Monthly Archives: May 2014

Rules of Writing Stand up Comedy

Stand up comedy is a performance art, which is largely based on quality writing. Writing effective jokes, which are funny enough to make the audience roar into laughter, is an essential part of stand up comedy. The writer should keep in mind how the jokes are to be delivered. Moreover, his content should be fresh and unique. There are a few rules that you can follow while writing your script. Some of the rules that can help you in writing humorous jokes are mentioned below:

  • You need to be original with your jokes. Stealing or copying jokes of other comedians is not a good option even if you can perform the joke better than the person, who wrote it. Having your different and unique point of view is very important when it comes to comedy writing. Staying original is an important aspect of comedy. You are recognized as a good stand up comedian when your jokes are original and worth laughing.
  • When writing down your jokes, you need to keep it in mind that how you are actually going to perform them on the stage. This will help you in writing jokes that are more effective. Many times, although the written content is hilarious yet it runs flat while being performed in front of the audience. It depends 90% on your delivery. Your delivery abilities should be strong in order to add life to the content to make it hilarious enough for the crowd to laugh. You can read out the lines you wrote again and again to make them funnier. Moreover, it will give you a better idea that how should be your performance. Practicing your written content will always prove beneficial.
  • Whatever you write should come from your heart. You must be sure and confident about what you are saying. Comedy should be inside you. It should be your passion. Whatever you say, you must believe it. For instance, you cannot be complaining about being ugly when you are good looking enough. Nobody will believe you.
  • Whenever you find yourself not being able to make a good punch line, try to make use of the tested punch lines including exaggeration, misdirection, callbacks, etc. You can take help from the stand up comedy videos in this regard.
  • You need to keep writing. Not necessarily all your content will be funny but you can gather a good percentage of funny and effective content. Writing is like a muscle to keep exercising. Writing more and more will help you in improvising your sense of humor.



There are many people, who are interested in learning stand up comedy and want to opt it as a career. One of the problems the new stand up comedians frequently face is to get strong punchlines quick enough in their performances. It is interesting to know that a good comedian must be able to get 4 laughs for every minute he is performing in front of the audience. It is not about talking faster to fulfill the criteria but to be good enough at entertaining people. In fact, you should never be in a hurry when performing live. Some rules to help in learning stand up comedy are mentioned below:

  • Use your recorded comedy act and review it to mark out on your script all the points where you got good laughs from the audience. This can help you to understand and analyze the audience. It will also help you to improve your comedy writing skills.
  • Check the number of words that resulted in laughter from the audience. If the word count exceeds 20 words, it means that editing is required to shorten it up.
  • You need to add punchlines. Good stand up comedians only use 10 to 15 words before they get a punchline. Good timing is a very crucial element is comedy. The timings of the punchlines and their delivery style should be appropriate enough to strike the audience and to make them laugh.
  • You should not rush up during your performance to get more laughs per minute you stand in front of the audience. In fact, it is the structure of words and simplicity of the act that counts. 
  • Presentation is what gives you the real output of your performance. It includes your facial expressions, vocal tones, and rise and fall in voice particularly. To practice them, you may also consult the stand up comedy videos available on the internet. They can help you to boost up your presentation skills while performing in front of the audience. You need to observe the styles of the renowned stand up comedians in order to improvise your natural style of doing comedy.
  • Practice is always required. If you keep on practicing your acts in front of friends and family, it will help you to learn a lot of techniques. Moreover, it provides an insight in understanding the audience and knowing their requirements. It is important to meet the criteria set by the audience. If you give the audience what they want, you will get a great response and appreciation for your work.