Class 2. Opening Jokes

Alright everyone, great first class. I hope you used the long weekend break to work on your set. There’s a few things to remember about opening jokes and joke writing. I’ve put some examples here for you to play with.

A joke is three things as is your set: beginning, middle and end. When we look at a premise, we begin with our theme.

THEME: this is the pattern or mission statement; it’s the message that your stories carry. We’ll discuss this again in class. your theme is important because it’s your market brand. This sets you apart as a speaker/ comedian and writer.

PREMISE/IDEA: “Christmas.” We begin by first finding a story among our hundreds of stories that we have about Christmas. (We don’t just write jokes. We write/tag jokes about a theme based story. An audience is accustomed to story, opposed to random, strung together ideas. Plus id we share a story, we also share our theme in the story and then also our jokes will carry our theme.

My Christmas story is about my dad playing the accordion in the mall, right at the exit of an escalator. He had all his records in stands around him and I was the hand model, pointing at the records.

So, I’m looking at this premise and ask myself how I feel about it. REMEMBER; the more the emotion the greater the laughs. (We ask questions and answer them. We also ask from different point of views and when we create a joke, we do the same steps with the joke; this way we refine the jokes.

Have you ever been beat up as a kid because of your dad? Maybe he was trouble, was on the news, broke the law. I got beat up because my dad was a polka king. ( This is misdirection. Notice how the three examples I gave about the premise, are attached to the premise? This makes the PUNCHLINE unexpected.

Are opening joke should get the audience’s attention, and the joke should hold our theme, and will, if it’s from our story and we’re VULNERABLE and HONEST.

This is a Christmas story so I’m writing some Christmas jokes that I’m going to insert into my story about Christmas. I’ll make sure the jokes are connected to my theme.

I love Christmas. It’s the only time of year I’m not the only one who’s disappointed. (Notice the PUNCH WORD is the last word in the joke.

I was at the mall. I said Merry Christmas to the clerk. She said, “sir, I can’t say that. I have to say either Happy Holidays, or Merry X Mass.” I said, “We’re in Walmart. I never came her for salvation. I’m here for the sale on the 12 pack of socks.”

I’ll be sharing my FRAME: the story about my dad playing accordion in the mall. We ask how we feel about the first sentence in our story and then we answer it. We then look from different perspectives of the same joke and then answer them. REMEMBER: Your class performance will be at Yuk’s Edmonton on Tuesday December the 17th. Remember to share your performance date with friends, family and co-workers. also, REMEMBER: I’m a nationally touring Corporate Comedian. I’m also a KEYNOTE and Author. If you’d like me to come to your next event, please E MAIL ME: paulsveen@shaw.ca