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Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Write Jokes

When you're writing a joke you will need several things: 1) A topic, or something to write about, for example polar bears  2) A reason to think this is funny.  We call this the "twist" or "catch."  It's the ha-ha part of humor.  For example, a polar bear with a heat rash.  3)  The responses of several people to see if is funny.  4) Paper, pens, glue-sticks, scissors, post-it notes and high-lighters.
A Polar Bear during a Blizzard
Now, at the head of your paper, write "Polar Bears."  If you aren't sure if the spelling is Pollar, Poler, or Polar, you'll need to look it up on the internet.  (Oh, I forgot to mention, you'll also need 5) A computer with the internet.)  Spelling by the way, is rife with humorous possibilities.  Try typing Polar Bare into Google and see what you come up with.  Hmmm....  Mostly, Kate Upton photos and then some really weird stuff.  

Never mind.  (We in the humor biz call this a "dead end.")

Now, under Polar Bear jot down all the subtopics you can think of.  For example, Polar Bears are not actually white but black.  Their fur is white, but their skin is actually black, although you never know it because people don't go up to Polar Bears and shave them.  I'm pretty sure I heard that somewhere.  Look it up on the internet if you don't believe me.  Also a polar bear is not really a true bear at all; it's a marsupial. It's like a Koala bear.  Again, look this up to double-check.

What do Polar Bears eat?  Look this up, maybe it's something funny.  

It isn't.

Polar Bears in cartoons often appear alongside penguins, but this is an anachronism.  Or no, not an anachronism, the other thing.  The thing that starts with pal- and spells itself forward and backward.  Palimony.  

Look it up.

Anyway, I was wrong about Polar Bears being marsupials, but I wasn't wrong on the penguin.  Polar bears and penguins don't live anywhere near each other.  Polar Bears live on the top side of the earth, and penguins on the bottom.  (Possible joke?  "What's white on top and black-and-white on the bottom?"  No, that's not funny, besides the answer is "An old nun.")  So a polar bear isn't a marsupial, it's just a regular bear.  

Penguins are marsupials.

Speaking of penguins, maybe watch a little of March of the Penguins on Netflix.  You're never told anybody, but lord, that sounds dull.  Why watch a whole movie about penguins?  Maybe you could write a blog about that?  No, you came to write about polar bears, and by God, you're going to stick to it.

Maybe March of the Penguins is a pun.  The penguins move around in March.  No, March isn't Spring down there, it's Fall.  I'm pretty sure about that, and I refuse to look it up on the internet.  Why would penguins go anywhere if it's getting colder?  Let's see, thirty days hath September, spring forward and fall back, fingers and please excuse my dear Aunt Sally...  

Okay, I'll look it up.

That settles it, March is definitely Fall in the South Pole.  Stupid penguins anyway.  I could have sworn 
a polar bear was a marsupial.  Maybe I should write about penguins.  Penguins are funnier than polar bears.  You never saw a movie with Jim Carrey and Polar Bears.  You never saw the movie with him and the penguins either.  Monty Python had a great sketch about a Killer Penguin.  They also had a sketch about a Killer Rabbit.  Maybe just put "Killer" in front of something and see what you come up with.

Killer Polar Bear.

Not funny.

So you can see how simple the whole system is.  Just keep this up until you've written your joke, then show it to your wife and judge her response.  Tomorrow repeat the process.

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