This article is part of the series, “How to Write 101 Jokes that Kill“
Comedy Writing Objective
- After successfully completing the activities in this article you will be able to write funny puns.
What’s pun in that?
One of my favorite ways to write jokes is to have pun with word play! I’ve performed stand-up comedy for over 25-years and I’ve saved plenty of moments during comedy shows by getting quick laughs using old school techniques like the play on words.
- A pun plays off the various meanings, sounds, and intentions of words, phrases or actions.
This article will explain this basic joke writing technique and challenge you to write at least 5 funny puns.
Example of a Pun
I’m dating a guy who’s half Russian, half Asian. It’s not working out. He keeps messing with my erections.
Explanation of the Pun
- The set-up is “I’m dating a guy who’s half Russian, half Asian.” The punchline is “He keeps messing with my erections.“
- The pun is the word ‘erections’ sounds like ‘elections’.
- The joke happens when the audience realizes the comedian has purposefully replaced ‘erections’ to play off a stereotypical Asian mispronunciation of the English word ‘elections’.
Here’s a few more examples of puns.
Example: When the lightning strikes
I was struggling to figure out how lightning works then it struck me.Source (YourDictionary.com)
This pun plays off the dual meaning of ‘strikes’. When lightning connects with an object it is called a ‘lightening strike’. When inspiration creates an idea it is said to ‘strike’ a person. Therefore, the idea of how lightning works has struck the author of this joke.
Example: Camouflaging the joke
I really wanted a camouflage shirt, but I couldn’t find one.Source (YourDictionary.com)
Camouflage shirts help a person hide. For example a hunter wears clothes with a pattern that mimics the woods. In this pun, the author is looking for a camouflage shirt but cannot find one because it is effectively hidden.
Puns put the P-U in stand-up!
I love puns! After reading this article, I hope you have a better understanding of how puns are constructed.
- Now, it’s time to write your own funny jokes using puns!
- Scroll down for the Comedy Writing Challenge for tips on writing 5 new jokes that demonstrate your ability to write funny comedy using puns.
- Next, complete the Show Business Challenge to write 5 more jokes for your Media Kit.
You have finished this section!
- After reading the examples of puns and trying the joke writing activities, hopefully you were able to write 5 new jokes that use puns, plus 5 new word play jokes for your Media Kit!
- If you’re enjoying this series, How to Write 101 Jokes that Kill, please scroll down for links to more articles.
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
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