Many of us often like to crack jokes. It livens up the mood in the room, makes people laugh, and we often end up feeling very accomplished. However, we sometimes find ourselves in a sticky situation- how do we make jokes that are guaranteed to succeed? How do we not end up in an awkward silence after attempting to explain the joke to a room full of straight faces?
There are actually many forms of humour that people use to wow a crowd, but I’ll just be touching on 3.
The first type of humour is Deadpan humour, also more affectionately known as dry humour. This form of humour focuses more on the way one puts it across, and does not solely rely on the content of the joke. Successful comedians often deliver the joke with a straight face and minimal emotion. The intention of the joke is to come across sarcastic, the tone being contradictory to the content of the joke. One example would be “Borrow money from pessimists — they don’t expect it back.” This joke, when delivered in a serious and somewhat ‘matter-of-fact’ tone, can tickle a funny bone. It takes a brave soul to crack dry jokes, as they often require an audience willing to delve deeper into the underlying meanings of your joke. Since it is done with minimal emotion, one may also misunderstand you to have meant what you said. Hence, deadpan humour is not a sure-win method of making jokes, but it can sure reap some laughter.
The second type of humour would be self deprecating humour. People who crack these jokes have high self esteem and are able to put themselves down and make others laugh at the expense of themselves. Often, audience find this type of humour relatable and hence they feel more inclined to laugh in agreement. One example would be “I walk two miles a day. One to the donut shop, and one home.” This joke suggests that the speaker’s only form of exercise is to the donut shop to indulge in unhealthy food. Many would be able to relate to the speaker, and hence will laugh, possibly also in admiration of the speaker’s bravery to openly admit his/her own flaws in the public. Hence, self-deprecating humour, when done in a light hearted manner, is sure to turn many heads.
The third and last type of humour I would like to share is slapstick comedy. This type of comedy is very easy to identify, since it is often married with silly actions and dramatic movements by the speaker. One example would be the lovable Mr Bean, who has brought many enjoyable times to our childhood days by dancing with his teddy bear and poking his nose into things that are often none of his business. Mr Bean is an iconic and accurate representation of slapstick comedy, a type of humour that reaps in laughter solely based on the silliness of one’s speech or actions.
Now that I have touched on a few types of humour, I wish you all the best the next time you crack a joke. May you be rewarded with guffaws and erupting laughter as your audience appreciates your many jokes.
Nicolette Kum 4W