Many comedians say that they don’t use formula, but what they don’t understand is that it’s the formula that stimulates the laugh. beaker

This formula is called Compare and Contrast. It’s used a lot in comedy. One of the first times I identified this technique was when I was working with Cathy Ladman in Sacramento. She was talking about men and women: “I know that I have complex skin. My boyfriend is pretty sure he has a face.” You’ve probably heard it used in describing a failed relationship: “I knew it wouldn’t work, we were just too different. I am a Sagittarius and she was: a bitch. Here we also have the added surprise that when the joke writer sets it up as a Zodiac joke, the listener is anticipating it to continue with a zodiac theme but when the performer switches it, heightens the laugh. Here’s a video of me using the formula in a joke about my ex-wife:

Comedy Formula – Compare and Contrast

There’s several different ways you can use this formula to get laughs. Try them yourself.

Jerry Corley
Jerry Corley

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

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