Stunned silence isn't the response most of us are looking for when we tell a joke. To help improve your odds of laughter, you may want to try a couple tricks of the trade.
* This statement should in no way be construed as a warranty or guarantee of any kind
Learning a new skill, whether riding a bike or rattlesnake hurling, requires an intense amount of practice. Sadly, we are unlikely to master any new skill if we fail to engage in some form of mind-numbing repetition. The good news is that our brains can and will rewire themselves. In the case of joke-telling, that means even the most dower old sour puss can learn to tell a great joke.
But before we head off to the practice mats, let's think a bit about why you want to become a joke-telling Sensei. You may be interested in mastering the skill of joke-telling to woo a love interest, get free beer, or entertain the street performers. Whatever your motivation, just make sure you have some. Mastering any new skill requires dedication, which in turn requires a good bit of obsessive self-interest.
Now listen carefully. What makes their jokes so funny? Is it their accents, details, embellishments?
The next step is to find a good joke to practice. We suggest Joke Limbo, which is our repository of text jokes waiting to be saved. There you'll find hundreds of text jokes. If you are drawn to a particular genre of joke, start there. Once you have identified a joke you like, start adding details to it. If there is an element you find distracting, discard or change it. Once you feel satisfied with the joke's components, write it down and start practicing.
For a 101 joke, try to avoid material that requires accents, too many details, or a pun. Accents take a great deal of practice to master, as do intricate details. As for pun-based jokes, they are almost never funny.
One word of caution: joke-telling practice can have a deleterious effect on your closest relationships. Start practicing your joke in the shower or while you are driving - SOLO! Record yourself and play it back. What do you hear? Are there lots of weird pauses, ums, and ahs? Keep practicing.
Think you have a winning performance? Try your joke out anonymously on the unsuspecting masses first.
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