Being able to produce material on a consistent basis is one of the keys to succeeding in comedy. Whether you are a writer, or want to be a standup comic, you must be able to write material that has structure.

I’ve been asked time and time again to give a demo on how to write comedy. Since joke writing is the building block of comedy writing, as a whole, I am going to demonstrate it here.

The key to writing jokes from scratch is NOT to think of something funny, but to think of ANYTHING and make it funny.

This how to write comedy video is around 47 minutes. It shows the recommended prep necessary to take on the task of writing and some background information to get you ready. Also be warned, this is NOT for kids. There is some NC-17 stuff here.

When you are writing comedy you never, and I mean NEVER edit yourself in the first draft. You always save that for the second or third pass on the the material. So if you are sensitive to language (most of it written) and you are limited on time: then DON’T WATCH THE VIDEO!

If you want to REALLY see the joke writing process and learn one of the fundamental steps in learning how to write comedy, then grab your notebook, a cup of coffee and enjoy!

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Jerry Corley
Jerry Corley

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

    74 replies to "How To Write Comedy | Video Tutorial"

    • […] Just 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. […]

    • […] it? How they seem to be able to do it time and time again?” You ask yourself how do they learn how to write comedy so […]

    • […] is your calling card! As a comedian I like to post my videos online. I also post teaching videos, joke-writing videos, and other comedy video presentations. One of the problems I run into is that I need my video to be […]

    • […] excited at all the comments on my video “How to write Comedy” where I write 15 jokes in 30 minutes (real time). One of the recent comments I received on […]

    • […] of the keys to learning how to be a comedian, is learning how to write solid comedy consistently. […]

    • […] got an email from a person interested in doing stand up comedy and he saw my How To Write Comedy video online. In the video I take a headline right from Yahoo News and I write 15 jokes in about 30 […]

    • Pete Wickham

      Hey Jerry,

      I enjoyed your comedy writing lesson and feel like I owe you something funny in return. Since you used Tiger Woods I’ll use him too. I wonder if Tiger’s wife found him funny. Clearly she didn’t find his infidelities funny. But still being in her twenties I have no doubt she laughed all the way to the bank. That Tiger is a very funny guy!

    • Jerry

      Thanks Pete! Nice work. Can’t wait to see/hear/watch more! Any videos online that you can share? Let’s spread the word!

    • John Blair

      I love this. Now I understand how Jim Gaffigan can go on for ten minutes about bacon! Thanks Jerry.

    • Jerry Corley

      John Thanks for the comment. Gaffigan is an architect, man. He uses similar techniques to get the jokes. And remember this is only ONE method for writing jokes.

    • Enrique Smooth

      I’ve been making people laugh for many years and Jerry is showing me how and why I do i, t so I can reproduce it better and at least in volumne Thanks Jerry – you the man bro.

    • Gaye Freedman

      Wow…….what a great technique!

    • Jerry Corley

      Gaye Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it!

    • Wayne Manigo

      My favorite part was watching you create material using your computer. I create material in the same manner, but I can’t tell you how many different notebooks are lying around. Great presentation! I will recommend this to the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group.

    • Jerry Corley

      Hey Wayne! You did get a chance to see it…that answers my tweet. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Thanks for helping to spread the word. You Rock!

    • Ron Palmerton

      Very informative! I really liked the way you structured your lists and worked the formulas. I am a believer!

    • Jerry Corley

      Ron Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate it. And when you take into account that it’s only one way to write jokes, you can begin to see the possibilities to turn any logical grouping of words into something funny.

    • Adam Fraser

      Great technique Jerry. I’m going to go and buy Microsoft Word so I can try it.

    • Hey Adam you don’t need Word to do it. You can use any word processor or you can use a notebook. Instead of buying Word you can download the FREE version of Open Office, it’s a word processing software as powerful as you’ll ever need. I’ve made a quick video to show you how to download and install it here:

    • Adam Fraser

      @[99993840982:274:Stand Up Comedy Clinic] My Australian humour must have been lost in translation Jerry, I was kidding about buying Microsoft Word. Thanks for going to so much effort though with your response.

    • Anonymous

      I wrote 11 jokes for the first time in my life. This was great fun and everyone I told laughed. I’m going to give this a try for fun. At the very least I’m laughing to myself great uplifting energy. Doing Standup has been a push from friends for years. I keep saying its a job not a joke lol. guess I’ve got a start on what the bones are. Wish I lived closer to take a class.

    • Jerry Corley

      Hi Robin! Thanks for taking a look and Wow 11 jokes! That’s pretty awesome!
      Whenever you’re ready, let me know and we can get together for a Skype Session. I can help you shape your material and build and act. Awesome work!~

    • Jonathan Moralde

      Jerry! This video is exactly what I needed. I’m a new aspiring comic and I can’t wait to take the whole course. This video was very easy to follow and I can easily see how this technique is going to help me out tremendously! Thanks for offering this one for free!

    • Justin Rota

      Thanks Jerry. I enjoyed watching and learning these techniques. Your pretty freggin sweet. How much can you sell a good joke for anyways? U mentioned it a few times. Keep up the good work.

    • Quintin Dubec

      That was great. I’m looking forward to working on some of my own jokes both new and old. Thank you for the great information.

    • Christopher Amato

      Well, in the last 24 hoursI have watched your video 3 times and written a couple dozen jokes. I am using some of them at an amature night this weds. at Wise Guys in Syracuse. Ifound your video very helpful in filling in that proverbial blank i was missing in comedy writing. Thank you! Tthough I have not performed any of them yet, I can definitly see an improvement in my joke writing!

    • Charlie Gregory

      Charlie Gregory Cardiff Wales.
      Thanks Jerry I’ll be trying out those techniques on my blog at – hope you approve.

    • Matt Robert Williams

      Hey Jerry, great technique. It’s a very methodical way to get jokes down on paper! Thanks! Matt

    • Hi Jerry, I am just starting out. The writing can be very overwelming. You have made it alot easier to to keep the pen to the paper. I am looking forward to writing I have a show on the 24th. I can’t wait to see what happens. Will let you know, this is a very valuable technique for all levels of comedians. Just glad I found you in the beganning.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the info it really helped out alot. Ive done a few local comedy shows and I find it hard to always to always come up with jokes on a daily basis, but comedy is so fun and something I really want to do in life. I know this is only “one” method, but its one that can help me in putting my material together better and easier. If I’m ever in the California area I would love to attend some classes.

    • Pam Swearingen-Snider

      Oh, I am so loving this, Jerry! Going to recommend this to my high school students this year as an option for one of the writing assignments. Teach the class clowns how to go pro.

    • Rick Kale

      Thanks Jerry. Awesome technique. Time to start trying to write jokes.

    • Ibn Al Khawadja

      OK, I watched the video and wrote about three-fourths of a page of comedy. Not as neat and concise as yours, Jerry, but fucking awesome to get past one or two lucky ideas for punchlines. I’m looking forward to your class next weekend.

    • Noelle Lynn

      Thanks Jerry, this is TOTALLY what I was looking for and it really helped me out! thanks 🙂

    • Richard Allan Jones

      When one of Tiger’s strippers heard he was having trouble recently winning on the PGA tour, she suggested he switch to miniature golf because of the size of his putter.

    • Thanks for the comments Matt. Share a joke or two when you’re ready. I’ll give you some feedback to help you fine tune it!

    • Jerry Corley

      Pam, That’s the spirit! Teach it to the high school kids. They’ll get a huge kick out of it. Let me know if I can help in any way. Catch them when they’re psyched by comedy and you can create some really skilled comedians and comedy writers!

      Apologies for the super late reply. Still getting used to all the feedback I’ve been getting on this video! Rock n Roll!

    • Jerry Corley

      Rick, thanks for leaving a comment. When you’re ready drop a joke or two in the comment box and I’ll try to give some feedback. Rock on!

    • Jerry Corley

      Thanks Ibn! I really appreciate the comments! Feel free to share a joke when you’re ready. If I can help you tighten it, I’ll give it a whirl!

    • Kayizzi Miiro

      Glory Glory JC, thank you 4 the great work.

    • Thanks Jerry, this was great! I was having trouble writing jokes that were not related to some anecdote or funny circumstance I’d been in, was looking for some help with a new technique for this method and found one! Tonight I’m going to work on a list and writing jokes all based on some headlines.

    • Thank you Jerry….this is awesome! you are a big resource.

    • This is wonderful! I have a list of fifty things I want to do by the age of fifty, (seven years left!), and one of them is to perform a stand-up routine at least once. This will go a long way towards helping me reach that goal! Thank you!

    • greenco

      How about refining this to: When one of Tiger’s strippers heard he was having recent trouble winning the PGA, she saw Tiger’s putter and suggested he switch to mini golf. (Nice joke Richard 🙂

    • Christine Davison

      This is so fascinating. I have always loved humour but could never quite workout how it was done and what made it funny. This is very insightful and I hope to be using your methods soon

    • Anonymous

      Great tip. Ya know what would be extra handy? cuz I’m lazy…is getting your lists you already made of various topics such as sex, golf, etc. Thanks for this great info!

    • Anonymous

      I was raised in a Presbyterian Church…we couldn’t afford a house.

      Facebook Usage College Course Description:

      -How to cut wasting time on Facebook to just most of your day.
      -101 ways to publicly announce to 3000 other time-wasting morons you just farted an SBD.
      -No one paying attention to your posts? Try writing a recruitment ad for Jihad.

      okay, one more…

      “Starcasm” – A celebrity smart-ass remark.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jerry — I’m a “Natural-born joker” and I’ve spent my entire life observing comedians. But your course here is really starting to clarify to me exactly what’s going on prior to them getting on stage! I like the listing technique, but I’ll be honest, I prefer reading information from say the news, Wikipedia, Google, etc., which saves me time as I write! It somehow forces me to FOCUS on one thing at a time! You may have already done it this way I’m sure. Just want to conclude with a brief, “Thank You” and say I hope to meet you some day as I plan on attending film school in California and taking your comedy workshop! I worked on writing several jokes over a couple of hours Friday and Sunday and I can tell you I’m excited about this idea of getting into show business, even if it’s only from a writer’s point of view!

      Eric Edwards

    • Cory Tyler

      Thanks Jerry. Appreciate how in-depth and precise you are with joke writing. I appreciate it!

    • Matty Needham

      Hi Jerry. Been doing stand up for a year now in South Africa and with reading through your site and and watching a few of the videos on here, it has really helped me with refining some of my good jokes and turning them into even better ones, as well as expanding them. Big up!

    • Ricky Bopape

      I can’t wait do my first comedy act. Thanks

    • Sandra Matsunaga

      I love making people laugh, but I always wondered how to turn that into an actual joke. Thanks, because now I know! I am definitely interested to learn more. I appreciate your videos. 🙂

    • Allen Hoar

      Thanks for the help, I am using some of your techniques. will be purchasing soon..

    • Johan R. Bane

      Jerry, everyday I think of funny captions for photos. The tiger photo “Tiger is so jealous of Larry he’s trying to rock the goatee.” You rule! burp.

    • Alex Harris

      Jerry, as I may or may not have said on a post you did about Bill Burr, I’ve been doing comedy without ANY training, classes or mentorship since about June and never really knew how to structure jokes, just learned from watching a lot of stand-up comedy I suppose but your basic principle of “set up the assumption… shatter that bitch” is truly, TRULY going to severely improve my comedy sets immensely. I really do appreciate what you do and look forward to continuing to watch your videos, read your articles and take virtual lessons from you. Also, you are REMARKABLE in this video, I’m truly impressed. for any of you who cares to see a few of my videos. I’ve performed maybe twenty times and recorded half but only uploaded the best ones. Now that I’ve watched and learned so much of what Jerry has to offer, I have a feeling I’ll be able to upload ALL of my recordings now. Thanks, Jerry.

    • Stirling Smith

      What a great idea. It was like watching a skilled painter create a masterpiece. I making my lists and checking them twice. Thanks

    • Sydney Prevor

      very good thank you

    • Dara Turetsky-Blaker

      Awesome video. It was really good to watch you work in real time.

      I’m a musician gone comedy writer. It’ll be a nice change that when I’m being laughed at, it’s actually a good thing. :-p

    • I used to read newspapers and magazines searching for a funny story or an unusual story I could write jokes about. You showed me how it was possible to take even the most bland and/ or serious story and find the humor in it. You showed me that it was possible to take a story that seemed like a tragedy and re-tell the story in a way that was funny as hell. Thank you for teaching me how to find the funny in anything.

    • Joel Brill

      THANK YOU. Very good methodology. I’m am going to implement this.

    • Anonymous

      Laughing is the good exercise and you can find the free comedy video and watch it on mobile with 3gp video converter –

    • Trevor Dean

      I agree. It seems to be an effective tool at our disposal. It’s a bit confusing for me, then again I’ve only been at this for almost 8 months. It will get easier to figure out the more I apply it.

    • Michael Laman

      this is such an incredible video–thanks Jerry for sharing

    • Daria Rabotkina

      Excellent tutorial, watched it a few times already! thank you.

    • Roelfi Miguel Liriano


    • Jay Kelley

      Excellent. No excuses now..

    • Jeremy Hulin

      I look forward to the video, will the link to the video ever expire?

    • Jeremy Hulin

      I look foward to the video, will the link to the video ever expire?

    • Ray Xu

      I look forward to the video

    • Ray Xu

      looking forward to it

    • Janet Matthews

      The “sex list” is funny all by itself. This video is totally fun to watch, this guy rocks

    • Janet Matthews

      How can we get Tiger back to number 1? Maybe wash his balls?

    • Karume Asangama

      I’ve just went through the 1-2-3 jokes and the $55,000 joke writing and I have been able to come up with almost 13 jokes since yesterday…and I’m never out of ideas for great jokes since I’ve read your technics on joke writing…here a simple joke I’ve come with, among my 13 jokes: “…actions speak louder than words, but we don’t speak actions, we do actions…give me a break…” Thank you so much Jerry. If this is for free and you get the most of it…what will be if I paid for one of your sessions…for sure, it will be infinite abundance…I’ll join one of your session in the near future…

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