How to be Funny

Marisa Neel

Would you like to be a comedy writer?
Of course you don’t! There are lots of reasons not to:
-You want to make a real salary.
-The people of NBC aren’t really good role models.
-Humorless audiences and abject failure doesn’t appeal to you.
-You’re skeptical because you think you can’t write. That’s (potentially) fixable.
Actually, comedy writing is easily summarized by a mathematical equation: X=(.25P)( Ξπ)¢
π = π
Ξ = God’s wisdom
¢ = Luck
P = the ability to say something racist without offending people
We here at the Athenian follow this equation (with sig figs), which is why we are proudly the #2 humor magazine on Case Western’s campus.
See, the thing about being funny is that you can say anything you want, as long as your audience thinks it’s funny. So when you write, remember you’re writing for CWRU. This directs you (but doesn’t restrict you) towards snide remarks about the weather and “Doctor Who” jokes.
But, if you’ve never seen an episode of “Doctor Who,” that doesn’t mean you can’t be a comedy writer at CWRU. We accept “Battlestar Galactica” jokes as well.
The Internet is entirely unhelpful when you Google “how to be funny,” so you have to find your humorous inside of you. It’s the long bone in your upper arm.
…Maybe stay away from puns.
However, there are some limitations, since you’ll be writing, and not acting.
You can’t really go the slapstick route. You can’t paint a picture of Jerry running around while Tom spontaneously combusts in the background, and expect someone to laugh.
You can’t pronounce things in a humorous way and say “I used to like drunk driving and then my mom got M.A.D.D.,” and expect someone to laugh.
You can’t act out a scene like “Obama at a Ke$ha concert” and expect someone to laugh.
You can’t possibly convey the hilarity of a dog dancing to “Peanut butter jelly time,” and expect someone to laugh.
Or maybe, you can. Write, draw or take photos for the Athenian, and see how you do.
Think you have what it takes? Join our email list to get updates about the next Athenian meetings. Just email, and come join us at our next meeting on Aug. 29 from 1 to 2pm.
We can’t wait to see you there!
And to all the pre-meds out there, remember, laughter is the best medicine right after penicillin.

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