Learn how professional stand-up comedians write jokes that deliver uproarious amounts of laughter.
- After successfully completing the following blog series, How to Write 101 Jokes that Kill, you will be able to write funny, original jokes that make audiences laugh so hard their cheeks hurt!
How to write joke that kills
As a young comedian, I learned how to write jokes by performing on stage at comedy clubs and studying off-stage. One book that connected with my learning style is Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer. Today, I use that book as a basis to teach comedy writing at a prestigious community college in Denver, Colorado. Students read the book to learn the ancient formula for comedy:
- Set-up + Punchline = Joke
Stand-up comedians write jokes that kill
Hello! My name is Chuck Roy, an old-school stand-up comedian. Writing jokes and honing material is one of my favorite things to do. I like to drink a beer, stroll onto a stage, and joyfully crush the audience with joke after joke that crushes with wave, after overwhelming wave of laughter.
- Jokes that kill are funny, original, and sustain overwhelming laughter from comedy audiences
To get the most out of this series, write jokes that kill in a comedy club, open mic, or your next movie.
“This guy is on the cusp” – Ralphie May
Learn how I write comedy material for movies, TV shows and live stages including:
- Ralphie May Presents
- Louie Anderson Presents
- Last Comic Standing
- Comedy Central
- Amazon Prime
- Comedy Clubs
- Open Mic Comedy Shows
One of the easiest ways to learn is by watching short, funny videos like How to Write a Joke
Start writing funny, original ideas for jokes. (Use your notebook or favorite writing tools.)
- A premise is the idea or theme for a joke. Make a list of at least 5 premises for funny stand-up comedy material.
- A set-up is the beginning of a joke. Think of your favorite ideas for your own stand-up comedy routine. Write down the first few words, or set-up, for at least 5 more jokes.
- The punchline is the part of a joke that converts an idea into humor. Write punchlines for your 5 joke set-ups.
Now, you’ve got 5 jokes for your funny stand-up comedy routine!
Pro Tip: Write jokes that get laughs from the audience. One of the first things that many new comedians realize is that the audience is made up of strangers. Therefore, your thrilling challenge is to convert your ideas for comedy into uproarious amounts of laughter from people who expect you to be funny.
Are you ready to write 101 jokes that kill?
- After successfully completing the Comedy Writing Challenges and Show Business Challenges in this blog series, you will be able to demonstrate the ability to create funny, original jokes that kill. To get the most out of these articles, feel free to skip around, jump over content, watch videos and look at pictures, and try the challenge
- At the bottom of each article is a Comedy Writing Challenge (scroll down for the green box). Each challenge is designed to help you write at least 5 jokes. Use these jokes in your act, as throw-away material, or for social media. If you complete each challenge in the series, you’ll have more than 101 new jokes that kill!
- This blog series offers Show Business Challenges that help you to think like a professional stand-up comedian. You’ll be challenged to write jokes for realistic scenarios and simulations, like performing at the Local Comedy Showcase (scroll down for the black box for details about the gig).
- You’re ready to write 101 jokes that kill!
You’ve finished this section!!!
- After reading the article, watching the videos, and trying the comedy writing challenges you’ve learned how professional stand-up comedians write joke that kill.
- Stay tuned for each of the articles in this series to post. You’ll be able to write a 2-minute stand-up comedy routine that grows into a 10-minute act.
- If you successfully complete the Comedy Writing Challenges and Show Business Challenges then you will have created 101 jokes to hone into funny, killer material!
Suggested Order for the Series
START HERE: How to Write 101 Jokes that Kill
- The Comedy Reverse
- Write a Set List with an opener, segues, and closers
- Add more jokes with tags and call-backs
Part 2 | Pun with Wordplay
Part 3 |Topical Humor, customized jokes, and writing funny stories for stand-up comedy.
- Current Events Jokes
- Holiday jokes that kill
- Writing funny stories for stand-up comedy
Final Project: Write a 10-minute Showcase Set
Laugh, like, share.
Please share this article with comedians in your neighborhood comedy scene.