February 25 Stand Up Writing Class is filling up.

There is no real way I can describe the power of humor. We all know from personal experience what real deep laughter can do for us. Laughter changes us physiologically. It changes the way we feel and also the way those around us feel. I’m not sure if the kind of laughter that we remember from years ago is a small miracle or a gigantic one. Well there are no small miracles so, laughter, any kind of laughter, the moments that make us smile, laugh out loud or allows us to forget for only a few moments what we’re going through or afraid to face; laughter is a God send.

This will be my 26th year of teaching Stand Up Comedy. My 15th year of teaching Stand Up Writing. Both classes are different. One is an introduction. The other, the class beginning next Monday at Yuk’s Edmonton, is creative business of Stand Up: this class is the elements of Story. The tagging or developing of ideas within your story. Jokes aren’t created because we find a punchline. Material is created because we find ourselves within our story.

Humor can be developed from any idea, politics, space, gum. The class I teach works on the principle of developing material from different perspectives then just our own. I believe writer’s block is founded in being stuck in the same perspective. The more emotion in a joke, the better the joke, the laughter and connection to an audience. When the joke is from OUR OWN story, then the material is carrying our theme.

If we take a random joke idea, ‘The Oilers,’ this is a ‘TOPICAL,’ premise, an idea in media. Here’s a random joke I developed from the principles of writing mechanics I teach in my class. 1)  Connor McDavid’s supposed to be the best player in the world and the Oilers are in last place. I played ball hockey with a kid named Barney Zepher. He scored two goals every game and he wasn’t even the best player on our block! 2) FYI Connor, when you’re trying to tip a puck in the net, take a deep breath and shout, CAR!!! That’s from Barney. You’re welcome.

Now, when we take a random idea and add emotion, the material is amplified. Cheering for the Oilers is like being in a bad marriage, I think we should start seeing other teams. We can re write this joke from another perspective and add amplifiers. But that’s week two of the class.

If you’re interested in Stand Up, Public Speaking or writing, and want to be part of my class, e mail me please: paulsveen@shaw.ca


February 25 Stand Up Writing Class.


I have been performing and teaching Stand Up for over thirty years. I come from stand up from a writing back ground: TWO NOVELS,  PLAYWRIGHT/ THREE FRINGE PLAYS, A NATIONAL TEACHING AWARD, COMEDY NOW, AND Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Halifax and Saint John’s Comedy Festivals. The reason I list these is not to impress but to show how my Stand Up Writing class is effected by other writing genres. An opening joke must get the audience’s attention. It should also set up your theme, the pattern running through the stories of your life, your market brand. The final closing joke in your set should tie up your set and leave the audience with no doubt what your message is.

  1. We will also be covering perspective, looking at ideas and moments from each student’s life from different points of view. The secret to Stand Up and Story telling is sharing the moments that we’re afraid to share; the moments that we keep hidden. These moments have our theme absolutely reach an audience.
  2. TAGGING: We will explore the writing mechanics of joke writing and then use them to amplify our story.
  3. Energy frequency. When we’re afraid, so is an audience. Our energy influences us creatively; when we’re having fun so is our audience. 
  4. DEFINING our goals. Just like aligning our emotions and energy in our material, we can also sequence our energy to where we ask and work towards where our Stand Up and Writing is taking us.
  5. Working on our work. We will be sharing our material in class as well as helping others in the class write their material. We will rehearse and record our performances and learning to graph our sets so we can be more successful as STAND UPS and Writers.
  6. TO GET INFORMATION ON THIS CLASS, E MAIL ME AT: paulsveen@shaw.ca                                              


Class 3: Story + Tags = Set.

REMEMBER: Our comedy Grad is Monday November 5th. Tickets are 10$ at the door. The doors open at 6:30 the show starts at 7:30 PM. Everyone is performing 7 to 10 minutes. I will be taping the Grad Night so please invite family friends and co workers because the better the audience the better the response for your DVD.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great class last Monday kids. REMEMBER: Look at each sentence in the story you choose for class next Monday: ( this will be the set you’re going to choose for the Stand Up Grad Night)

REMEMBER : PREMISE: and then the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, the unspoken emotion. This is the PUNCHLINE. Once you have the punchline, add the 3 AMPLIFIERS and one of the three examples can be used to FORESHADOW the next joke:
EXAMPLE:JOKE 1) A lot of comedians are insecure, suffer from depression and use humor to fill a hole. Speaking of holes nice to be back in this club! JOKE 2) A comedians’ working in a club has a heart attack and dies. Suddenly he’s at the pearly gates. On the other side are a bunch of comedians, Bob Hope, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers, Don Rickles. Saint Peter tells the new comic before he can go into heaven he had to tell his joke that was his greatest risk. The new comic starts sharing his most courageous joke. Suddenly Saint Peter says, “wrap it up God just gave you the light!” On the other side of the gate Don Rickles says, “I’m dead a week and Saint Peter’s already stole my act!”

REMEMBER: HOMEWORK: WRITE JOKES from 3 different perspectives  FOR) 1) the guy who brought the wrong part to the Canadian Tire, 2)his wife and 3) the automotive attendant, also have 2 misdirection’s.

REMEMBER: Have your 7 to 10 minute set (TAGGED AND BAGGED!!!!) for Monday.

REMEMBER: You can bring my Humor Work shops, Key Note and my Stand Up Comedy Performance to your company, work, fundraiser or Christmas Party. E mail me: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Class 4: Theme + Story = success.

The last class was great! I saw the lights go on in our class three writing exercise. As we continue in my Stand Up Writing class, I would like you to be conscious of your theme. What’s the pattern running through your stories? If your jokes are coming from your stories they carry your theme. This pattern should be in the set we’re developing for November 5th. Your theme is money! The jokes you’re writing are deposits! Your story is the bank!

REMEMBER: For class this Monday please have: A story from your life that you’re passionate about or at least a little excited about. (Don’t share a story you’re worried might offend or don’t care about. The more you care about your story the more your audience will care about it also!) Write 3 jokes for your story: an opening joke, middle joke and closing joke; if you can, from different perspectives. Also, use misdirection to foreshadow your set.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE: (My story and theme with 3 tags. A tag is turning a sentence or idea from a story into a joke: OPENING JOKE 1: “So get this! My buddy Frankie asked if I wanted a treasure map! Right away I’m thinking plunder, diamonds, gold, Pirate Treasure! Not so much. I got a map to Blue Berries. I tell Frankie, I might be an idiot but I don’t want the freakin map and Frankie says not thinking blue berries are treasure is an anti-oxidant waiting to happen! MIDDLE  JOKE 2 Sold! Frankie convinces me, not with stats, facts or proof, he sells me with the most wicked of all sales pitches, the rare produce section PUN! CLOSING JOKE 3 SO I spend an hour dragging my bike and two five gallon pails down a thorn encrusted hell, what’s that place called again at the end of 167, behind the Giant Tiger, by those trees? Ho yah, VIETNAM!!!”

REMEMBER: Begin with a story you like. If you love it that’s even better. Rehearse your story know it. If you have any doubt, TAG AND BAG IT. Write a joke about the doubt and insert it in your set! Write THREE JOKES beginning middle and closing! If you want to write more, go for it!

MISDIRECTION: Write out the premise: I carried a bike down a hill infested with thorns. 1) What do we feel? Locate the emotion of the premise?  What’s the emotion here? Stupidity, anger, confused? SECOND, What’s the point of this premise? Why didn’t I think it through, why didn’t I leave the bike? Boy am I dumb! 3) Make sure the 3 amplifying statements are connected to the set up not the punchline. REMEMBER: the punch words is the one word in the PUNCHLINE that triggers the joke. We want the punch word as close to the end of the joke as possible!We begin the joke with the SET UP: Blue Berries are 5 dollars a pound. AMPLIFIERS: I carried a bike and two pails down a thorn infested hill for an hour to pick blue berries. PUNCHLINE Which means I get 5 dollars an hour for my work. (PUNCH WORD IS WORK.)

REMEMBER: I can be booked for KEY NOTES and WORKSHOPS and for CHRISTMAS PARTIES. You can see me on YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK AND MY WEBSITE. Our Stand Up Grad is OCTOBER 24. Invite your friends and tell them about my class please. Share my website please!!!

Stand Up Writing Class TWO: TAGGING A STORY.

I hope you had a great Thanks Giving and that you’re jornaling three pages a day about your set, joke writing and perspective, rehearsing, and working on your joke mechanics and making sure the punch word is AT the end of the punch line. Alright, great first class and second class!!!! For your homework next Monday October 15, have a FIVE TO SEVEN Minute set ready: a personal story with FIVE JOKES. If you can, make a few of these jokes from a different perspective.  RELAX, HAVE FUN! (REMEMBER, our energy on stage is what delivers our material. When you’re having fun so is the audience. If you’re afraid, so are they. Also: write jokes about your fears and share them in your set.  What ever you bring to class we can build off. These are the steps for your SECOND CLASS homework 🙂

We’re going to take a moment from your life and write some material for it. This is called, TAGGING. ( TAGGING: taking material from a story and amplifying it or writing jokes about the story.) When we take an idea and expand off of it, the stand up term is called TAGGING. Tagging is the same as building off or expanding.

Tagging and using it in on a memory or story from your life is different than lets say, writing jokes about the news: ( this genre is called TOPICAL MATERIAL. If you’re tagging the news, we learn about your opinions but don’t really learn about you. Real moments from your life solve this. Also, if you’re going to talk about religion or the news, you’re going to miss your business model, unless this is your business model.) If I play with a news story like a robotic lawn mower, I can QUESTION and Answer the PREMISE within the CIRCLE from different perspectives and come up with a joke like: “You can now buy a Robot Lawn Mower. How much does it cost? If you’re too lazy to get off the couch you can own a Lawn Robot for the low low price of, DIABETES!”

Now, if I have a story about lawn and yard work I can drop this joke into my set but what I’m asking is: 1) Locate a moment that really reveals you, a lawn story that you’re embarrassed or unsure you should to tell us. 2) Q and A EACH SENTENCE OF THE STORY and ask yourself what the vulnerable point is (punch line) and ask what we feel about the point-(premise) INSERT THE JOKE AFTER EACH SENTENCE. (you’re tagging each sentence. 3) Tape your story with it’s tags and rehearse it for Monday’s class.

EXAMPLE: I was in a Canadian Tire last January to drop off my fuel pump to get a new one, (TAG, I will have the punch line at the end of this information.) My wife must have thought I was going to Victoria’s secret because she said I could do my Christmas shopping 360 days early. Well, there wasn’t any lingerie but I still haven’t told my wife about the work bench I bought, so technically, it is a secret.  I thought of her and bought one of those rings you can slip through 18 plastic bags to make my wife’s grocery experience more pleasurable. For a year I told her I bought her a giant ring. I also got her an Edmonton Oilers steering wheel cover. Every time she grabbed her steering wheel, the cover screamed, began crying and demanded to be traded.  (TAG) I also got her a talking Christmas card that played The 12 days of Christmas; well it would of if the battery wasn’t almost dead 11 months later. When she opened it, the 1st day of Christmas played so slow, it sounded like Celine Dion on Demerol. Anyway, I do my shopping and drop my fuel pump off at the automotive department. I asked him if he had a new one. He says yes but asked me why I brought in my alternator.        I’ll tag this story for class. Please do the same. with your story. ( 5 to 7 minute story and five jokes inserted into your story.

REMEMBER: look at a sentence in your story: 1) Ask what the point is, look for more than one: the elephant in the room, the thing you don’t want to admit, from another perspective. This is the PUNCHLINE. Look at the PUNCH WORD, change it, try others.  2) How do you FEEL about the PUNCHLINE? Again, the deeper you look the better the PREMISE. have fun kids!!!

We’ll be playing with MISDIRECTION and FORESHADOWING  in the next class, CLASS 3

REMEMBER: YOU CAN SEE ME ON YOU TUBE AND FACE BOOK. You can also have me appear at your Christmas Party. Ask me in class about my work shops for your office and retreats. E mail me for any questions at: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Class I: September 24 Stand Up Writing

Thank you everyone for being in my class. It’s a big deal to me that you’re in my class. Thank you again all of you for being in Stand Up Writing!!! The first class was great. All of you shared your talent and creativity and were open to the lessons I was sharing: We talked about the basic structure of a joke: premise, punchline, punch word: example: PREMISE: I have a crappy car. I have an airbag. Punchline: But I have to blow it up myself. Punch Word: blow. ( REMEMBER: The more honesty in the premise, the funnier the punchline.)

BTW: Please remember to use the smaller note pad for your material and your set. Use the thicker note pad to JOURNAL 3 pages a day about jokes you’re working on, your set, the class but keep your journalling specific to the class. Use it as a vehicle to rehearse and sharpen your creative saw.

  1. Remember: Premise, punchline, punch word. Look at your premise and ask what is it I’m trying to say or afraid to say, the secret, the unspoken, the Elephant in the room. This unspoken/ over the top sarcasm is the punchline. The less emotion the more neutral or vanilla the joke is. When we use MISDIRECTION and add three amplifiers to the premise; the attention is taken away from the punchline by making extra reference to the premise.
  2. EXAMPLE: Be honest, most guys aren’t handy. (what’s the elephant in the room here? Guys are supposed to be MR tool man. So I add amplifiers to the premise and have:) “If we’re honest, most men aren’t handy. They’re immature, have low self esteem, and have boundary issues. His ex is thinking, if he can’t commit to a relationship, how the hell’s he going to commit to fixing a sink?”
  3. It’s a great exercise to write jokes from different perspectives. It’s also great to write jokes about what you know. Writing jokes fro a story from our life is amplifying our story, embellishing it. I call this framing.
  4. Take a 3 or 4 minute story from your life and ask and answer questions from a few different perspectives and answer the premise with as honest an answer that you can. This is the punch line.
  5. Put your premise in the circle and make the cross and insert 4 perspectives on 4 corners of the cross. Ask and answer questions from each perspective.
  6. Journal three pages each day on your material, story, Q and A’s premises and punchlines. If you journal around the questions and ideas of your set you will reap the benefits!
  7. HOMEWORK: Choose a 3 or 4 minute story from your life, a story that you think tells us who you are. REMEMBER, the more honest you are and using the elephant in the room about your life the better your set will be. HOMEWORK: 3 to 4 minute story with five jokes in it.
  8. if you have any challenges, E MAIL PLEASE 🙂 paulsveen@shaw.ca

On our anniversary, what I’ve learned from my wife Nernie.

The only way we can truly know someone is by giving of and being ourselves. My wife Nernie is the one single reason I’m on that journey. I know this sounds confusing. Let me explain please and also while I am explaining, not making this blog about me but about the amazing lady… who changed my life.

I met Nernie in a gym a long time ago. It was her beauty that got my attention but then her energy. She radiated this aura that pulled me toward her like a tractor beam. Of course my dysfunctional nature repelled her away. This is the part where I have to make this a little about me, it’s called back story. I have always been a way too sensitive, lonely insecure selfish desperate person trapped in scarcity. I’ve protected myself in this place and in my first meeting with Nernie she was a victim of it. I was anybody but myself when I met her, macho, loud, abrasive. I remember saying to her in my low goomba voice: “hey, the stepper you work out on is broken and um, yeah I wanted to tell you that and um, hey it’s leg day maybe you could give me a spot? ” I just remember thinking why am I being a jock, talk to her like I’m real, which was something I was incapable of.

Nernie exudes this healing energy, an empathy and compassion that kept pulling me closer to her. She was reading the same spiritual books I was reading when I met her and I had been on this metaphysical quest when we first met; I was on year 2 of a 4 year experience reading ‘A Course In Miracles.’ I was in this head space when I thought I knew what I was doing creatively and personally. I couldn’t have been more wrong. (years later we were watching an episode of Will and Grace and they did a joke about a Course in Miracles. Nernie laughed so hard she feel off the couch!)

Nernie is first and foremost beautiful but I mean inside as well also. She’s a person of action, her kind deeds to strangers, friends and any and all doggies, kitties, birds and bunnies is a never ending clinic on compassion. She’s just being who she is, herself.

This is where my challenge has always been. Here’s this incredible woman who has shown me every moment I’ve known her how to treat others and how to attract the life we dream, ‘GIVE.’ Yeah, really? Try live in a dysfunctional family of 8 and learn anything about giving. It’s not an excuse or maybe  it is. Dysfunction has taught me the freedom of blaming anything and everything on everyone else and not taking responsibility for anything. “Hey, why did you run naked through Walmart? I was raised in dysfunction. I take responsibility for nothing I do.”

Let me say, being insecure and terrified that I’ll never amount to anything has ingrained this bottomless scarcity in me, this infinite notion that I’ll never be or have enough and it’s really hard to wake from this habit. Nernie taught me that kindness to others and to myself was the place to start.  Since I met my wife over fifteen years ago we have bought a house, I’ve published a novel, recorded an hour comedy special on CTV and won a national award for teaching Stand Up.

I share these things not because I did them but because Nernie loved me enough to make me believe I could. Her love, kindness and heart melted my fears. She has taught me to feed the life we dream from my heart and to never quit.

We’ve been through a lot in the years we’ve been together, a lot of it heart breaking, the loss of her parents, my dad, changes in career. It was in these dark moments I really saw my wife’s strength, her undying faith in giving to those around her while her heart was breaking. She helps everyone around her first before she considers herself.

And now I realize how quickly life seeps past, days, weeks, months and years slip by like seconds until our last breath.  I will fight to create the life Nernie and I dream and use every ounce of my being to make that happen. I have more novels, classes and personal breakthroughs to reach with my spirit far beyond what my ego is screaming what I am.

Nernie had a dream a long time ago where I was pulling a rope out of me while I was on stage. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and all of them because I thought from scarcity and only of myself. Nernie has often told me she wasn’t sure what her purpose was and why she was here. I’m not my wife’s purpose but who I am are the results of her. Everything I am is a result of her love, tenderness and fire within.

Your purpose is to be exactly who you are right now my wife and nothing else. You have made an incredible difference in so many lives especially in the one of this reclamation. You saw so many years ago the man that I’m becoming through the woman you are. The rope I’m pulling out of me was always in your hands. Your’re the one pulling me from me closer to you. It was never about me. It was about that second so many years ago, a lost broken man had the incredible fortune of meeting his mirror, his love of his life you my wife… my soulmate.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter. . . don’t mind.

Pauly loves Nernie, always.


Out Line for class 5 set.

IN THIS BLOG: Club set; Opening joke, 2nd best joke, Closing joke,best joke, running gag, a series of 3 references too one idea,  callbacks, a joke that connects back to a previous joke, and our Frame, the story we insert all these ingredients. I want to thank all of you for being in my Stand Up Writing class again. I absolutely give everything to each and every class I have. I hope you enjoyed my class because I sure enjoyed sharing it. REMEMBER: Your stand up performance is Tuesday June 5th. The doors open at 6:30. Show time is 7:30

Alright here’s the outline for your work/set- for Monday. 1) Look at your set/frame and MAKE SURE YOUR OPENING JOKE IS YOUR SECOND BEST JOKE IN YOUR SET!!! ( If you have a better joke in your set that’s not your closing joke, put that in your opening)

Here’s my set I’m working on and how I tagged it ( worked on each sentence from different perspectives and arrived at my material.) REMEMBER, YOUR FRAME/SET should have your theme, what you want an audience to know about you.

My FRAME/SET is about me falling off the back of my brother’s van when I was 17. I’ve written the story out the way it happened. Here’s the outline.

1) I used to get this line from my dad when I was a juvenile. “Hey idiot. If you’re going to drink, drink at home; you won’t get in trouble, you’ll be safe and I’ll know where you are.” ‘Really,’ I’d think, and maybe after a couple of beers I’ll have the confidence to hit on mom. 2) My smart older brother eventually took me to his drinking spot, a cemetery. He said, “I only go to one graveyard. It’s not as if I’m scouring the obituaries looking for house parties. 3) “Besides,” he said, “if it  makes any difference I tried to get into a cemetery on the west end but it’s always packed.” I  listened to my older brother because he was like this weird sage that questioned everything . Someone would say, “why are you drinking in a cemetery a cemetery’s for the dead.” and he’d say, “yes, but are the dead for the cemetery?” WHAT? (I’ll use this two more times) 4)My brother some of his friends and I hopped into my brother’s crap van and drove to the cemetery. My brother knew nothing about cars. Once he spent hours taking out the fuel pump and dropped it on the service desk at Canadian Tire and said, “I need a new fuel pump.” The guy behind the desk said,”alright, so why did you bring your air-circulator?” My brother said, no, why did my air circulator bring me?” What?  (I’ve used the gag twice so I’ll use it another time and as I rehearse I’ll refine the quotes) I’m ending my set on after my brother brings me home from the hospital after I fell off the back of the van and my dad said, ” so I see you brought home the idiot”, so I’ll have a call back a reference to a single joke. but you see the work that goes into this, rehearse, re write and do it again.

REMEMBER: Put each sentence in a circle and tag/write a joke from 3 or 4 different perspectives, let the first joke be sarcasm and then use amplifiers and turn them into mis direction. Make sure you look for the elephant in the room for each joke and YOU’RE NOT LOOKING FOR THE PUNCHLINE YOU’RE LOOKING FOR YOU!!!


Class 4.We’re not just looking for the Punch Line.

REMEMBER: Our class grad is TUESDAY JUNE 5th, the doors open at 6:30 showtime is 7:30. Tickets are 10$ at the door. I have 2 guest spots fellow alumni, Sabrina Sperber and Donna Erickson. Hello gentlemen, I’ve had a little challenge with my web site but have it sorted out and here’s some things to add to the last class. We’re going to have our set ready for next Monday May 28: MAKE SURE YOUR SET IS LESS THAN “10” MINUTES. Make sure you have an opening joke a great closing and at least five jokes in between. REMEMBER: A JOKE MAKES A POINT. Also, 1) The ‘SHOW’ of your set is: rehearsing, being creative, your energy, and emotions associated with your set, journal-ling about your set, siting down and working on your set. BUSINESS: being prepared, knowing your material, writing jokes for the audience, listening to class mates, realizing the Stand Up Comedy isn’t just about us, it’s also about the audience and club staff, agents, opportunity and delivering.

Our set. Know your story, the beginning middle and end. At the very least have an idea what you want the audience to know about you and make sure you state that if you want in your OPENING JOKE: “Hi, I’m. . .and (your theme) I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m from the sixties, I’m from a big family, I think I peaked in high school. . . ( either state your theme off the top, say it/ or write a joke about it.

1) Choose a story and ask what you’re avoiding or afraid to say about each sentence ( this will be the PUNCH LINE the PREMISE is the sentence. 2) When you add the THREE amplifiers you have MISDIRECTION. Here’s an example.

My set for next class is about being a teenager. ( I literally don’t know how I survived being a teen.) I look at my story and work on the first sentence and ask myself how I really feel because, ” WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR A PUNCH LINE WE’RE LOOKING FOR OURSELVES; for us, for the pattern and things that make us unique. Our truth.”

I can’t believe I survived my teen years. (This is a joke I’m working on, I’m asking the most honest, the elephant in the room, my truth about being a teenager. The more honest and over the top truth is the punch line.) What do I feel about my teen years? I was a train wreck, I shouldn’t be alive, I never listened to anyone, I knew everything. I like this last one, I feel it. Here’s my first joke

“I can’t believe I survived being a teen, hey I was a teenager I knew everything.”  ( This is a good opening joke for me from MY PERSPECTIVE. We need to take the time to EXPLORE other points of view in our set because in these perspectives we have more EMOTIONS and ANSWERS and TRUTH and these REVEAL who we are and are ingredients in our STORY. My first joke is SARCASM and if I add the AMPLIFIERS I have MIS- DIRECTION. “I can’t believe I survived being a teen, I ignored my parents, teachers, my future;   ignored my parents, teachers, my future; hey, I was a teenager, I knew everything.”

Try these writing exercises for next class: write five jokes from other perspectives and five jokes from your theme. ( If you don’t know what your theme is , use the one in your story, find THE POINT of your story and let that be your theme.

Have fun with this, E mail me if your stuck. Have a punch line for each major point in your set. Write at least five new jokes for next class and when I say “THIRTY SECONDS,” you have 30 seconds to wrap up your set.

Class three, misdirection.

Remember, our comedy Grad is Monday November 5. Showtime is 7:30. Doors are open at 6:00. Could you please start inviting your friends and family and co workers now. Tickets are 10$. It was a great class on Monday everyone: thank you again for being a part of my Stand Up Writing Class. It’s my honor to be be a part of this group. Alright, remember, ( your set is a story, YOUR STORY. All the material we’re developing in this class is predicated on the story from your life that you choose.) Also allow your energy in class to be big, positive!!!  Remember, I’m also a nationally touring comedian, if you want to bring me to your event, retreat, Christmas party e mail me at paulsveen@shaw.ca  I’m also a published author, if you want, you can down load my novel from my website.

HOMEWORK FOR CLASS THREE: Go through your set and add 3 jokes from another perspective and 2 misdirection’s. Choose your set you’d like to perform on your Stand Up Performance on November 5 and insert TWO MISDIRECTION JOKES and THREE form ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE. Here is the formula for misdirection; REMEMBER to use your THREE PAGES IN YOUR JOURNAL to work on your set for class on Monday.

1)Choose a STORY/FRAME that broadcasts your THEME. 1) Pick a story/set that REVEALS YOU, tells us about you.

2) look at the FIRST, SECOND and MIDDLE SENTENCE IN YOUR STORY AND THE LAST SENTENCE TO Q and A and then develop with MISDIRECTION. (Start with saying the sentence out loud, ask how you really feel about the sentence, the deep emotion, say it out loud; ask what the elephant in the room is about the sentence, the secret: this is the PUNCHLINE. Then, ask how you FEEL about the punchline. This is the PREMISE! Then add THREE statements that are connected to the premise, things that are at the heart of the premise. Write them out and then say the sentence/  premise, the three comments and the punchline. Keep revising until you’re comfortable with the chunk.                                                                Alright, lets get down to MISDIRECTION. First we look at our story: I’m choosing “being messy,”  and when I share this I’m revealing who I am and that’s what good stories and jokes do, REVEAL. Look at your first sentence: ask what the point is and then what you feel about the point. My first sentence is: I wasn’t sure if I should tell my wife I was a slob when I met her. QUESTION: “Why wouldn’t I tell her? ANSWER:  I already had enough against me. Telling her I was a slob might have been too much  for her to bare.  So we have a the premise and punchline for the first sentence of my set. (REMEMBER the POOL  at the bottom of your STAND UP notebook page. I wrote down at the bottom of the page that there should be a personal bottom line of wants that have to be met in a relationship before it can move forward a personal wish list that has to me met, five, ten, fifty years later. I find this interesting and will use it for another joke. Get in the habit of putting ideas at the bottom of the page under pool; it will pay dividends.

OK I have the first point and how I feel; now what we do is add THREE STATEMENTS/ AMPLIFIERS THAT ARE ATTACHED THE PREMISE.

EXAMPLE: I didn’t tell my wife I was a slob when I met her, I was angry, broke and drunk. Telling her I was a slob would have been too much for me to bare.


First look at a sentence in your story. 1) I decided to clean my car one handful of garbage at a time. 2) What’s something that would be sarcastic? (it would take a million years, I’d be a hundred when my car’s clean? Where I decided to start? YES. Here’s the joke. REMEMBER: these jokes are from your set/ story, so they stay in the story, they’re making the original story funnier.

“I told my wife I was secretly cleaning my car one handful of crap at a time, it was crammed with paper, cups and newspapers. It was going to be a surprise on our millionth anniversary.

Keep setting up the premise and then adding three comments that are connected to the premise, this amplifies the punch line. The 3 comments create the misdirection.

E mail me if you have any questions. Have fun and allow yourself to reveal you in your material and make sure your punch lines make a point. 1) Premise. 2) three comments. 3) unexpected punch line. Keep playing with this, the more emotion the bigger the laugh. And remember to journal about your SET, WRITING JOKES. EMOTION and everything you feel about your set. Next class: your set, 3 jokes from another perspective and at least 2 misdirection’s.