Readers have told me that they’ve wet their office chairs while reading my posts. They’ve claimed that they’ve spit cheesy puff crumbs onto their screens. Oh, I’ve heard every creative euphemism for “I laughed out loud.” And each time I hear one, I beam with “Are You Sure I Don’t Really Suck?” pride. It’s probably a ginormously wicked bad idea for me to lead into this post by telling you that, though….
More about why at the end of the post.
For now, here are some tactics that I’ve used to get a laugh
- 1- Make fun of yourself. People don’t like to laugh at themselves, but they adore laughing at you. Make fun of your neuroses. Make fun of your bad habits. Make fun of your weaknesses. Make fun of your lack of self-control. Example: “I knew I needed to start doing those kegels when I walked past a picture of a toilet and I felt warm liquid oozing down my inner thighs.”
- 2- Think like an adolescent boy. Certain words and expressions never fail to make people laugh. They are: farting, boogers, pants peeing, and pants pooping. For ideas, watch any movie that stars Will Ferrell.
- 3- Write the opposite of what people expect. People expect clichés. That’s why writing about slipping on banana peels isn’t funny. People don’t expect originality. An example of a cliché that is not funny: Not tonight, honey, I have a headache. An example of something unexpected that could make the same situation funny: Not tonight, honey. I just ate 2 pints of blueberries and need to take the world’s biggest dump.
- 4- Use the funniest words. Big, intellectual words make your readers feel mentally un-gifted, and that’s not a funny feeling. Don’t use them. Instead, use simple words that sound funny. Generally, words with a hard K in them are funny. For instance, geographically speaking, Kansas is funnier than Maine. So are words with an “ou” sound. Again, Waterloo is funnier than Paris. But there also countless funny sounds. Just remember: it’s the sound of the word and not necessarily its meaning that makes it funny. That’s why underpants and panties are funny, but underwear and lingerie are not. It’s also why badoinkies are funny, but breasts are not. And it’s why dang and darn tooting are funny, but damn is not. By the way, the word “vagina” is always funny, especially if you put it into a sentence where it just doesn’t belong. For instance, to lift your spirits on a rainy day, try inserting that word into any movie title. See?
- 5- Find creative alternatives to curse words. Curse words are the lazy bloggers way of getting a laugh, and they only generate laughs from the people who are not offended. Writing around them not only prevents you from offending your more prim and proper readers, it can also generate laughs. For instance, consider which of the following you find funnier: 1) That forbidden thing that children pretend their parents don’t do 2) The actual curse word that refers to #1.
- 6- Use exaggerated analogies and examples. Bazillion is a funny word precisely because it’s always an exaggeration. You could write: I haven’t had sex in months. That does not generate laughs. It generates pity. Alternately, you could write: I haven’t had sex in so long that I decided to donate my vagina to a worthy cause. Of course it’s an exaggeration. Of course it’s not true. But your readers know that, because it’s impossible to donate one’s vagina to a worthy cause. So it’s not lying. It’s creative.
- 7- Write about topics that make people uncomfortable. What makes people uncomfortable? Death, sex, curse words, farting and other bodily functions, weakness, and embarrassment. You’ll be especially funny if you can find a way to string a bunch of them together. Example: While giving my husband a blowjob, I was thinking about my dead grandmother and then, all of the sudden, I farted a big juicy stinky one.
Oh, and here’s one way to put a cork on a funny situation. Tell readers that you are funny or that your post or story is funny. As soon as you set yourself up as being funny, people will hold you to a higher funny standard. Case in point: since you thought this post was supposed to be funny, I bet you didn’t laugh once. So ban the word “funny” from your writing, as well as all of its derivatives (LOL, ROTFL, etc) and you will instantly be a shade funnier.
Bonus Tip: Put everything you write to the funny test. Read it out loud. If you don’t make yourself laugh, you probably won’t make other people laugh either. Just in case you are wondering (you are? you aren’t?), the example in #7 made me laugh on three different occasions. But the rest of this post did not make me laugh. So it’s probably not all that funny. What do you think?
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Image credit: LaurenZ0