Want a great quick way to get to writing some solid comedy material?

Think in opposites! That’s right opposites.

Think of putting yourself in any situation or scenario. Write down what your normally anticipated behavior or reaction might be in that scenario, then write down the opposite of that.

If opposites are unexpected and surprise creates laughter. This theory has a high likelihood of leading you to some quick comedy.

Remember, of course that comedy is always subjective and it might not. But that’s why there are second, third and fourth drafts of material; you tweak it until you get it right.

So let’s look at 3 scenarios, the expected reactions then the opposite of that and see if we can create some comedy.

Scenario #1:

A cop pulls you over and says, “Do you know how fast you were going?”
Expected Reaction: “No sir.”
Opposite of that: “Dude, really? You think at that speed I’m gonna risk taking my eyes off the road to check the speedometer?”

Scenario #2:

Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife ’til death do you part?”
Expected Reaction: “I do.”
Opposite: “Wait a second. Did you say, ’til death’?”

Scenario #3:

Your girlfriend says, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
Expected Reaction: “No!”
Opposite: “Babe, I think it’s time to stop blaming the clothes.”

Was the opposite of what was supposed to be said funny? That’s always up for interpretation, but I bet using this easy technique, you will wind up with funny more often than not.

Now you try it.

  1. Write down at least 5 scenarios. Make sure you’re not thinking of “funny” scenarios. Just think of everyday situations.
  2. The quickest way to do it is to create a scenario where there is conversation.
  3. Find the expected response.
  4. Write down the opposite of that. Keep it simple.
  5. Once you have the opposite. Think of a way to say it that is not “on the nose,” but paints an interesting picture.

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot to say that it is important that you write these things down. It’s never really enough to just think about them. So really give this a shot. Start with the three scenarios I gave you, using your own opposites.

Remember to put your jokes in the comment box below. It’ll be like a comedy brainstorm session in cyberspace!

    36 replies to "Comedy Writing – Quick and Simple"

    • Marlene Cooper

      Hi Jerry:
      Good article.
      Here are my responses to the above scenarios:
      1. A cop pulls you over and says, “Do you know how fast you were going?” No officer. I was too busy sexting to know for sure.
      2. Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife ’til death do you part? You mean my awfully wedded wife. ‘Til death do us part? Will she be dying anytime soon? A terminal illness perhaps?
      3. Your girlfriend says, “Does this dress make me look fat?” No fatter than you usually look.

    • Jerry Corley

      Marlene! Excellent work! You are just getting funnier and funnier. Made me laugh out loud!

    • CJ Mischel

      Hey Jerry, I really want to thank you for your advice on to craft jokes like that. Funny jokes you had there, and yes I am here because I want to be a comedian myself and I looked up how to be a success. Let me be the first to admit, I have had a lot of share of both failure in stand up and acting. Now that I have seen comics like Dane Cook and Louie CK I know a little how to craft a good joke. Now that I saw your site (this site) I have ideas of material. Thank you again and I wish you the best.

    • CJ Mischel

      1.) I got pulled over the other day. Cops asks
      “Hey want to know why I pulled you over son?”
      “How do I know? The speedometer is broken. Oh and there was a prostitute I was trying to drive away from so I can avoid her soliciting me. Oh by the way your fly is undone” So I drove off.
      2.) I just got married a month ago and the priest asks me “Do you take this lovely woman to be your wedded wife until death?” I say “Well how long will that take?”

    • Jerry Corley

      Nice jokes. Keep working on them keep developing and remember sometimes the funniest lines are in the simple opposite, then saying that opposite thing in a unique way. Cool CJ!

    • CJ Mischel

      Oh thank you very much, yes I have been told to do so and I will get right to that

    • CJ Mischel

      HAHA!!

    • CJ Mischel

      So I plan on getting married soon…..see what the priest asks you before you kiss the bride is “CJ do you take this women as your lovely wedded wife until death?”, “Yes when do I start?”

    • CJ Mischel

      You know Jerry? Life is a very interesting thing to have, and the scary thing is your life can end at any minute, it’s scary to think about yet you know it’s true. Take a normal everyday person who goes to work and accidently falls off a skyscraper and you get the thinking “That could have been me!”. Then you take a person who purposely puts life on the line like a soldier or someone who cheats on his or her spouse you don’t know when you get a bullet to your skull or so so. And then you take people who drink and drive, well then that is what I like to call “kiving life to it’s highest limits”.

    • Jack Sundmacher

      1) A cop pulls you over and says, “Do you know how fast you were going?” Not fast enough to get away from you.
      2) Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife til death do you part? If we take out the lawfully I think were good.
      3) Your girlfriend says, “Does this dress make me look fat?” Can I answer that after.
      you make dinner?

    • Jerry Corley

      Hey Jack, nice work. My favorite is “can I answer that after you make dinner?”

    • Jerry Corley

      Hi CJ, I would avoid putting Dane Cook in the same sentence with CK! Dane is not necessarily someone you want to study for joke structure… he’s a hard-working comic and busts his ass to stay in touch with his fans, but his jokes are lacking in structure for the most part. CK is someone to study.

      Thanks for your great comments and I’m glad my site has given you inspiration. Keep up the writing!

    • William Farlin Cain

      1) your partner gets out of bed to be sick. “Oh, while you’re up…”

    • CJ Mischel

      I really ditched Dane Cook after a while….now I do look at CK, Cosby, Carlin, Pryor, and Jim Carrey and I am amazed how hard they worked to be funny

    • Darscovery Channel

      “Do you know how fast you were going?” ; Not really, For god sakes; I can’t put on lipstick in the rearview mirror and watch the speedometer.

    • Darscovery Channel

      Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife ’til death do you part?” ; Does it matter how she dies?

    • Darscovery Channel

      Your girlfriend says, “Does this dress make me look fat?” ; Instead of fat, let’s say longitude challenged.

    • John Mixon

      A COP PULLS ME OVER. DO YOU KNOW HOW FAST YOU WERE GOING?
      1) No. I was asleep. 2) I am driving ain’t I. 3) What is this 20 questions .

      DO YOU TAKE THIS WOMAN TO BE YOUR LAWFULLY WEDDED WIFE TILL DEATH DO YOU PART
      1) Who me? 2) The shotgun says yes. 3) Till death or my bank account is empty.
      DOES THIS DRESS MAKE ME LOOK FAT?
      1) Holy Shit !!! 2) No, your ass. Makes you look fat. 3) That’s a dress, I thought it was a sausage casing.

    • Stephanie Martin

      my neighbor ask me the other day. why does your dog sucks himself? my reply was ( he saving his self for his wife) ain’t that what god says! my neighbor replies back! O so they do make virgin dogs? later on that day she ask him to marry her…. there happy now..( my neighbor reploed that all she really needed was a man! So what if he’s a dog.

    • Stephanie Martin

      My neighbor asks me the other day. Why does your dog suck himself? My reply was (he saving his- self for his wife) isn’t that what god says! My neighbor replies back-OMG so they do make virgin dogs? Later on that day she asks him to marry her…. there happy now… (My neighbor replied that all she really needed was a man! So what if he’s a dog.

    • Tommy Ritz

      Thanks for the tips jerry, I have just watched your DVD well worth every pound.
      Iam getting great feedback from my stand ups that I have done in the uk, I don’t think I would have been half as funny with out your website and advice.
      God bless ya.

    • Anonymous

      Part of my identity is tied to an exaple of yours.. but my tag is what makes the joke, but it’s part my intro, so I wont post it, but you’ll see a video of my stage debut soon…

    • Aaron Stoker-Ring

      Cop: Do you know how fast you were going?
      Driver: Isn’t that your job?

      Cop: Do you know how fast you were going?
      Driver: 900 mph.
      Cop: You were going 94.
      Driver: That’s not fast.

      Cop: Do you know how fast you were going?
      Driver: (looks at dashboard) Which one of these thingies shows the fast?

      Cop: Do you know how fast you were going?
      Driver: Were? Sorry, I don’t live in the past.

    • Robert Hughes

      A cop pulls me over and says, “Do you know how fast you were going?”.
      Me: “How would I know that? I’ve only had one lesson, dummy!”.

      Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife ’til death do you part?”.
      Me: “For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. And the sooner the better so I can get to her wealth.”.

      My girlfriend says, “Does this dress make me look fat?”.
      Me: “No of course it doesn’t make you look fat. It makes you look old.”.

    • Lopp Rose

      My wife asked me if I filled the car with gas. I said yes and if you want to use it you should let it air out for about an hour first.

    • Lopp Rose

      officer pulls me over asks me “do you know how fast you were going” 1. Yes I was just tweeting it to a friend 2. no, is there an app for that? Wife asked me does this dress make my butt look fat? what is your butt looking at?

    • Lopp Rose

      Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife ’til death do you part?” Reply:1. Is that death part any death or does HAVE to be one of us?
      2. How bout coma instead of death?

    • Barry Simon

      Officer pulls me over and says “Do you know how fast you were going”?
      Reply: Apparently not fast enough to get airborne!

    • Jimmy Walden

      Officer pulls me over and says, “Do you know how fast you were going?”
      I reply “I don’t know dude, as fast as a bike can go?”

      Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be lawfully wedded wife ’till death do you part?”
      I reply “Maybe, what’s it to you?”

      My wife said to me last night, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
      I said to her “Promise not to get mad?”

    • Denise Williamson

      A cop pulls you over and says “Do you know how fast you were going?” I reply, “I have to hurry before I forget where I’m going!”

    • A cop pulls me over and says,”Do you know how fast you were going?”
      Me: “Why? Your radar gun broke?”

      Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, til death do you part?”
      Me: I’m necrophiliac, loving don’t stop at death.
      My girlfriend says, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
      Me: No, your eating does.

    • Jason Chais

      A cop pulls you over and says, “Do you know how fast you were going?”
      Me: “If you’re asking, not fast enough.”
      CHANGE
      Me: “Sorry, I ain’t sure officer. Ma speedo cuts out past 85.”
      CHANGE
      Me: “Like, on what scale, dude? In galactic revolutions, about 10*-2k/c, in Kardashian marriages /s, probably around 50.”
      CHANGE
      Me: “DUDE! I was winning!”
      CHANGE
      Me: “(slurring) But Offisher! I’m pregnant and Need to get to a hoshpital. (looks down). Can’t you shee my water’s broke?”
      CHANGE
      Me: Are you kidding??? Most of that was in the air!
      CHANGE
      Me: “60 mosquitoes a second, 20 moths a minute, an owl an hour, 1 deer a year? But you can have’em.”
      CHANGE:
      Me: “Fast! Real fast! But I just can’t outrun the dead bodies in my trunk!”
      CHANGE:
      Me: “Oh, thank god! I thought you must have recognised me.”
      CHANGE:
      Me: “………. What’s the most you’ve lost – in a coin toss?” [Javier Bardem Act-Out]
      CHANGE:
      Me: “Whatever it takes to escape my conscience!”
      CHANGE
      Me: “Considering I was going the wrong way, about minus-110!
      CHANGE
      (vit D, open pharmacy, sun going down)
      ==
      Minister says, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife ’til death do you part?”
      Me: “‘Til death do *She* part, you mean!”
      CHANGE
      Me: Wait! ‘Til Death Do You Part’. What is that, like a spoiler for The Ten Commandments sequel,, does Moses go to Hell?? …To Aushwitz???
      ==
      Your girlfriend says, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
      “Babe, I told you. You can only answer me that question once a year.. January 25th.”
      CHANGE
      “Honey, you always ask me questions I can’t answer. But for this one, I can honestly say —- I’m – out – of – my – depth!”‘

    • Michael Hollingworth

      COP: Do you know how fast you were going?
      ME: What year is it????
      COP: 2014
      ME: Then 88mph…I DID IT!!!

    • Janet Matthews

      This random guy came up to me at a party, obviously wasted and asked me, “Yo baby whats up, your so hot I want you to do a rail off my dick”
      I couldn’t believe he thought that was possible
      so I told him, “I could do a bump”

    • Karume Asangama

      The best lesson ever on comedy. Thank you Jerry.

    • Antonio De Matteo

      Scenario #1:
      My opposite: I’ve got the TGA… Sorry, Who are u? Help me, help me there’s a stranger leaning on my car! Get out of my way!

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