Having watched George Carlin' s video in our previous article, for better learning, we would like you to relate the video material with the techniques mentioned here. Its no algebra, have fun!

(If you haven't read the article yet, go to 'Humor is sticky!')

What is humor (or a joke)?

The dictionary defines a joke as - ‘something said or done to provoke LAUGHTER; especially : a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist’.
Melvin Helitzer in his book, Comedy Writing Secrets, mentions that there are two primary reasons why we laugh:
• We laugh out of SURPRISE.
• We laugh when we feel SUPERIOR.

If you conduct an autopsy on a joke or a funny comment (see joke diagram above), you would realize that most laughter occurs when something called a 'punchline' is delivered. As the illustration shows that a punchline is a diversion from the regular storyline and throws in that sudden surprise at the climax - a climactic humorous twist so to speak.

Why use humor?
There are several universal components of language that humans beings from all cultures and backgrounds seem to use - one is crying in response sadness or grief, the other is yelling or screaming in response to fear or anger and the third one is LAUGHTER.

Laughter is a universal BONDING phenomenon and can help you connect and build rapport with all kinds of people. Something that’s essential for success in almost all professions.
In fact, as David Deangelo (Eben Pagan) says, humor or 'cocky humor' is one of the key ingredients in dating success as well.

Our brains are engineered to FILTER OUT the boring, mundane stuff. What’s presented creatively and in a humorous unexpected manner tends to stick more, since it BREAKS PATTERNS and SINKS into long term memory - something that a mundane boring presentation does not achieve.

How to?
Helitzer has listed several techniques of writing comedy in his book. We have included some techniques and examples from his book here.

Most are based on Play on Words or POW. You imagine what-if situations, and you play with words. More than 50% of all humor is based on POW. It is a twist on a familiar cliché; aphorism; book, movie, or song title; famous quote; national ad slogan—in fact, any expression widely known by the public. Examples:

I just broke up with someone, and the last thing she said to me
was, "You'll never find anybody like me again." And I was think¬
ing: I should hope not. Isn't that why we break up with people? If I
don't want you, why would I want somebody just like you? Does
anybody end a bad relationship and say, "By the way, do you
have a twin?" —Larry Miller

The quickest way to a man's heart is through his chest. —Roseanne Barr

Following are some of the most important POW techniques:
1. A double entendre is the use of an ambiguous word or phrase that
allows for a second—usually racy—interpretation.
Let's get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini. —Robert Benchley
It's no wonder foreigners are confused by our language. Here a slim chance and a fat chance mean the same thing. —Joyce Mattingly
2. A malaprop is the unintentional misstatement or misuse of a word or phrase, or the accidental substitution of an incorrect word for the correct one, with humorous results. Malaprops are effective in part because they allow the audience to feel superior. Malaprops can incorporate clichés and double entendres. These examples of twisted language only qualify as malaprops if the person speaking them is unaware (or appears to be unaware) of the mistake (eg Joey in FRIENDS).
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry is named William.

Include me out.

You wouldn't have won if we had.—Yogi Berra

They misunderestimated me. - George Bush

3. An oxymoron is a joining of two incompatible ideas in one phrase. It can also be called a contradiction in terms. eg - pretty ugly, found missing, living dead, good grief, working vacation, larger half, soft rock, extinct life, Microsoft Works, plastic glasses, alone together, exact estimate, taped live, small crowd, even odds.

4. A pun is a word used in such a way that two or more of the word's possible meanings are active simultaneously. A pun may also be a reformation of a word to a like-sounding word that is
not an exact homonym.
Once a knight, always a knight. But once a night is usually enough.

God is like Scotch tape: You can't see him, but you know he's there.

5. Reforming is a process that adds a twist or a surprise ending to a cliché (a predictable, hackneyed phrase) or a common word, phrase, or expression. Other POW techniques, such as double entendres and puns, rely heavily on reforming.

That restaurant inspired the TV show That's Inedible!

The things my wife buys at antique auctions are keeping me baroque.—Peter De Vries
Do under others as you would have them do under you.

6. The simple truth and the take off - Simple truth is the opposite of a double entendre. It plays on the literal meaning of a key word in an idiomatic phrase. The take-off is a statement of the standard version of a cliché or expression, followed by a realistic but highly exaggerated commentary, frequently a double entendre.

I was trying to get back to my original weight—seven pounds, three ounces.—Cheryl Vendetti;
How long was I in the army? Five foot eleven. —Spike Milligan
I like a girl with a head on her shoulders. No neck!

The formats include - Lists, Comparisons, Similes, Observations, Mimicking and Callback (a Callback is punch line that refers to a joke that you have already said).

And remember, SELF EFFACING humor is always a safe zone (If you're fat, talk about it! Think of yourself as a safe venue for mocking the fat, since you're really just making fun of yourself), because if you laugh at yourself, others will feel comfortable laughing too.
It communicates that you’re comfortable in your own skin.

Hope that helped. Remember the idea is not to turn you into a comedian, (unless you really want to become one), because cracking jokes ALL THE TIME during a presentation or a conversation may make you look goofy, but to strike the right balance and use humor as a spice or a starter ….or a dessert, and not the main course - and turn you into a sticky facilitator.

For more in depth knowledge on comedy, we suggest you get your hands on Melvin Heitzer’s bible on comedy writing - Comedy Writing Secrets meant for those looking for a career in comedy or copywriting. The following are excellent reads as well:
Stand-Up Comedy: The Book by Judy Carter
How to Be a Working Comic by Dave Schwensen
Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy by Jay Sankey

You may also visit the following sites for more education or just hit the Sticky Recommended Search button on this page.

Better still, watch em in action! The world wide web and You Tube is full of videos on comedy. Our favorites being the comedy of - George Carlin, Chris Rock, Russel Peters, Jay Leno among others.

Keep checking back on this page for more education.