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How To Write A Joke

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Some people are born funny, others just have to work hard at it. However, even with obvious talent and charisma, what matters most in the comedy business is hard work as talent is never enough. This being said, anyone could write a story or a song, but it takes a true genius to write a joke. In the comedic business, a joke writer is highly sought after. This is because the comedy business is the business of jokes and with every joke, laughter is awarded and with every laugh comes higher ratings, more exposure, shows and of course the money. Hence in this piece, we’ll be diving a little into the skill and practice of writing jokes and how one can get into it.

Jokes are told multiple times but what is different is their interpretation and the best ones always get passed from one generation to the other. Now, comedians write jokes as part of their job description. It’s a craft that involves tons of dedication as well as creativity. However, before you doodle in this path, you should know what exactly makes a good joke.


All good jokes have;

  1. Content

  2. Pace

  3. A killer delivery

Your content could be based on religion, politics, parenting or any topic. In comedy, it’s believed that no topic is off-limits because it’s supposedly “all in good fun”. Most standups also use the details of their observations of people or events as content. Also, with jokes, timing is everything. You have to give your audience time to think, get it and actually laugh at it. This is called comedic timing or pace if you would. Next and most importantly is the delivery. Your audience or reader is meant to visualize the event or person you’re describing in the joke and everything from body language to gimmicks to physical gestures helps put things in perspective. And as the anticipation builds, the deadlier the punchline. Now, a lot of good jokes will change one’s perspective on the topic. It’ll make one see something in a different light and humor is one of the most adopted ways of truth-telling.

With all that being said, here’s how you can actually write a joke

1. Find a mentor

There are so many people to admire and look up to in the comedy business and every one of them is unique. You’ll need to find and study their comedic ways just to draw perspective from them.

2. Gather material

As we mentioned earlier, your material is your content. Hence you’ll need a topic and then you can write down several people and several events that you think make that topic funny. Also, you’ll need to be very observant of environments and the people in them. this is all for your material.

3. Structure

Great comedians build their story around a punchline. You may need to illuminate different parts of a story leading up to its core. During this process, an absolute description is necessary. This is where you narrate and build the audience’s anticipation.

4. Edit

Don’t use too many words in your description. Review your joke for clarity and precision.  Also, do not forget about subsequent jab lines. Your audience will need to laugh before they get to the core of your joke. Remember, when delivering your punchline, it should have the element of surprise. 

5. Test it out

To build your confidence, try out your joke with a few of your closest friends and family just to see their reaction or lack of one. 

Jokes writing is a serious business and it’s the first step to becoming a brilliant comedian. This piece helps put things in perspective concerning the skill as well as the trade.

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