Pandora Now Has Comedy

pandoraFor those who thought comedy was dead, think again. Comedy is becoming more popular by the megabit, as Pandora, the online programmable radio station which is now in it’s fifth year, has added several new comedy stations. Their reason? Comedy has been one of their top requests from users.

Want to hear the latest, hottest comedian or the old classics? Tune in Pandora. They’ve just announced that they have loaded over 10, 000 comedy clips, and just like with their music, users can listen or skip tracks, vote thumbs up or thumbs down on a comedian and personalize their comedy.

One of the attractions of Pandora is that they do a good job categorizing their music. You can search by title, artist, genre, etc. So when Pandora made the decision to add comedy, they did the right thing; they teamed up with comedians who assisted in categorizing the comedy tracks, so users can really search comedy by comedian, subject, style and even structure! Want to look up a joke that has a unique juxtaposition? You might come up with a joke that starts out, “So a horse trots into a brothel…” Or if you like horse and brothel jokes, you could type that in and maybe come up with a quip that has a “Katherine The Great” twist to it. (Google it…).

From a pure business perspective Pandora has their ear to the rail, so to speak, as the popularity of comedy has been picking up globally. According the Google Keyword Tool, a handy online app, there are over a million global searches for the keyword “comedian, ” and over nine million searches for the keyword, “comedy.”

So go check out Pandora’s new comedy channels, there’s something for everyone.

Jerry Corley is the founder of the Stand Up Comedy Clinic. He teaches from his studio in Burbank, CA

Can You Learn To Be Funny?

babyHere’s an age-old argument that never ends; Can you learn to be funny? You’ll get answers on both ends of the spectrum. What’s interesting is the people who DON’T believe you can learn to be funny are really negative. They’ll actually call me and leave a nasty voicemail about how you can’t teach anyone to be funny. Makes me laugh, because the truth is “funny” is learnable.

As infants, we learn what funny is. If you look at a baby and you say “ooooooooooh—BOO!” The baby, laughs! It’s uncanny “ooooooooh—BOO!” You’ve probably seen it a hundred times. It’s because the person doing the “performance” is creating an expectation with “ooooooooh.” In the babies little mind “ooooooooh” is going to go on an on. Then you shatter that expectation with a quick “BOO!” It’s the surprise that gets the laugh. Pretty simple concept and it doesn’t change when we get older either. Surprise is still the number element that triggers human laughter. So, I’m sorry naysayers, you can learn to be funny.

It’s as simple as sharpening your awareness of the opportunity to shatter the expectation and create the surprise. If you take any statement of piece of dialogue and you suddenly change the perception of what is being said or, say, change the perception of the meaning of a word, you’ll have surprise which will result in funny. “I’ve been losing my hair lately. It bugs me a little bit. Like in the mornings when my wife is running her fingers through my hair, but I already left for work.” That line gets a laugh every time because the audience has a perception of “running her fingers through my hair, ” once I let them get that picture in their heads, I throw in that the hair she’s running her fingers through is the hair left behind on the pillow after I went to work. Because their image was shattered, they laugh. Learn to identify the opportunity to spin what you say at the last minute and you will learn to be funny.

In comedy, that’s called a reverse. It’s classic, and if used properly, that formula will get a solid, triggered laugh from an audience every time. Well, unless the audience doesn’t speak the language you’re speaking, or they’re dead. And if you’re running your jokes by a dead audience, then you should see a shrink, or better yet, stop playing the Hollywood Improv. Smile

The reverse is just one of the humor formulas you can learn in your journey to learning to be funny. It’s one that I teach in my comedy classes and seminars. It’s powerful, but it’s one of those formulas you want to avoid using in back-to-back jokes when doing a routine. Once you give up the formula your audience begins to anticipate the surprise. Then it’s no longer a surprise, is it?

Here’s a real-life scenario in which I used a formula to lighten the mood. My wife and I were expecting a baby. I came home from work late one night and she was laying on the couch. She said, “I’m having gas pains.” I said, “Babe, everyone is, it’s like $4.25 a gallon!” She laughed. The we discovered that those “gas pains” were coming 3 minutes apart. 

That is called the double-entendre formula. Take the perceived meaning of the word and turn it into something that the listener didn’t expect. I’ll talk more about that in a future blog…you know, the blog that I write where you can’t teach someone the skills to learn to be funny…

Jerry Corley is the founder of the Stand Up Comedy Clinic. He teaches the science behind the art of comedy from his studio in Burbank, CA.

Writing Jokes About Osama Bin Ladin

By Jerry Corley – Founder of  The Stand Up Comedy Clinic

The Joke Doctor teaching at his studioWhen something big happens in the news, my first instinct is to write jokes. Whether it’s a stressful situation or a happy situation, I want to try to find the funny in it. Many times I’ll Tweet the jokes or put them on Facebook. It’s a challenge to myself to see, not only how many jokes I can write in a short period of time, but see how many I can write that are less than 140 characters.

Comedians or humorists should alway try to take a humorous approach to almost every situation. It doesn’t make us less human, it makes us more able to see things in a different light. Sometimes it can alleviate stress. Sometimes it can ease pain, but ultimately the writing makes us better.

So if you want to become comedian, or you want to become better at writing comedy, or you just want to be funny in your life, write jokes. It feels good.

Here are some of the jokes I put together the moment they announced that U.S. forces found and killed Public Enemy number one, Osama Bin Ladin. Most of these jokes were already Tweeted or posted to Facebook. They helped me take the edge off. I hope they help you too! Enjoy! And if you feel like it, post your own jokes and see how good it feels.

CNN announced that Osama bin Ladin was found and killed. How were they able to track him? Turns out he was using an iPhone.

When I heard the news last night the first thing I thought was: this is the best thing politically to happen to Obama since John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Obama is dead: Neighbors are shooting fireworks, NYPD is riding lights and sirens. Rush Limbaugh is shitting a live mongoose.

You can tell Bin Ladin is dead because The “War on Terror” is now just a new name for Charlie Sheen’s road show.

Former President Bush was notified that Osama Bin Ladin was found and killed. Bush responded by saying, “I’m sorry…who?”

President Obama is planning to announce success in finding and killing Osama Bin Ladin. Republicans have already said, “our plan is better.”

The Arab world learned a lesson by President Obama giving the order to kill Bin Ladin: Don’t piss off a brotha!

I know the election’s far away, but the campaign goes something like this: Obama: “I got Bin Ladin, what do you got?”

One of the mob cheering Bin Ladin’s death in NYC said, I’m just happy the U.S. finally got Justic—shit, somebody just stole my wallet!

President Obama is going to announce that Bin Ladin is dead. Donald Trump is already stating that he believes the death certificate is a fake.

I know the presidential election is still far off, but I think the campaign will go like this: OBAMA: I got Bin Ladin. What do you got?

The mission to kill Osama Bin Ladin was pulled off and not a single American Life was lost. Sadly that claim can never be made by Kaiser.

Reports coming in say that Bin Ladin being buried at sea is “unusual.” But what’s really weird is the Eulogy was performed by Captain Jack Sparrow.

U.S. military says they have several pieces of evidence to confirm Bin Ladin’s identity. They have facial recognition, DNA samples and evidently they stowed his heart in the “Dead Man’s Chest.”

The military operation to get Osama Bin Ladin was done with precision. Helicopters landed in his compound, they got into a firefight, killed Bin Ladin, took his body. The only thing that would’ve made it better is if there was a soundtrack playing The Black Eyed Peas’, “Boom-Boom-Pow.”