Comedy writing


How to write comedy?

If you’re wondering how to write funny or you’re getting stuck on writing, go through the quick summary from Writing Comedy, which may help you break out of the prison in your mind:

Start writing what you want to write, what amuses you. Then learn to modify and improve it to reach a bigger audience.

Get inspired:

  • Work with other people 
  • Stay up to date with popular culture
  • Have an opinion on everything
  • Be a comedy consumer (watch sitcoms, comedy movies)
  • Keep note of funny materials 
  • Anarchy: let yourself be anarchic and childlike, have crazy ideas like “The modest proposal” by Jonathan Swift (a satirical essay suggesting that problem of famine in Ireland could be solved by poor people selling their babies to rich landlords to eat.)
  • Freethinking
  • People watching
  • Daydream
  • Negative emotions like frustrations of everyday life, which are great materials
  • Gather comedy materials from socializing with friends, family, and all sorts of media
  • Networking (find publisher, editor)

Create incongruity:

  • Opposites (funerals and weddings; big and small)
  • Misdirection (a twist in the end)
  • Misunderstanding
  • Exaggeration
  • Double entendre
  • Rule of three

Comedy format:

  1. Set up
  2. Small laughs
  3. Punchline (the surprise)

Create comedy characters: 

  • Deadpan/jester
  • Fish out of water/neurotic
  • Innocent/know-it-all
  • Klutz/loser
  • Social climber/vulgarian
  • What’s the characteristics and desires of characters?
  • Give the character some sort of conflict—inner conflict, conflict with other people and conflict with society
  • Give crisis and obstacles to characters

Write it:

  • Set time aside for writing 
  • Show in a comedic way, don’t tell 
  • Get personal (insults, embarrassment)
  • Use specific vocabulary
  • Don’t be too direct
  • Read your work out loud to feel the rhythm (pause before punchline)

Edit it:

  • Edit the draft
  • Mark the laughs
  • Fine-tune the ending 


In short, entertain yourself first, get the joke done, and laugh out loud.

Creative doing!


34 thoughts on “Comedy writing

  1. Wow this is great …….
    Am a humorous and also act …..
    Buh to make a comedy video is quite difficult for me……
    I think with this I will try and try to make my own comedy

  2. Being actually funny helps, too. But you know, comedy in its truest sense can’t be taught or forced. It’s like timing. That’s innate. It can be perfected but again, you either have it or you don’t. I’ve been writing comedy for various major morning shows and commercials for almost 30 years. I’ve found that by and large, if I write for men, both genders will laugh. Of course you have to be aware of your audience, but women will laugh at comedy aimed at men much more than men will laugh at comedy written for women. Can’t explain it, it’s just been my my experience. Enjoyed your post. Good advice.

    1. Love hearing your experience! “write for men, both genders will laugh” this is a funny insight! Would love to try writing from men’s perspective. I enjoyed your sharing. 😀 Thank you, Laurie!

  3. Thanks for posting this advice. Do you find these tips apply to both short-form and broader formats alike? I currently do a satire/opinion blog here on WordPress but eventually want to write a comedic novel.

  4. Some good tips. Funny enough (no pun intended) a friend and myself got into doing standup comedy by mistake..well it was a bet to perform 10 mins of open mic on stage for a charity event. Some 4 years down the line we’ve hosted and performed at numerous events. We get our material from our every day banter , the news, our Indian heritage.
    We are the ‘Chucklesinghs’.

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