Humor 101: How to be Offbeat and Funny in 3 EZ Lessons

Updates on my Facebook account are a treat. The heading begins with my name, so I add words to follow that makes it flow like a third person narrative ie. Winnthrop J. Quiggy "is off to the races." I let my humorous nature go into high gear when I do these updates, to be entertaining. Here are a few, with some analysis of the humor behind it.

Winthrop J. Quiggy had to scrap his plans for world domination this weekend. there is a rerun of "Paint Your Wagon" on T.V.

Now the key here is the movie. Sure somebody homing in on world domination is funny in itself, but scrapping the plans to watch a movie is only funny if it's the right kind of movie. Scrapping plans to watch "The Matrix" just makes you sound like a geek. If you said you were going to watch "The Dirty Dozen", well now you sound like you might have even been serious about the world domination. But to scrap the plans in favor of a musical, and a western/musical to boot, that's offbeat and unexpected. Lesson #1: Humor is about the unexpected.

Winthrop J. Quiggy once told a department store Santa that he didn't believe in the North Pole.

By the time we are adults, we have lost the belief in Santa Claus. But if you assume that Santa doesn't exist, would it not stand to reason that the North Pole was fiction, too? Lesson #2: Humor is taking the preposterous and making it real.

Winthrop J. Quiggy is looking for Ms. Right, but will settle for Ms. Left.

There are some jokes that derive their laughs from dual meaning words and changing the context of the word within the sentences. Or taking like sounding words and using them in a different context like "Winthrop J. Quiggy is going out on a limb and taking a bough." Lesson #3: Play on words are an essential in some humor.

Hope this helps you get your own sense of humor on the right track. Or the left one if you prefer.

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