> following the Toronto comedy scene

Ready Orr Not: Darryl Orr’s Guide to Writing Jokes

Okay let’s see. In my last web log or “wlog” I think maybe I told you guys how to get stage time on amateur comedy shows, the easiest part of being a standup comic or “stcomic.” Something like that. Or something else. Either way. No doubt if you followed my advice to the letter, whatever it was, you have dozens of upcoming appearances booked at various open mics in the city. Now that you have all of these shows booked it’s time to write some jokes, the easiest part of stcomedy. That’s the preferable order, by the way: Decide to become a comic, book tons of great shows, write a bunch of hilarious jokes, tell them at the shows, get big laughs, get world famous, buy a house or car or both if you can afford it, and flame out. Joke writing is what this blog will concern itself with or rather what I will concern myself with while writing it or maybe it’s what you will concern yourself with while reading it or all three or at least two or one or none. There. How many words is that? Is it close to five hundred? It’s got to be.

Second Tip: Writing Jokes

First of all let’s talk about the basic structure of jokes or rather I’ll write about the basic structure of jokes and you’ll read what I have written many many times to your loved ones on Christmas morning. Hi everyone! Merry Christmas! A joke has a basic form of something and then something else. The something is generally some sort of rambling incoherency that’s not funny but super easy to write and perform so try to fill up your jokes with as much of this as possible. The something else is funny stuff that makes people laugh. Oh wait I just remembered the names for those things. They’re called situps and punchers I think but neither of those terms contain the word comedy or funny or joke so I can’t remember which means which but that’s them alright! Anyways, write those. Blah! I don’t want to keep writing but I don’t want to count how many words I have so far either but look how many it is! That’s got to be at least however many I was supposed to write. I can’t remember the number. I think I wrote it earlier but it’s all the way near the top of the page. Anyways, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, situps and punchers.

Oh yeah, another type of joke is the questions joke or questiokes no probably just questions jokes. These are jokes where you say something, anything and then you ask a question, any question. Funny Questions!!! For example:

Something – My grandmother has an infectious smile.
Question – What the fuck is her deal anyway?!

Or maybe:

Something – My grandmother never has a bad word to say about anybody.
Question – Who fucking does that?!

Or possibly:

Something – My grandmother passed away last night at the age of 93.
Question – Why the fuck didn’t my parents tell me she was sick?!

Or something else hilarious like that.

Another type of joke is the story joke or stroke. This is where you tell stories from your own life or possibly someone else’s stories that you over heard in a bar and thought, “Yeah, I can pretend that that happened to me.” No problemo! Just don’t invite the people from the bar to your show because they might not understand the comedian’s process and they might accuse you of stealing their stories and they might throw you in a dumpster and dump garbage on your head and call you names and close the lid. LET ME OUT, JERKS!!

Holy SHIT, there’s a word counter on this program and I’m way above 500 words. Holy SHIT, I remembered how many words I was supposed to write! Holy SHIT, the dude next to me in the library just got up to go to the bathroom and left his iPhone just sitting there. Okay, so I’ve got multiple reasons why I’ve got to finish this up, quick like. Okay so remember: situps, punchers, questions jokes, steal stories and iPhones. That’s about it. Next time I’ll talk about telling jokes on stage, the easiest part of doing standup. Crap, here comes th

Follow Darryl Orr on Twitter @fishinadarryl


About Mikey Kolberg

I'm a comedian and a university graduate who couldn't find a job so I started a blog.


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