Hope you’re having fun and making profits, making yourself and other people laugh.
In joke alert 118 we mentioned the different joke tellers and we focussed on the 4th, the Sick wit. Here we will look at the 3rd, the clowning wit, by far the most successful joke teller because they tell jokes that put themselves down. It’s called…
The ego barrier
The expert fence
The authority wall
…between the joke teller and the audience.
The classic self put down joke teller is the joke teller who can’t win, For example…
‘I can’t win…I bought some bananas and opened them up and they were empty.’
‘I can’t win…I paid a genealogist $500 to trace my family tree, then I had to pay another $500 to have it hushed up.’
‘I can’t win…the other day I joined the anti-inflation league, on the same day they raised their membership fee.’
‘I can’t win…I got a hernia once, during a consciousness raising session.’
‘I can’t win…when I’m right nobody remembers but when I’m wrong nobody forgets.’
WC Fields once said ‘An audience never laughs up, it laughs down’
The great comedian Charlie Chaplin had to dress down like a tramp so everyone felt superior to him in order for him to be so popular.
Self put down joke telling is the first step in becoming a successful joke teller.
Show your vulnerability
Be the target of your own jokes
Be your own victim
Make fun of yourself
Be the butt of your jokes
Here’s a bit of my own self put down humour from when I was a comedian….
‘When I was 26 the creaking of the bed was what woke my kids. Now that I’m 50, it’s the creaking of my bones when I get out of bed that wakes up the kids’
‘When I bend my arm to put on my singlet, it sounds like a safe door locking, when I bend my back to put my socks on, it sounds like a musician playing the xylophone and the kids are in the bedroom giggling and whispering ‘Watch out, here comes Robo-dad’.
With self put down comedy, you’re signalling to the audience that you know who you are, that you have a certain inner confidence, secure in yourself to laugh at yourself.
Three No No’s when using put down jokes
- Never put down your pride in your work or your professional area of expertise
- Anything you’re too sensitive about
- Don’t sound too self abusive, otherwise the audience will think you don’t like yourself.
If you’re like me and you’re bald, do bald headed jokes
‘Some people have a bad hair day, I’ve had a bad hair decade’
‘I don’t think I’m bald, I just think I have a devastating lack of hair’
‘I don’t see this as a bald head, that’s negative, I see it as funny, it’s a radiator for a sex-machine’
I was in a crowded lift not long ago, and there was a touch of tension in the air. Standing next to me was a man who had a beautiful head of black wavy hair that a young woman was admiring. I looked at him, smiled and said ‘You’re wearing my old head of hair’. I got a big laugh that broke the tension.
Little things you do wrong
Distorted points of view
Silly little habits
Things you do, but don’t do well
A good way to lead into self put down jokes, it to use the line ‘I’m having troubles…’
I’m having troubles, last week I had a kidney transplant and the donor turned out to be a bed wetter
I’m having troubles, I went home last night and kissed the wife and she slapped my face and said ‘The gas has been turned off, the baby’s sick, the butcher refuses to deliver the meat and now you come home drunk’
I’m having troubles, I bought a horse. I figured I could make a fortune racing it. The next day I got the vet to have a look at it and I said ‘I want to race it’. He said ‘Yes, and looking at it you’ll probably beat it’
Self put down can be used by both men and women, you could make fun of your cooking skills, your mothering ability, your understanding of men.
‘I like the simple things in life…like men’
Now that I have been performing, teaching and writing comedy for 60 years, I am now doing put down jokes on my age.
‘One advantage of getting old is you don’t have to look when you cross the road. The second good thing about getting old is, you can drive your car the same way’
‘Years ago I used to trip in acid…now I trip on the carpet’
‘Really I used to shake, rattle and roll. Now my hands shake, my head rattles and my tummy rolls’
‘When I was young, I never had trouble getting into a woman’s pants, now I have trouble getting into my own’
‘You know you’re getting old when your farts are wet and your dreams are dry’
‘I’m not saying my memory is going but I’m not saying my memory is going’
‘Yeah when you’re 60 and over, you forget things, they even have a name for it, it’s called a ‘senior moment. But the one thing you can remember when you are 60 is the 60’s – make love not war. Now your in your 60’s, it not make love not war, its make love take Viagra.’
It’s good to make fun of yourself and it’s good to laugh at yourself, when other people are laughing at you too.
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Author: Laughing Jack