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Humor 101 for Dumbos!
Laughter is really the best medicine, and it has been humor that has helped me cope through my darkest days, and there have been many.  The positive and healing power of humor cannot be measured.  Over the years, people have asked me questions about humor, and I'll share a few of those questions and answers with you.

QUESTION:  What is the most important thing I should know about getting into humor wanting to be a funnier person?

ANSWER:  Be honest with yourself! I can't emphasize this enough.  Take an inventory of yourself...your abilities; your capabilities; and limitations and ask yourself, if you have what it takes to get into comedy.  At some point in time, you're going to get embarrassed; you will fail; you will embarrass others; you're going to say the wrong thing at the wrong time; you're going to eat a "little crow" along the way; you're going to get a little "egg on your face"; your timing and delivery will be off and you will stumble and you might even get slapped in the face if you're not careful, etc. 

Humor is quite subjective!  What is funny to one person, may be an insult to somebody else!  Care has to be taken about what you say; what you do; where you say it; who you say it to, etc.  Ask yourself, "Can I embarrass myself and come back?"  If you can't, find something else to do.  If you can embarrass somebody else...can you apologize for it?  If you get into humor, it's just a matter of time, when you do this.  Your 15 minutes of fame, could turn into 15 minutes of shame if you're not careful.  All of us in humor do this...it comes with the territory.  I don't want to discourage anyone from getting into humor, but you know the honest facts and be prepared to deal with it.  That's why you MUST be honest with yourself!

.QUESTION:  Can anybody get into humor and be successful?

ANSWER: NO...NO...and three times NO!  There have been people who have crossed my path, who should stay out of humor all together.  The first thing a person needs to be successful in humor is a PERSONALITY!  I've known people who have the personality of a rock or an orange traffic barrel, or a piece of chopped liver, etc.  The person in humor has to be a little out-going; an extrovert or someplace in the middle.  The person has to be able to communicate well.  I've worked with many technical people like engineers for over 12 years, and many of these people are brilliant.  They can do the math and engineering to put someone on the moon.  But, when it comes having a personality...forget it!  Some of these people are so introverted...distant...that it would be a disaster if they tried their in comedy!  The answer is NO...not everyone can get into humor and be successful. 

QUESTION: What other qualities should a person have who wants to get into comedy?

ANSWER:  Common sense...and lots of it!  That person should also have high self-esteem and confidence of him or herself.  this is terribly important, because as I said earlier, the person is going to put thy "foot into thy mouth," a few times.  And, that person has to have the ability to get up and dust thyself off,  is he or she wants to stay in comedy.

QUESTION:  Are comedians/humorists different from ordinary people?

ANSWER:  YES!  Comedians are different, because they see the world differently.  They are always looking for something funny...and it does't matter when or where!  They stop and smell the roses, when everyone else walks on by.  They pay attention to detail, to try to find something humorous.  If there is not something funny, they will try to make it funny, using the tools of the trade like exageration; irony, etc.

QUESTION: What's important, in the over-all aspect of humor.

ANSWER: STOP; LOOK AND LISTEN

1) STOP; We all live in a fast-paced society, and if there were 48 hours in the day, it would still not be enough time for many of us to get things done.  STOP and smell the roses from time to time.  Set a little quality time for yourself.  Everyone should do this.  My quality time, is when I go out walking/jogging by myself.  Me, myself and I...no Blackberry; blueberry; cranberries...turn everything off...this is my time, and I can enjoy the sun set or the sun rise, etc.

2) LOOK: Pay more attention to the things around you!  Looking; admiring and throwing kisses at yourself in the mirror all day at home isn't going to do it!  Looking admiring, and throwing kisses to yourself in the rear-view mirror of your vehicle, while your're driving isn't going to do it, either!  That's why comedians get so much new, fresh material...they pay attention to the things around them!

3) LISTEN: Quit talking about yourself so much and listen for a change! Who knows...you might be boring!  In one of my other articles, I said that Bill Gates (Microsoft) has been so successful because he is a good listener.  He has listened to his smart and creative people, gone with their ideas...and the rest is history!  Listen for a change!
QUESTION:  How important is timing in humor?

ANSWER: Very important!  There were times, when my boss used to try to be funny, and he would choose the worst time to be funny with our boss.  On two occasions, I observed him telling a funny to our boss, as he was racing around with his head cut off; or he was late for a meeting...and both times he failed miserably in getting the laugh he wanted.  He was just a nuisance at the time, as he made our boss more miserable than he already was. 

There's nothing that can teach a person about timing, except experience, and knowledge of the person and the situation at hand.  If you're not sure about the timing of your humor, don't do it...use common sense!  It's not that important to get a laugh...as not to humiliate yourself, is it?

QUESTION:  How is the best way to break into comedy/humor?

ANSWER:  The K.I.S.S Principle...Keep It Simple, Stupid!  Start with short material...short jokes; short anecdotes; short stories; short everything.  Don't start blabbing about your vacation that's going to take 3 hours to tell!  (YAWN!)  Memorize the short pieces for smooth delivery.

QUESTION:  What is the single most important thing about comedy?

ANSWER:  DELIVERY...without a doubt!  I don't care if you have the best joke or story to tell...if you stumble or screw it up...YOUR FINISHED!  You MUST have a
smooth delivery
to be successful in humor!  Breaks in your delivery and forgetting the punch line, will get you the the Hall of Shame in a hurry.  You won't get your 15 minutes of fame...you'll get your 15 minutes of shame!

QUESTION:  What's a NO-NO in comedy?

ANSWER: Telling the same joke or story over and over and over and over again, until you've worn out your welcome!  DO NOT DO THIS!  A person can listen to music over and over again; or watch a movie over and over again...but that's not the case with humor (for the most part).  Jokes can get old and tired very quickly.   If you can't come up with new fresh material, don't get into comedy.  That's why comedians are always looking for new material...to keep everything fresh.

QUESTION:  What else is a NO NO?

ANSWER: "TRYING to be funny!"  We've seen people appear o tv talk shows, and they have no idea what humor is about.  They sit there TRYING to be funny!  These people have NOT paid their dues in humor, and they make for a boring interview.  DO NOT TRY TO BE FUNNY!  You're either pregnant or you're not...and that goes for the women, too! 

An example of TRYING to be funny.  During the mid-term elections, one of the Senator's made mention of something having to do with the troops in Iraq, not being educated.  He had to apologize for it later!  He was TRYING to be funny!

QUESTION: How important is style?

ANSWER:  Style is our fingerprint...it's who we are.  Style is only important if you intend to be in humor for the long term or make a living from humor, etc.  Those people should develop their own style, and do what's comfortable for you.  And, you should NEVER, NEVER copy anybody else.  There's only one Lucy; one Bob Hope; one Robin Williams; one Erma Bombeck, etc.  And, like Uncle Milty says, never steal material from another comedian...you can borrow it forever...but never steal it!  So, if you're having trouble with your first joke, I would suggest you place your World Tour on hold for a while!
QUESTION:  What else is important about getting into humor?

ANSWER:  Patience!  Like anything else, there well be a long learning process.  Engineers; medical people; athletes; entertainers take a long time to be good at what they do.  I've been in the humor business for over fifty years, and that's why I'm one of the funniest guys in the world!  (yeah, right!)

QUESTION:  Is there a way to get a laugh right away?

ANSWER:  But of course...why don't you show everyone your paycheck...that ought to get you a few laughs!  Why don't you show everyone a few of your baby pictures...while you were potty-training...you are potty-trained, right?

QUESTION:  Jerry, who are a few of your all-time comedians"

ANSWER:  M-m-m-m- there's so many!  I would have to say Al Gore leads the way, followed by Henry Kissinger; Don Imus ; and Hillary Clinton.  Boy, these people really keep me in stitches! 

QUESTION:  Tell the truth to the world, Jerry...do you really think you're a funny person?

ANSWER;  Does a porcupine make love carefully?

I certainly hope these few tips help you with your humor career.  There is nothing like humor to brighten up your day, and brighten up someone else's day, too!  I encourage everyone to get into humor...start slowly...be careful...use common sense...use short pieces as you go along...and you'll be glad you did!
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My articles published 200+ websites
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Copyright; Jerry Aragon; 2007
All Rights Reserved
Copyright; Jerry Aragon; 2007
All Rights Reserved
Copyright; Jerry Aragon; 2007
All Rights Reserved
To all the young people out there...STAY IN SCHOOL!
Jerry Aragon/The Humor Doctor           humordoctormd@gmail.com
Main Street/Front Page                         Free Stuff/Come see
Site Map/site contents                          The Creative Center
Writers Section                                     The Humor Clinic
The Funny Farm                                   Book: BumpyRoad of Life