How To Write “quick” jokes.

Class 032

by Jerry Corley – Founder, The Stand Up Comedy Clinic

Had a couple of private coaching sessions with 2 of my students today. They were very successful. One of my students is just beginning to apply the fundamental techniques of writing a joke. He was working on a technique using incongruity. Which impose the values of one thing onto another, completely different thing. The surprise comparison is what gets the laugh.

He posed an interesting question: “How do I find subjects to cross-pollinate to write jokes? The timing couldn’t have been more perfect because I was just thinking about this yesterday. I was on my way to the hospital to visit a friend. I thought about writing a quick joke or analogy joke (hospitals are like ___________). Well now that I have a subject (Hospitals) I have to find something to compare it to.

There are two ways to go about this:

1. Come up with anything to compare it to and start making lists and determine what phrases in that list that somehow relate to hospitals and develop a joke. OR 2. when you have your subject (Hospitals), quickly think of the things that stand out the most when you go into a hospital using all your senses!

The first things that came to me were the smell, the equipment, the sounds and the fact that nobody seems to speak English as their first language. That seemed funny to me so I chose the smell and the language. I thought what is different than a hospital and smells funny with people not speaking English as their first language. I thought of Vallarta Markets, which is a supermarket chain in Southern California that caters, primarily, to the Hispanic consumer.

So the analogy joke I came up with was: Going to a Hospital is like shopping at Vallarta Markets, they smell funny and all the workers talk with an accent.”

It’s not a fall-on-the-floor joke, but it’s a simple joke that you could use as a cartoon caption or as part of a larger piece you’re doing on hospitals and it was easy to come up with. It took literally about 5 minutes.

Private Comedy Coaching

“:Jerry, thank you for single-handedly restoring my confidence!”

The above is a quote from actress/comedian Michelle Gomez. This talented actress couldn’t get arrested in L.A. After a few sessions with Jerry Corley’s stand up comedy clinic and a couple of private coaching sessions, Michelle went on to perform a showcase at the Comedy Store and just killed it. She had industry and her reps in the audience. Three weeks later she booked not one, but three pilots for Television!

Why do I mention this. Because for years I’ve been saying that stand up comedy is a great vehicle to get you noticed. Most people fear stand up comedy. So when you go up on stage and have a fantastic set as Michelle did, people respond. You demonstrate so much when you do a stand up set you show them:

· Confidence
· An understanding of comedy timing.
· Character act-out ability
· Audiences respond to you!

In one quick showcase you can demonstrate these performance skills which are so desperately sought after in the world of comedy and acting.

With One-on-One coaching, Jerry Corley can help you really develop a solid act. Classes are good but when you work with someone who is not only a talented comedian, but also a talented comedy writer and a talented teacher, you have hit the tri-fecta! Jerry can help you find toppers and tags and help you to shape your set into a set that will help you stand out get you recognized and remembered.

Watch how quickly you develop material when working with Jerry. There are few people in this business who write comedy as well as he does and few who are available to help you personally. When working One-on-One you will start winning competitions and landing better gigs.

Need proof? Just ask Michelle Gomez!

Jerry teaches 1 on 1 coaching in person at his studio in Burbank. Can’t get to Burbank? Join the many students worldwide and try 1 on 1 Skype sessions!

Private Coaching Sessions (in person): $125.00/hr.
Private Skype Sessions (online) $100.00/hr.
Visit the Website at and contact Jerry by email or phone to set up an appointment for private coaching!