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!

Jerry Corley
Jerry Corley

Jerry Corley is a professional comedian of nearly 30 years, working nearly every venue imaginable.