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.


Monday April 30th class blog

First, thank you everyone for being in my Stand Up Writing Class. For everyone to get the most from this class, find a story that reveals you, tells an audience who you are and a story that makes you laugh. For class 2 have:( a four or five minute story from your life that holds your theme and has at least 3 to 5 jokes you’ve written this week.) Remember: a great joke is the answer to a good question. We’re going to simply ASK and ANSWER the questions from each sentence in the story we choose. Journal three pages a day on the story. Ask questions about the people in your story, the place, the feelings. (When you’re journaling this week, ask and answer questions about your story, the punchlines will come.

REMEMBER: The premise holds a KEY WORD so does the PUNCHLINE. Ask questions about these words. Can they be replaced? Do the other people in your story have the same word choices as you? Give them their own voice.

EXAMPLE: MY THEME: ‘I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m doing it anyway.’ The story I’ve chosen that amplifies my MARKET BRAND: I’m a slob. (We’re going to Q and A each sentence with FIVE questions and answers and chose the one we like the best and simply put it into our story at the beginning of each sentence. This is the same as embellishing a story except BECAUSE WE’RE WRITING JOKES IN A STORY THAT CARRIES OUR THEME WE’RE THEN AMPLIFYING OUR THEME.

MY STORY. 1) Why does my wife think I’m a slob? Because my car is crammed with garbage.  She said there’s no space in my car. ( What she’s really saying is there needs to be more space for her stuff!) If my car was crammed with her stuff, would she still be calling me a hoarder. No, I’d be her man savant, or servant or what ever she calls me. What is the point here? That I’m running out of space. What does that remind me of? Running out of options! How do I use this in a PUNCH LINE? How do I make this a joke that reveals me? Make me the punchline!

  1. My wife keeps buying stuff, her car is filled with shoes, boxes and clothes. I “implied,” she might be a hoarder because her car was crammed with stuff. “Great, you’re buying me a bigger car.” (I would use this to start my story/set about cleaning my car out one handful of garbage at a time.
  2. My story happens in TD Bank. What does TD stand for? I asked a bunch of questions and came up with this joke.
  3. “All the money in my account disappeared, service charges, bank fees and transactions. I wondered what TD meant, turns out it’s “TU DU!”
  4. Remember: Look at your premise and ask what the secret is , the unspoken, the Elephant in the room. This unspoken idea is the punchline. What we ask of the punchline is the PREMISE.
  6. EXAMPLE: QUESTION, Why am I such a slob? ANSWER: My parents live on in my garbage.
  7. (We’ll be discussing this more next class) 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.
  8. 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.
  9. HOMEWORK: Choose a 4 to 5 minute story from your life that holds your THEME/ MARKET BRAND , a story that reveals you and ask and answer 3 to 5 questions on each sentence.
  10. Have fun. If you’re stuck ASK and ANSWER questions about being stuck and ask from different perspectives, from your critic, from who you were when you were 10, from your pet 🙂 If you have any questions E mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca

“One Thing.” How to get the most out of your set on Monday the 12th.

Sorry it’s taken extra time to get this blog up kids. I also ask everyone to please share me class and my website with everyone thank you in advance if you have already. My next class begins Monday April 30th in Yuks Comedy Club in Century Casino. Share my E mail with anyone who’s interested and I will answer all questions, my class info, hiring me as a Key Note and Corporate Comedian. Big breath, thank you again.

Alright, your set: In every part of your set there’s ONE THING you can do to achieve the results that you desire.                                                                               1) Tape your set and listen to it. Have a note pad ready and listen to your set, ask this: are you pausing after each joke? Does your set contain your theme, the market brand the thing that tell us who you really are? (We’re not looking for quantity, ten minutes, we’re looking for quality, the one thing that makes you, YOU: honesty)

2) Does your set START with your SECOND BEST JOKE and End with your BEST JOKE? Look at your set and talk it out. Remember when you’re telling your set you’re reliving a story you LIVED! Give the people in your set their own voice, actions and let go and be yourself.

3) Does your set close on your BEST JOKE. Your story/set should gradually get funnier, the points/punch lines in your set should grow to your best joke, your last joke.

4) Look at your set/story and make sure every joke MAKES A POINT.

5) Journal your set each day before Monday and while you are, look at your jokes from other perspectives, from other people in the story; dad, mom, a sibling-to the dog cat or something inanimate like the couch or bag of chips you just ate.

7) Your energy , what you feel is what’s being shared with the audience, not only the material. If you’re nervous, excited, passionate or grateful because you took PAUL SVEEN’S comedy class to help you with your genius comedy; whatever you’re feeling is the fuel behind your performance. So be happy have fun. And if you’re scared: TELL THEM. Be honest with an audience and they’ll love you for it.

8) Be prepared: don’t bring a notepad on stage. Know your material; rehearse it and have your set on your phone, listen to it over and over always finding ways to add emotion to the joke. Dress nice, clean clothes and feeling good. Don’t drink or smoke pot before a show. After, shoot heroin in your eye if you like but for your performance: rehearse, rehearse rehearse-repeat.

REMEMBER: there’s ONE THING you can do in each segment of your set, look at each part of your set that I’ve described above and ask yourself, what’s the one thing I can do now to have a better set for Monday.


Have fun and I’ll see you at 6:30 on Monday March 12 at Yuk Yuks in Century Casino on Fort Road.

CLASS 4: Foreshadowing.

REMEMBER: We are bringing the audience. Spread the word about your performance on Monday November 5. Thank you everyone for the great class on Monday. I really appreciate your hard work. I would also really appreciate if you spread the word of my class and my website. If you know an organization or company that’s looking for a speaker or comedian for their Christmas event, please share my link to my website://www.paulsveen.com/  or my E mail please. paulsveen@shaw.ca                                                                                                                                    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

(Last week’s home work: have your performance set rehearsed and at least 3 jokes from another perspective and at least 2 mis-directions.)

  1. Remember : our SET is based on OUR STORY, write out your story and Tag each sentence in your story with jokes that AMPLIFY YOUR THEME. Re tag the set/story from as many perspectives on the circle as you can. looking from your perspective as well as the others in your story. (ALLOWING OTHER PERSPECTIVES REINFORCES YOUR PERSPECTIVE.) But start by writing out your STORY/SET and look at each sentence and look at the sentence, ask how you feel,(THIS IS YOUR PREMISE) Ask what the meaning of the sentence is. (THIS IS THE PUNCHLINE)
  2. REMEMBER: Journal through your homework this will help you develop ideas and remember to have a POOL a place at the bottom of your page, where you insert ideas that bubble up while you’re working on your STORY/SET; These ideas might become valuable later.
  3. FORESHADOWING: when we foreshadow our set we set the next joke up in the misdirection. This gives our set rhythm and escalates theme.
  4. I’m going to play with the set I’m playing with: “My spouse doesn’t like me being in a comedy class.”
  5. REMEMBER : Story is the boss. I’m taking a story from my past where over five years a comedian’s wife slowly stops going to his shows.I don’t care if you’re married to Chris Angel or Wayne Gretzky, be honest, look in your heart, after a while Janet Gretzky must have been like:             “great, another hat trick, what’s that, 2000 of them? Great.” yawn, hey, Fame is on!!!”
    1. Opening joke: (I’m going to keep directing and foreshadowing the jokes toward a comedian’s wife never going to their shows.) WRITE OUT THE PREMISE ask how you feel about it. Then ask what the point is, premise and punch line.” look for the emotional unspoken punchline, and, look at the key words in the previous joke and use it to foreshadow the next joke.                                                                            2.I told my wife I was taking a comedy class. She said, take plumbing, renovating, working around the house; that’s the stuff that really makes me laugh ” ( Now we use key words from this joke to foreshadow the next one.)                                                                                                I love my wife. She doesn’t think I’m funny, she thinks she’s hilarious, doesn’t laugh at my jokes but can’t stop laughing when I tried to fix the sink.” (I foreshadowed the second joke in the first joke when I said my wife thought I couldn’t be a handy man.)                                        3) My wife came to my last open mike, small audience, quiet, I asked them what they wanted to talk about. My wife shouted,                      “tell them how hilarious I am!”
  6. Write out the story, write out the point/ punch line, and how you feel/ premise. While you’re talking it out remember to write down ideas that bubble up and put them under pool. Use this also when you journal  and find new material.
  7. For class 5 Have your seven to ten minute set with a punchline for each sentence. Have your opening joke and closing joke target your theme. Have at least one callback and three misdirection’s that foreshadow. (REHEARSE YOUR SET AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.)
  8. E  mail me if you have any challenges: paulsveen@shaw.ca
  9. remember to have fun and share my class, website and me as a comedian if you want.

Class Two Blog. Developing your theme.

Thank you everyone for your heard work in the class. The last class had so much great material and laughter and fantastic ideas shared with each other. Remember though: when other students are on stage, have your note pad ready to write down ideas you can share with them after they’re off the stage. This will help you with perspective and make you a better Stand Up. REMEMBER to JOURNAL, JOURNAL JOURNAL 🙂

ALSO, REMEMBER: we’re raising funds for PTSD if you want to create opportunities to have another comedy night to make a difference with another organization, E mail me paulsveen@shaw.ca

ALRIGHT, THEME and Joke Writing. Here are the steps: 1) choose a story that has your theme/ if you’re stuck on theme, choose a story that really makes you laugh. 2) Ask how you feel about the points of your story, begin with the first sentence and move through the story, asking and answering the sentences. 3)Ask what the emotion is in the point of each sentence and locate words that amplify this emotion. 4) Go through your story and ask and answer, talk out loud 5) Remember to locate as many ideas, movies, songs, memories and people places and things and words that are connected to your story and see if they fit.

EXAMPLE: I’m working with a story that is about driving through a Robbin’s Doughnuts Drive through and asking for Tim Bits.

Do you remember Robbin’s doughnuts? Franchises were hunted down and taken out by your family friendly Tim Hortons. Yes there’s always time for Tim’s since you’ve run everyone else out of the country. (This is how I feel, I want to explore this.)

I asked the question, “Do you remember Robbin’s Doughnuts? (Ask the question and then use sarcasm to answer it.) They were the last place to allow smoking. Here’s my first joke, I found this while doing my journal:                                                                                                                                                             “Do you remember Robbin’s doughnuts? The last coffee shop to allow smoking? What was their sales pitch, if our doughnuts, cake and coffee doesn’t kill you.” (This is my first joke so far. When you’re finished your set, ask yourself if your second best joke is at the beginning of your story; if it isn’t, move that joke to the beginning of your set . Your best joke has to be at the end.

SECOND JOKE: I’m just going through the story the way it happened and asking and answering questions and I’m doing this by asking how I really feel. I went into a Robbin’s doughnuts drive through and asked for Tim bits. The guy in the speaker screams, “we don’t sell TIM BITS!! The guy calms down and says this is Robbin’s Doughnuts. Do you want something else?” I said, “No thank you. I’ll just take the bit I have now and back away.”

THIRD JOKE: What are some of the actual things that happens to me at Tim Horton’s. “They say Tim Horton’s is like being home, yeah, a bunch of people in sweats in a bad mood that don’t want  to talk to each other.”

Forth joke: Every time I get cut off in the drive through at Timmy’s it’s always  by a truck? At least at Starbucks when you get cut off it’s something like a Lexus. and then I think, I could buy one of those if I wasn’t  spending 10$ on a cup of coffee at Starbucks.”

REMEMBER: choose a story. Ask and answer questions about the story. Look at other points of view. Be as sarcastic as you can in the punchline. put these new jokes in your story and tell the story out loud to yourself. Keep asking the point of the sentence and keep feeding the point of your theme.

Have fun!!!



1/30/17 Class one homework- story.

Thank you everyone for being in my class. I always like to ask more of myself as an Instructor, Stand Up Comedian and Author. I will give this class everything I am and am honored that everyone in this class is in my class. Thank you. Again, if anyone has any challenges during the week, E MAIL ME AT: paulsveen@shaw. ca

REMEMBER: JOURNAL three pages a day. Get up a little earlier and stream of consciousness three pages about your set, joke writing, visualizing the next class, your Comedy Night, anything and everything to do with the SAND BOX that is your humor gift.

HOMEWORK: For next next Monday’s class have a THREE MINUTE SET/STORY for class, AND, five jokes using the formula is gave in the handout and in this blog.

JOKE WRITING: 1) Look at the first sentence in your story. (Mine is being asked to a pool party by Evangelicals)

  1. Ask and answer HONEST questions about how you feel. The question is the PREMISE. The Answer is the PUNCH LINE.
  2. Near the BOTTOM of a page in your NOTE BOOK write the word POOL ( this is where we’re going to store all of our random brain storming ideas and things that are associated with the PREMISE and PUNCHLINE- key words, cliche’s, random thoughts….
  3. Speak the story out loud, how do you really feel about the first sentence in your story? ( why do I feel I’m being recruited by the evangelicals? Because I am. I’m not part of any church and they want me to be.
  4. Our first thoughts are going to be sarcasm or at least allow them to be. This is a great way to mine material. Ask the honest question and give a sarcastic answer.
  5. QUESTION: “Why would Evangelicals invite me to a pool party? (ANSWER) They have a quota, they work on commission, I’m being paranoid, I honestly think they were looking for new members. I’m going with this. Here’s my first joke, over the top sarcasm.
  6. Why would a church invite me to a pool party. I think they wanted me to be in an episode of PRAY watch.
  7. When we add AMPLIFIERS, words that are CONNECTED TO the PREMISE, we then create MISDIRECTION. Add words that are connected to swimming to the FIRST PART OF YOUR JOKE. This will take attention away from the PUNCH LINE.
  8.  “Why would a church invite me to a pool party? Water wings, diving boards, slides? It’s an episode of PRAY watch.”
  9. To add EMOTION to a joke, ADD WORDS THAT HAVE EMOTION. (Place words connected to your story at the bottom of the page. for me it’s words connected to swimming and church: sharks, apocalypse, drowning, cannonball, scream, phrases like, walk don’t run, baptize.. look at the words in your sentence and see if you can replace a NEUTRAL word in your joke with one that holds more emotion.
  10. Am I PARANOID? My evangelical neighbor invited me to a pool party. And nothing screams BORN AGAIN more than shooting out of a water slide into the DEEP END.
  11. Ask the questions and answer it with honesty and sarcasm. Start there. And remember to talk it out, and from different perspectives not only your own. Why else is in your story? In mine its: life guard, screaming kids, parents, clergy, teenagers, seniors, diving boards, steam room, whirl pool. All these things have a perspective, even the inanimate.
  12. FINISH THIS JOKE: Why is the deck around a pool so slippery? If they wanted to use something that STICKS they’d use. . .
  13. Have fun. See you next class!!!


New Year and my New Stand Up Class.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a great Christmas and here’s to an even better 2018. My next Stand Up Writing class begins in less than a month. The class begins Monday January 29th at Yuk Yuks in Century Casino. If you’re looking to push yourself creativity, want to really work on your story and get it in front of an audience this is the class. If you know me I put everything I am into my classes. They’re a massive learning curve, writing mechanics, story, work on our confidence, writing for others, as well as the business of the Stand up: aligning our habits with our goals.

I’ve been teaching this class for over twenty years. I’ve been given a National Service award by the Alberta Government for my class. Besides national tours in Stand Up and TV credits on CTV’s Comedy Now, CBC’s Madly Off and TSN’s Off the Record; I’ve also written three Fringe plays as well as written 2 novels. I’ll be putting all of my abilities into this class. If you’re interested and want more class info E MAIL AT: paulsveen@shaw.ca