14 Reasons Stand Up Comedy is Great For Actors

pat corley as phil on Murphy Brown

Pat Corley “Phil” on Murphy Brown

I grew up in an acting family. My mother and father were actors. My father was a successful character actor.

I studied at the Actor’s Studio in New York and Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute here in L.A.

But it all really came together when I started doing stand up. I just took a comedy class and developed an act. That is when I learned that stand up comedy is great for actors!

Stand up gave me an opportunity to be creative and develop content in between acting gigs. Stand up gave me the opportunity to play in front of 5 people to 15,000 people.

It gave me a chance to find my own voice, to be ‘real, present and in the moment’ on stage.

In acting, that is huge, for more reasons than just one. I put together fourteen.

If you’re having a dry spell in your acting, here are 14 reasons Stand Up Comedy is great for actors and a terrific addition to your skill set.

 

1. Casting Courage

You can learn to master playing in front of just a few people, which is very similar to a casting situation.

2. You learn to ad-lib:

Improv skills are one thing. Being able to ad-lib on the subject matter in a split-second is something you learn in stand-up.

3. Storytelling:

You learn not only how to tell stories that are funny, you learn interpret the humor in scripts and how to play comedy successfully by playing against the comedy. Mediocre comedians play the comedy. Great comedians play the situation.


After performing stand up, Performing in an audition situation was a piece of cake. I mean what could these people ever say to hurt my feelings that some drunk in the city hasn’t already said?



Ray Romano, Star of "Everybody Loves Raymond"

4. It’s a brilliant way to showcase.

Casting directors and directors are coming to comedy showcases more than ever. Casting directors, agents and managers are always looking for new talent. The problem is their time is very limited. They would rather come out to watch your 6-10 minute showcase than come out an watch a 2-hour play. It’s simple time management.

5. It demonstrates courage.

Most of the people you are trying to impress in the industry are in awe of artists who have the courage to do stand up. My friend met Robert Redford recently. Redford said, “I’m in awe of comedians. Doing stand up scares the hell out of me.”

6. The one-man/one-woman show

– your ticket to notoriety.

7. Work When You’re Not Working

When you’re a working comic and also an actor, you can work when you’re not “working.” Meaning, you can get gigs as a comedian and pay the bills performing when you don’t have an acting gig.

8. Funny is “Smart”

When people think you’re funny, they also think you’re smart. Funny is memorable. People like to be around people who make them laugh. If two actors are up for a job and the CD or the Director just saw you perform at a comedy club and you made them laugh, who is that CD most likely to choose?

9. You learn to be you

In 99 percent of all casting situations the casting director asks the actor to “just be yourself.” You’d be amazed at how many actors freeze. Actors spend so much time in training learning to develop characters that they forget how to be themselves. Stand up comedy gives you that ability.

10. Learn to NAIL AUDITIONS

Nothing develops unbreakable confidence onstage than performing stand up on a regular basis. “You develop a thick skin, ” says actor Ray Romano. “After performing stand up, Performing in an audition situation was a piece of cake. I mean what could these people ever say to hurt my feelings that some drunk in the city hasn’t already said?” One of the best ways to develop unbreakable confidence on stage is by doing stand up on a regular basis.

11. Memorability

– Whether it’s an audition or a comedy competition, one of the primary qualities that get you moving to the next level (the quarter or semi-final rounds in competitions, call-backs with producers, network or studio with acting), so if you go into an audition and you’re funny, you become memorable.

13. “It’s Impossible to Dislike Someone Who Makes You Laugh

This is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve used this in commercials, sitcoms & episodics. For someone to laugh with you they have to temporarily give themselves over to you. And when you make someone laugh, they like you. In the run of actors coming into the room to read, if you’re the one that leaves them in stitches… they will want to see you again!

14. 60-Percent of Breakdowns are for ‘Comedic Character’

– If you’re not studying comedy, you’re losing out on 60-percent of the acting opportunities currently being cast.

15. Stand-Up Comedy Shows Them a Different Side of You

– Every agent I’ve met looks at my resume and says, “Oh! You do stand-up?!” When it comes to ‘special skills’ stand-up can be one of your best assets!

Take Your Acting to the Next Level

So what are you waiting for? Take a class and in 8 weeks you’ll have a comedy routine you can perform, that will be video taped and you’ll be proud to showcase.

Why Are You Yelling Your Comedy?

yelling_in_comedy_red

Comedian after comedian took the stage last night. Many in the line up, took the mic and proceeded to yell into it—in a 68-seat comedy room.

Really?!

This is a 68-seat comedy room. The acoustics are great. The distance from the foot of the stage to the back of the room cannot be more than 45-feet and you have a mic and a sound system.

Why are you YELLING?

I thought hard about whether or not to write about this. I mean: “Shit, I’m 50. If I talk about comics ‘yelling,’  am I just being an ornery douche?”

What made me do it? I thought about the other comics who hit that stage and didn’t yell. They told their stories and their jokes and they let their organic antagonism drive the emphasis in their voices when needed to drive a point home. They got great laughs.

The others just YELLED. Not only did they yell, they yelled with the mic against their faces.

Not sure where this comes from. Is it a need to hear yourself or is it just a simple misunderstanding about the nature of the sound equipment you are using? Or is it because you’re thinking, the joke isn’t funny, but if I yell it, the audience will have to think it’s funny.

Either way, there are some things you should know about volume.

First,—and this may seem elementary—the sound system is designed to amplify your voice. You don’t need to shout. Unless of course your persona is loud, (Lewis Black or Bobcat Goldthwait).

The Benign Violation Theory

When you shout into that microphone, the sound comes out of the speakers and its intensity is increased along with the volume. When it’s too loud for the room, the audience will actually back away from you and in some cases, mentally shut you off.

The psychology of it in relation to comedy, is called The Benign Violation Theory. When an audience feels violated (directly or indirectly) they turn away from a performer rather than engage with them.

It’s the complete opposite effect you want from your audience!

The classic mistake of a comedian or rapper or speaker is to substitute volume for the genuine emotion of frustration or enthusiasm.

Yelling into the mic doesn’t get the audience excited. It causes them to close down or worse, get angry.

Second, if you need volume to make your point, pull the mic away.

You’ve seen singers when they pull the mic away from their mouth. They do that because they know that when they project more, the volume increases and when the volume increases it can offend, or violate the audience’s sensitivities—or their eardrums, (not to mention peak the sound system and distort).

If, as a comedian or speaker, you need to increase your volume or yell to make a point or play a character, pull the mic away, you might find that the joke is actually good enough to stand on its own.

If the joke is not strong enough and you have to yell to make it seem stronger or funnier, consider looking at the root of the joke to figure out what you were trying to communicate. When you discover precisely what that is, try to look for an analogy (something that situation is like) to create recognition (a powerful laughter trigger), or see if there is some irony that you can point out in the material.

Often in irony you will find opposites (great for creating surprise), or hypocrisy.

And when you find hypocrisy you will find an audience that wants to laugh at the hypocrite to retaliate.

Take this line:

“Focus on the Family Founder, James Dobson said this gem the other day: ‘If we allow Gays to parent, they will raise gay children:’ We interrupt this comedy show to bring you a special bulletin: Straight parents have been raising Gay children for centuries.”

I use this line in my act. There is clear irony present in the line. Within that there is the hypocrisy of what this clown, Dobson, is saying. When the audience sees how ridiculous that Dobson’s statement is, they want to laugh in his face. So they do, and I DON’T HAVE TO YELL IT!

So for the sake of your act and the sake of our eardrums, practice your mic technique, then try to find the irony or analogy to drive the joke so the audience is laughing at the material not your volume.

How To Be Funny (Pt. 1) | A Non-Comedian’s Guide

man_laughing_with_friendsOkay, okay, you’ve talked me into it.

After all the emails, I’m now going to start to dedicate some of the space on this blog for non-comedians; a place where the ‘everyday’ person can get a dose of insight into how to be funny.

Before we get started with the tips, please be advised that being funny is subjective. What one person thinks is funny may draw, from another person, a blank stare or worse a snarl, or a punch in the throat. (It hasn’t happened to me yet, but there’s still hope!).

Despite the subjectiveness of ‘funny,’ there are certain strategies and techniques that you can apply to your daily conversation that will drastically increase your ability to be recognized as “funny.”

And: it’s not as hard as you might think, because much of learning how to be funny is surprisingly scientific.

It is a scientific fact (proven through scientific case study and scientific process), that a human being laughs when they are surprised.

You should be writing that word down right now. SURPRISE. It’s key. In fact out of the 9 Major Human Laughter Triggers, if you focused on surprise alone, in a short period of time, you could be recognized as the funniest guy in your school, at your work or in your cell block. (I write that, because as it turns out a lot of inmates have been reading my blog).

I guess you can avoid being someone’s bitch if you’re making them laugh!

The problem with surprise is that it also causes us to startle or cry.

So we have to understand how to apply it so it works to help us achieve our goal—and that’s to make someone laugh.

We laugh when we are surprised in a benign way or in a way that doesn’t threaten our safety or our reputation.

So let’s start with owning the fact that the number one trigger for human laughter is surprise.

Actually there are, (at a psychological level), 9 major laugh triggers for the human being.

Since one of those triggers is tickling, there are eight which are applicable to what we are trying to do and that is to make people laugh in every day situations;

  • At work
  • At School
  • In Social situations
  • Dating
  • Giving presentations or speaking engagements
  • Teaching
  • Leadership
  • Job interviews
  • Auditions, etc.

The great thing, is that if you’re NOT a comedian, a LITTLE humor goes a LONG way! You don’t have the same requirements and expectations as a comedian does, so a small surprise in the middle of a talk can be very effective.

If you’re known for being a square or completely ‘un-funny,’ then a small joke can be hysterical because everyone is so used to your normally subdued personality and the wordplay is unexpected which creates crisp surprise and BOOM a laugh.

For example Conrad Hilton founder of Hilton Hotels was noted for being a dry and serious human being. When interviewed at a business function in January, he was asked, “What are some of your New Year’s resolutions?”

He replied, “I would just ask that people put the shower curtain INSIDE the tub.

Not incredibly funny by any means, but since Mr. Hilton is rarely ever seen saying anything that is NOT serious, it got a big laugh. It was the SURPRISE that triggered the laugh mechanism.

The eight major laughter triggers for the human being are:

  • Surprise
  • Embarrassment
  • Recognition
  • Incongruity
  • Release
  • Superiority
  • Ambivalence
  • Configurational

Some comedy writing gurus have stated that the last one, ‘configurational’ doesn’t apply to commercially accepted comedy today, but that’s completely wrong.

Configurational jokes are those that make an audience think and solve the punchline. If you think of Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg, you know that that kind of comedy is alive and well.

Well Mitch Hedberg is dead, so I guess it’s only half-alive.

Hedberg and Wright still have had such influence, many comedians are emulating their style and becoming very successful.

You can’t watch Steven Wright or Mitch Hedberg without starting to think funny or incongruously yourself.

But, after watching you might ask “how’s that help me to be funny?”

I’m glad you asked.

Sometimes just seeing it in action gives you a better understanding of how to apply it.

Understanding surprise as a laughter trigger is just the first step.

The real fun comes when you apply the techniques yourself.

You can be the most boring person in the world but if you engage surprise effectively, you could easily get a laugh.

One of my favorite techniques to get a laugh in everyday situations is to use the double entendre comedy formula. It’s one of techniques I teach in my 12-Steps to How To Be Funny for the every day person.

Double entendre means ‘two meanings.’

If you really take a moment and listen to the English language, you’ll find that we have a ton of words that have multiple meanings. All you have to do is think of the alternate meaning.

If you know someone that turns everything you say into a sexual connotation, then you know someone who uses double entendre to get a laugh.

GUY #1: You gonna be able to get your haircut this weekend?

GUY #2: Yeah, Cara said she could do me, Saturday.

GUY #1: Then, when’s she gonna cut your hair?

All you have to do is think of alternate meanings for common words.

For example, say you’re at the grocery store and the clerk at the counter says, “Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Think in steps:

Step #1: What do they mean by that?

Step #2: Is there a word in that statement that I can change the meaning of?

Step#3: What is their intended meaning of that word?

Step#4: What’s my ‘comedic’ interpretation of the word?

CLERK: Did you find everything you were looking for?

YOU: Well, I found the wine and the candles, but I couldn’t find a soul mate. You had Mahi-mahi, but I’m not into twins.

Let’s try another one in a different joke format:

I was on the road with a comic. As he got off the phone with his girlfriend he said to me, “That’s a relief. My girlfriend got a cat to keep her company while I’m on the road.” Then I said, “Bad news is, that cat is a six-foot-two jazz musician.”

With the simple double-entendre formula, you can actually train yourself to recognize the multiple meanings of words and respond to it with a comedic or ‘alternate’ interpretation.

It’s fast. It’s easy and tons of fun: Sounds like my fat ex-girlfriend!

So use double-entendre and you’ll be on your way to learning how to be funny!

What’s So Funny?

Years ago, when I was first starting in comedy, I worked with a headliner comedian who said he hadn’t written a new joke in 11 years. Why do so many comedians and comedy writers have such a difficult time writing material? Are you one of those comedians? Do you write everyday? Do you have a difficult time coming up with stuff that’s funny? That might be your dilemma.

What?!

Yeah, that right there! That might be your dilemma; you are trying to come up with something “Funny.”

A comedian or comedy writer doesn’t just come up with something funny, he’s able to take just about anything and turn it into something funny. See the difference? When you sit down to write; you look at the news, read the N.Y. Times, look at the headlines on the internet. Do you ask yourself, “What’s so funny?” What’s funny? Nothing is funny, because most news reports the facts. (I said most because, well, there’s FOX). But what do you do with something that’s not supposed to be funny? The answer is: you do your job. It’s your job to turn it into something that is funny and you do that in comedy by applying comedic formulas.

Two guys walk into a bar:

I come from a large family:

My father was a bastard:

I’m Irish and American Indian:

I have five kids:

Millions of fish washed up in the harbor around Redondo Beach:

On the face of it are any of these lines funny? If you said yes, you’re either really damn funny or your need your head examined! Either way, both are great qualities for being a comedian:

At first glance, those lines are not funny. They don’t read funny. So, what’s so funny?

What’s funny is that you can take these lines and easily turn them into something that is funny. First, you have to understand the basics of what makes people laugh [link]. Once you understand that, you can start to apply the basic comedy formulas. They are basic, but they are so powerful that, when used correctly, they can trigger the laughter from an audience and that’s what you’re looking for as a comic.

I’ll take these lines and use two comedic formulas (Incongruity or The Reverse) to make the lines funny by doing a take-off (commenting on the sentence).

First, if we know that surprise is the number one element that triggers human laughter, then we know we have to try to get into the head of the listener. Let’s look at the first line:

Two guys walk into a bar. In the listener’s head, what are they thinking? What kind of bar? A bar that serves liquor would probably be the best assumption right? So let’s change the meaning of the word “bar.” What if we changed the meaning of the word bar to like a post or a steel bar that’s hanging so low that we would bump our heads on it if we didn’t duck. Now how does the line read?

Two guys walk into a bar:which is kind of stupid, cuz’ if the first one hits it, the next one’s gonna see it, right?

See what we did there? We shattered the audience’s assumption of the meaning of the word ‘bar.’ And came up with something funny. So if we look at the other lines we might have:

I come from a large family:four moms, five dads.

My father was a bastard:he wasn’t a bad guy, he just didn’t know his father.

I’m Irish and American Indian: you know what that means; I pretty much have V.I.P. seats waiting for me at any A.A. meeting.

I have five kids: so I’m half-Mormon:

Millions of fish washed up in the Harbor around Redondo Beach: There’s good news and bad news; The bad news is it’s going to take weeks to clean that up that mess. The good news is: Now the common man knows what it smells like when Kirsti Alley sunbathes nude.

So instead of looking for something funny to write, just find something and turn it into something funny.

Then when someone asks, “What’s so funny?” You’ll be able to say, “Me!”

How To Write Comedy | New Jokes about Holly Madison’s Boob Insurance

 

Holly MadisonJust for kicks I wanted to write some quick jokes about a random story that showed up in the news. This is what I came up with. Please feel free to share your own jokes on this premise. I use a technique called the listing technique and it usually helps me to write about 15-20 jokes in a short period of time. Want to learn this technique visit my blog on how to write comedy.

 

Former Playboy Bunny Holly Madison has taken out a 1 million dollar insurance policy on her breasts. (INSERT PHOTO) — for a million dollars you’d think she could’ve at least gotten full coverage.

 

or… I’m not saying I speak for all men, but thankfully her insurance company only offers partial coverage.

 

By the way those things defy gravity you’d think those implants were made of helium.

 

…an insurance policy is a lot like magic, with one wave of a premium her breasts became an ass–set.

 

I don’t know what insurer underwrote that policy, but it looks like a perfect job for the “Good Hands Company.”

 

…and…actually I think Lloyd’s of London was the underwire…I mean, underwriter. See, if she came to me I could’ve just given her a piece of the Rock.

 

The rep from Lloyd’s of London called her boobs a work of art. Really? I thought Lloyd’s only insured original pieces?

 

She should also get auto insurance considering that you could probably drive a Prius through that cleavage.

 

The only thing stretched tighter than the skin on her chest is the budget for the United Postal Service.

 

That’s not even a scoop top. It’s more like a convertible!

 

Look what my boyfriend got me for my birthday–Twins!

 

When I told people I subscribed to Playboy for the articles. Those are the two articles I was talking about.

 

You know the competition is fierce to be a pretty lady, when the only thing natural about you is your ear wax.

 

When she got her boob job–surprise!–yes, it’s a boob job, she went from A’s to a D’s. Ironically that’s the same reason she dropped out of Portland University.

 

She’s not secretive about the work she’s had done. She’s got fake boobs, fake hair, a fake nose. I mean I wouldn’t kick her out of bed…yeah, she might shatter.

With the money she costs to maintain, she should’ve changed her name to Porsche.

 

It’s reported that she’s had at least nine plastic surgeries. I mean, she’s hot, but at what point are you better off just fucking the cosmetic surgeon?

How To Be A Funny Man in 3 Steps

laughing_girlThere’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!

How To Be A Funny Girl

How to be a funny girl“How can I be a funny girl? You can never find anything on how to be a funny girl!” This young lady said to me recently. Interesting question, because literally every single day I get asked questions about comedy; “How can I get into comedy?” “Can I learn to be funny?” “How do I get into stand up?” You name it, when it comes to comedy, I get asked. I realized that I never got asked, specifically, about how to be a funny girl.

I Googled it and she was right! You don’t ever find anything on how to be a funny girl. There aren’t a lot of resources on how to be a funny girl. So I decided to post this blog and dedicate it to being a funny girl.

For the purposes of this post—and so I don’t risk getting pummeled with emails about the word “girl” vs. the word “woman,” I’m going to keep to the title of the post and include women under the umbrella as well, so when I write about how to be a funny girl, I’m also including women on this, because the woman who originally asked that question was well into her 30’s.

I will also address this to young ladies at least 12-years of age and older. The reason? At twelve most kids begin to develop the ability for complex reasoning. It allows for a greater understanding of incongruity and irony, two keys to humor.

Let’s start with why you would want to be funny. First of all, at a social level, funny, is not only a great self-defense mechanism, it helps to get us out of some pretty sticky situations, it’s also a great way to communicate and break through the “stranger barrier” early when meeting someone. When you’re making someone laugh it’s literally impossible for them to dislike you at the same time. So you get to be liked! That’s one reason to seek an answer to the question, “How to be a funny girl.”

In a more professional sense, the comedy industry; be it television, stand up, screen, desperately needs more funny women. Really! It does. It seems that there are so few female comedians. There are even fewer funny ones!

So let’s cover how to be a funny girl. There are a couple of adjustments to being a funny girl, due to societal expectations of being a girl, but we’ll get into that later. Ultimately,, believe it or not, being a funny girl is much like learning to be a funny boy…or man…or guy.

First you should understand the science of Funny.

“Funny” if you look it up, is something that causes laughter. And when you understand that the number element that triggers human laughter is surprise, then you’re already way ahead. Now, you have to ask yourself: how do I create surprise? It’s not by jumping around and acting all weird! It can be very subtle, but very effective. Here are two key ways to create surprise:

  1. Say something unexpected
  2. Do or say something that’s incongrous (doesn’t fit)

Let’s cover each of these so you can see how effective they are. Once you have an idea about them, you will start to look for these things in your daily life’s conversations and observations. For the sake of space and time, in this post, I will focuse on the unexpected. I’ll write part 2 about incongruity later.

First, say something unexpected: it’s as simple as changing what is normally said. Like when Rosanne Barr said, “My mother says, ‘The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’ I think the best way to a man’s heart is straight through his chest.”

You can take cliches like that and do what’s called reforming the cliche; which is basically changing the ending of the cliche.  How does that fit into your daily life? Take, for example, one of your girlfriends. Everyone knows someone who seems to have a new boyfriend every week. If you don’t know that person, then she might be YOU!

Okay, say this girl’s name is Jill. And I named her that because I knew someone like this in high school. I mean this chick always had a new boyfriend. So you might say. “Jill’s always got a different boyfriend. I can just see her wedding, ‘Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband til death do you part…or next Tuesday?'”

Or what if there was a guy you really liked, “Josh is soooo hot. I’ve wanted to make out with him for like a year–and I’ve only know him 2 weeks!”

“That chick called me a slut and I’m no slut–except on Sundays…then all bets are off…because that’s when my neighbor Earl comes over and brings beer and duct tape!”

Of course you’re kidding, but how about that for saying something unexpected?

Or if an annoying guy thinks you’re hot and says something like, “Babe, you’re coming home with me!” You can say something like, “Dude, you couldn’t put this on lay-away.”

You can learn how to be a funny girl by watching truly funny female comedians. Try this as an experiment: watch comedians like Rita Rudner, Rosanne Barr (early years), Ellen DeGenerous, Diane Ford, Jo Caufield (British). These ladies have awesome comedy structure (meaning they do a great job creating surprise), study thier lines and, as an exercise, write down their jokes. Identify the set up and try to write different punch line. That’ll start giving you an idea of how a joke is formulated.

All of the ladies I mentioned above create surprise very effectively by saying something unexpected. They also all use incongruity well. Once you begin to understand how the jokes are put together and what makes them work, you will start to look for that formula in your own dialogue and conversation and if you recognize it, you can say something unexpected and get laughs. Once you get laughs, you are now a funny girl.