Monday, February 06, 2012
What not to do when trying to be funny
So as a public service, and to maybe spare myself some needless grief (I have another tour today), here are some tips of what not to do:
Don’t laugh at everything you say. Had a guide yesterday who occasionally did say something funny but killed it every time by chortling like an idiot after every punchline. Amuse us, not yourself.
Don’t try to be funny every second. Even if you are funny it’s excruciating. Girls? How many first dates have you been on where the guy tried to impress you with his dazzling wit and by the salad course his chance of sleeping with you was less than a gargoyle’s? Don’t be constantly “on”. You’re not hilarious. You’re desperate.
Don’t wind up before the joke. Or, as we like to say – telegraph it. Our guide in Hobart was genuinely funny. Every so often she would just slyly slip in a zinger. We drove by a McDonalds’ and she said, “Over there is the American Embassy.” Jokes are funnier if you don’t see them coming.
Puns may be clever but they’re rarely funny. And worse than no laughter, you run the risk of groans. Save puns for pithy prose or titles of blog posts.
If you do a joke about a subject and it doesn’t get a laugh, don’t do six more on the same subject.
And finally, don’t steal material from Robin Williams. First off, it’s already been stolen and second – you won’t be able to do it as well.
If you happen to be naturally funny, heed this advice. You will become funnier. But if you’re not funny by nature, that’s okay. I’m sure you have other gifts. It’s no crime to just describe when settlers first arrived here or what exactly constitutes a legal U-turn. Not only will we love you anyway, we’ll love you more.
Thanks. I gotta get back on the bus. We just passed a golf course and the guide said golfers weren't allowed to wear socks because they might have a hole in one. DON'T DO THAT!