There’s an old saying, “It is impossible to dislike someone who makes you laugh.” Whether you are looking to use humor to improve relationships, sales, presentations, script writing or simply your personality, the power of humor is all around us and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Fortunately, learning how to be a funny man is really not difficult at all. You just need to understand what makes people laugh and then learn how to implement that in your daily dialogue. So let’s get started learning how to be a funny man.
1. Learn what Makes People Laugh
So what makes people laugh? The answer is simple: SURPRISE. That’s right. Surprise is the number one element that triggers human laughter. Once you understand that concept you are well on your way to learning how to be a funny man!
There are around eleven comedy formulas in used in contemporary comedy today. I am going to teach you two of the most powerful that you can use in everyday situations that will help you to create surprise, thus, create laughter.
2. The Reverse:
The reverse is a formula that sets up an assumption or expectation for the listener as to what you are going to say and then, at the last minute, shatters that assumption. In doing that you create crisp surprise and trigger laughter from your listener.
E.G.: “I was in Reno last week staying at the Atlantis Hotel. One morning, the house keeper started banging on the door, just banging. Finally I had to get up and let her out!”
Most of us have been in a hotel room when a housekeeper woke us up by knocking. When we hear that story we imagine that she is outside knocking on the door, but when you change the point of view, at the last minute, you shatter the assumption of the listener, therefore, creating surprise and the result is laughter on the part of the listener.
I’m trying to teach my 5 year old daughter how to tie her shoes. She’s like, “I can’t Dad, I can’t.” I said, “How many times have I told you not to use that word? I am NOT your Dad.”
Once again the listener assumes you are going to say one thing, but you shatter that assumption, creating surprise and get laughs. Once you learn to command this technique you are well on your way to learning how to be a funny man.
3. The Double Entendre:
The Double Entendre formula is very powerful. In fact word-play is used in the majority of humor today. Words have multiple meanings and if you can keep yourself aware, you can find the alternate meaning of a word and use it to create humor.
Say you’re at the grocery store. We are used to things going a certain way. When we change that familiarity with sudden surprise, we can create laughter. Here’s the key: Listen. I mean really listen to what the people are saying. You will be certain to hear a word that has multiple meanings.
Clerk: “Did you find everything you were looking for?” (What does the clerk mean by “everything?” Groceries, right? What do you think of as “everything?” The meaning of life, a soul mate possibly?) So change the meaning when you answer the question. It might go something like this:
Clerk: Did you find everything you were looking for?
You: I found some wine and candles, but I couldn’t find a soul mate, so instead I got Cheez-Wiz!
The double entendre comedy formula is the most commonly used formula in everyday humor. Do you have a friend that turns everything you say into a sexual connotation? He/She is using double entendre:
A husband and wife are watching American Idol. There’s a terrible singer singing off key…
Wife: Somebody should get her off.
Husband (leering): I’ll get her off.
Wife: I tell you what, you learn to get me off, then you can get her off!
So there you have it. Once you learn that surprise is the number one element that triggers human laughter then you learn the reverse and the double entendre formula to help you develop surprise and in 3 steps you are well on your way to learning how to be a funny man!