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I’ve made a career out of teaching people how to be funny. Maybe you’re a professional stand-up comic. Maybe you want to use humor to reach a larger audience. Or maybe you just want to learn how to be funny around guys (whatever works!) Check out these tips and tricks so you can learn how to be a funnier you.
How to be Funny
How to be funny in such an unfunny world? That’s the million dollar question.
The news has been stressful! I’ve segued from ISIS beheadings to Joan Rivers’ death, stopping to take note that Kim Kardashian is a mother. It’s hard to laugh or try to be funny in conversation, but we have to. The only other way I relieve my tension is eating. That makes laughing truly important; it doesn’t put on pounds, but rather lightens you up!
As Carol Burnett once said, “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” Making my living as a humorist and comedy writer, I don’t always have the luxury of letting things settle down. My job is to be edgy while taking the edge off for others, transforming problems into punchlines.
Life doesn’t always show up funny – it’s up to us comics to FIND THE FUNNY. But, I could use some help. Here are 5 steps to help you be funny in conversation by making HUMOR CHOICES.
How To Be Funny Tip #1. Want to be funny around guys? Say Something Unexpected. Next time someone asks, “How are you?” don’t say, “Fine.” Not funny. What IS funny is to resort to unabashed honesty, bordering on bad taste, which is easy to dole out by giving TMI. Example: “How am I? I just had a big birthday and I’m flashing! Whoo-Hoo! Menopause isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” This one is especially funny if you are a guy.
How To Be Funny Tip #2. Put a Positive Spin on Your Troubles. Comedy uses contrary thinking. Before someone else can suggest that what you’re wearing should have gone to a thrift shop… fifteen years ago, find three POSITIVE things to say about your fashion impairment. Example: “Are you saying this is not in style? Hey! I make other women feel well dressed… You’ll be sorry you gave your stuff away when shirtwaist dresses and bell bottoms come back.”
How To Be Funny Tip #3. Be a Comedy Wake-Up Call for People Who Have Boring Jobs. Example: When you’re writing a check and the cashier (or dog groomer) asks for your phone number, you smile coquettishly and say, “I’m in a committed relationship. If you’re going to call, make it between 3 and 5. That’s when my lover goes to rehab.”
How To Be Funny Tip #4. Don’t Take Insults So Seriously. Want to know how to be cool? Laugh off hostility. Example: When some relative says something critical to you, rather than getting defensive, validate them. “Thank you so much for noticing that I’ve gained weight! All that late night snacking has finally paid off. I’ve cured my anorexia! Whoo Hoo!”
How To Be Funny Tip #5. Lighten Up Your Workplace. Give your colleagues a humor break. Instead of nitpicking, let others know what they’re doing right. Example: “Love the colors you selected for your excel chart!!” Take this “You are awesome” attitude with you on your drive home. Example: When you see a truck with a “How am I driving” 800 number on it. Roll down your window and tell them, “I LOVE your left turn! Whoo-Hoo!”
Humor is an effective tool. Learning how to be funny and witty will make you and others feel better to laugh. It’s true that bad things can happen to good people, but they also happen to bad people. We can all get stressed out, drink and overeat. Or we can drink, overeat AND LAUGH. Your choice.