How To Write A Joke

Comedians fascinate me. Chelsea Handler, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld all crack me up but it’s not just the famous stand-up comedians I’m talking about. When I first met a friend of mine a couple years ago, this was the first thing I noticed about her. Someone had asked her how life as a newlywed was going and the story that followed, about moving into a new place and fighting about the appropriate drawer for the silverware while training a  wild puppy in a small condo with no backyard, quickly got the attention of the entire room and had us all laughing. It always seemed to me that there was some magical formula to all that – the right sentence length, the appropriate pause, just enough detail, all culminating in the final, hysterical end of the story.

So when I saw this interview with Jerry Seinfeld on Joanna’s blog, I had to laugh [and not just because he’s funny]. He walks us through the creation of a joke- from creating a funny sentence, to shaving letters off of words to get the correct sound, to the final punchline and all the little nuances in between. He worked on the joke he uses in his interview for two years before publicizing it and it just goes to show how much hard work goes into making something look so easy.


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