dean

[MUSIC] [APPLAUSE] Anybody got a question? Yeah. [O.S.] Yeah, you said something while back about it think joke. And I’m wondering what you meant by that? Think jokes. Think jokes are ones where it just takes you a little while to wind up to actually get the joke. Uh, and my … it kind of brought up … ya’ know … The thought that I had about, about doing stand-up comedy and being funny, Is you don’t really want the audience to think. Okay? You don’t want them to think. You want them to respond. And you want them to respond instantly after the punch. Pop! Really as fast as you can get that response. And what I found from watching think jokes, which I happen to like, I used to say Yeah, put one in your show. But if every one of them to think joke the the pace of the show is really slow. Because it takes the audience a long time. Because the laughter kind of builds to a good place. and then you can move on. But I want the audience to respond. I want to pop that laugh and then pop that tag and And what it brought to my mind. Just, you know? Using one and watching other people use what I call think jokes is that … uh, it kind of made me start to understand the process of people trying to get a joke. So if you’ve got a few things wrong with the structure of your joke. Your reveals in the wrong place. You don’t you know your setup is kinda clunky. It’s too hard for the audience to instantly jump from. ya’ know, the set up to the punch. and get And get that idea that shatters your assumption, etc. The more time they have to think. Okay? Is energy taken, so, taken away from laughter. So if they have to kind of go, ‘Oh, what was that? Oh, that guy was … so and so … Oh.’ What it is I find is by the time they figure it out they go, Huh? Mmm-hmm.’ no they may have really enjoyed the joke but you don’t get a really big laugh because
that energy is taken up from thinking and solving that incongruity one of the
ways that I see people do that a lot is their setups are way too long okay and
then they hit a short punch and the audience kind of going where’s that
connect back where does that connect back where oh yeah all right okay that
kills the joke but if there’s only one place for it to connect my boom this
short set up short punch that connection happens instantly that’ll pop a quick
laugh the other way is you’ve got to set up and then yourse punchline is too long
so that you’re wondering what piece of information in that punch connects back
to the set up oh yeah and it takes them too long and for me that’s a technical
problem it’s a technical problem of how you write your setups and your punches
so that you make sure that the pieces of information in your setup are easily
accessible to find the punch boom pop that laughs really good so what the
reason that it kind of came from the think laughs is that as I was evaluating
and looking at think laughs I realized oh why do they never get a huge laugh
just kind of builds and then beaters out it’s because of the thinking and then I
realized wow that same thinking process also kills a normal joke as well you
don’t cuss oh you so if you want to pop those sharp laughs on the punch and each
tag make sure that you know that that the audience can instantly respond to
the joke and above all that will happen when your jokes are simple you

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