How to be funny can be subjective. But if comedy movies tell us anything, it’s that some people are universally funny.
Funny people seem happier and more likable, which is motivation enough to learn how to be funny.
The Importance of Being Funny
Being funny is an important way to connect with others. While it may seem some people are naturally funny, that’s not true in the sense that they were born funny.
However, it is possible that they don’t try to be funny, yet their environment and childhood gave them the perfect opportunity to become funny adults.
But even if you didn’t gain that advantage, you can still learn to be funny. Whether you want to be a stand-up comedian or you just want to gain the confidence that comes from learning how to be funny, doing so can prove beneficial.
Benefits of Humor
Learning how to be funny provides many benefits for you and the people around you. In fact, laughing releases endorphins, making us feel good instantly.
- Raises Immune System – humor can raise your immune system and fight off depression.
- Relieves Stress – laughter can relieve stress which prevents many diseases
- Possibly Live Longer – because it raises your immune system and reduces stress, it can make you live longer
- Better Bonds – humor can strengthen your relationships when you laugh together
- Release Negative Energy – laughing can help you dispel negative energy from your body; the more you laugh, the more negativity you release
- Boost Self-Esteem – when others laugh with you, it’s a real confidence boost
- Encourages Creativity – when you laugh, especially when you are the one that caused the laughter, it encourages free thinking and expands the mind
- More Attractive and Likable – people are more attracted to those who can laugh at themselves and lighten the mood
- Makes You Vulnerable – laughing helps you connect with others by ensuring you’re comfortable around them
Types of Humor
There are many different ways to be funny. The types of humor acceptable play to your strengths and weaknesses without hurting anyone else. For best results, find the type of humor that works for you.
The plot twist humor is all about the big twist. The key is to engage the audience with a story that sounds serious and intense before causing them to bust out in laughter when you reveal the hilarious twist.
The twist is almost always something that was foreshadowed earlier that makes the audience think, “Wait, I see it now!” oftentimes with a facepalm.
The unexpected answers are the easiest to improv for beginners. All you have to do is say the opposite of what you would normally say or something else off the wall.
This works in a quite dry way but always delivers well with a smile.
Juxtaposition humor is a classic that anyone can enjoy. It involves combining two things in an unconventional way.
This is one of the only healthy and non-offensive ways to practice sarcasm if you’re not a seasoned expert.
Inside jokes should only be told when around people who will understand them. Otherwise, it may seem rude.
When you tell an inside joke, it references a previous joke or occurrence. This can deeply strengthen the connections you share with people who understand the inside joke.
Relatable humor is like an inside joke that everyone understands. It’s something that most people can relate to and, thus, a popular type of meme humor.
This type of humor is so important because it teaches us that deep down, we’re all fumbling through life.
12 Tips To Learn How To Be Funny
Learning how to be funny takes time, but if you keep practicing, you may be the next Ryan Reynolds. There will be hits and misses, but you may find that if you practice these tips, you’ll get more and more hits every day.
1. Hold Back
Don’t enter every conversation looking for opportunities to be funny, especially if it requires you to interrupt someone else. Instead, seize opportunities as they come and be content with your joke not being understood.
This is also a good way to learn to pace yourself and build up to jokes without losing the room’s attention.
2. Read the Room
Each group has a different style of humor. Make sure that when you “tell a joke,” it suits the room and whether or not it’s an acceptable type of humor.
There is a difference between adult humor and jokes for kids. Because the point of humor is to make everyone more comfortable, not more uncomfortable.
3. Be Around Funny People
One of the best ways to be funnier is to be around funny people. They can teach you so much about humor without even trying. Don’t try to copy them but pick up on their vibe.
4. Practice Timing
Timing is everything with humor. The write joke at the wrong time will not make anyone laugh. But a mediocre joke at the perfect time can be a hit that no one can stop thinking about.
5. Be Positive
Keep jokes light and positive most of the time. This doesn’t mean never to lean towards dark humor. But it does mean that most crowds respond better to positive, light humor.
6. Think Outside the Box
Most comedians have their own style, which is what makes them famous. So it’s important to create your own spin on humor to give you a unique comedic vibe.
7. Explore Other POVs
A wonderful exercise for humor is to listen to types of humor you don’t find funny. If the masses think it’s funny, find out why so you can connect to all styles of humor.
Laugh at yourself, other jokes, and entertainment to increase your chances of comedic success. When you are laughing, you will be more creative, and you can ride the way to be funny yourself.
9. Your Inner Child
Your inner child has a sense of humor that you may not be able to capture without them. So tap into that and enjoy life in a way that unlocks the humor they give you.
10. The Sweet Spot
There’s a fine line that is important to ride if you want to be funny. This is the sweet spot between offensive and bland.
Don’t use offensive content but do dip your toes into edgy humor a little at a time to test it out. Be sure if you do that, you recognize when someone is laughing because they’re embarrassed and because they think it’s funny.
11. Be Kind
Kindness and humor are both contagious, so there’s nothing more powerful than a funny and kind comedian. Take a look at the most popular comedians that the world loves, and you will see this pattern.
12. Be Confident
Confidence in your delivery can do wonders. If you think it’s funny, then be confident, and your audience will assume that it’s funny even if they don’t know why.
Humor To Avoid
Some types of humor are super risky if you’re not a professional. These types of humor should be avoided unless you know your crowd extremely well.
Aggressive humor rarely works out. Some people can pull it off in a funny way, but it can easily turn into bullying. If it makes you appear mean and you’re unsure if the “target” knows your heart on the subject, avoid it.
Standard “ha ha” jokes don’t work well in real-life situations. Talking like a stand-up comedian in everyday life can come across as self-centered anyway, which will automatically make you less funny.
Sarcasm can work, but it should be practiced in moderation. Try to lean more towards witty and less towards snarky.
The only time sarcasm can work in your favor in larger amounts is when it is used to respond to someone who is using an aggressive or demeaning approach. Even then, it should be used to lighten the mood.
Self-depreciation works only if the room already knows you’re confident and in control. If someone who is at the top of the food chain, so to speak, talks down to themselves, it will get a laugh.
But if someone who already seems underconfident does, it can backfire quickly.
Demeaning humor is never okay. If the joke relies on making fun of someone, particularly something they can’t change, then you should avoid it.
Out of all the types of humor to avoid, this one will get you in the most trouble.