Life Cheatsheet: Comedy Central

Want to make your friends laugh their pants off? Here's your quick and easy guide to being funny

1. HAVE ONE FULLPROOF JOKE

  • You can quiz your resident funny tito (uncle) on his standby quips, but chances are, it'll fall flat when you retell it. That said, social media has drummed up new ways for everyone to get funny through Tumblr memes, tweets and Twitter accounts. Stalk your favorite comedians like Rebel Wilson, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler, and figure out what makes them so good at making you laugh.

2. ALWAYS HAVE A WITTY COMEBACK.

  • Comedians are whip-smart. They can come up with an intelligently laughable retort in an instant. So this may seem like a long-winded way of getting funny but actually digging into schoolwork (or getting nerd-obsessed by whatever you're passionate about) gives you this wealth of knowledge that allows your brain to fire up when you need it too.

3. TELL FUNNY ANECDOTES

  • Comedians are storytellers. You have to be able to narrate your piece with proper timing, emphasis and inflections (this is where speech lasses and declamation contest come in handy!). Don't memorize your story and just spill it out --- check your audience and see how they're receiving it. Use their verbal and non-verbal cues to tweak your story, make it more interesting, hold off until the punch line, and use funny impersonations and accents. In other words, interact.

4. KEEP WORKING ON IT.

If you feel you aren't inherently funny, what can you to "work" on your sense of humor? Host and comedian Erl Neeman shares his insights:

  • If you love making people laugh, keep telling jokes. They say you're born funny. but there are skills you can learn to get better
  • Read comedy books like Comedy Bible by Judy Carter. It's a must-read if you want to be a comedian or learn how to be funny.
  • Hang out with funny people. Go to open mic nights and stand-up comedy shows.
  • Bounce things off with a friend. If you're too embarrased to do that, create an alter ego online and go at it. Use thatr as a bridge to deliver your kind of humor (although online and offline funny are two different things!)

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THE ABCs of FUNNY

Eri Neeman gives you the basics of comedy.

  • The best comedy is based on truth - anything not derived from or inspired by the truth won't be as funny. People won't be able to relate to you as much if you just make it up. Once you've based everything on truth, then feel free to embellish.
  • Never lose your voice. Don't try to be funny based on what you think people will find funny. Eliminate that thought process because you will lose your voice and identity as a comedian.
  • When your jokefalls flat, don't dwell on it. Not everyone will find you funny and you'll have off nights. Call your mom for support or hug your dog --- they'll always find you funny. Dogs are a great crowd. Once you recover, get back at it.

SOURCE: Labrador, Chinggay (April 2015), Candy Magazine Philippines

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