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How to Write Funny


Theresa Julian wrote The Joke Machine. It is a book about how to write jokes. Here are three of her tips and some examples. Study them. Then write a few jokes of your own.

Surprise your audience. All jokes are based on surprise.

My basketball team is good at dunking. Until we run out of cookies.

I was shopping for a new toilet but couldn’t decide if I wanted to buy it. I figured I needed to sleep on it.


Compare things that don’t belong together.

This Black Forest cake is awful. It tastes like there are chunks of actual forest in it.

I was really scared on the roller coaster—and trust me, I don’t scare easily. I’ve eaten the beans in the school cafeteria.

Create Puns by playing with words. Play with double meanings, similar sounds, and spellings.

What do you call a number that can’t keep still? A roamin’ numeral.

What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.