How to write punches for jokes: 12 steps

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How to write punches for jokes: 12 steps
How to write punches for jokes: 12 steps

In a joke, the punchline is the last part and the one that gets the main laugh. The punchline comes after the introduction of the joke and helps you finish it using your own point of view and sense of humor. The aim of the auctions is to make the audience laugh by showing them a new angle that is not expected on a subject. If you want to write a punchline, you should follow the introduction and come up with different options to finish the joke. Brainstorm different endings that you find funny, and then practice the jokes so you can figure out which ones sound the best.


Part 1 of 3: Follow the introduction

Write Punchlines Step 1
Write Punchlines Step 1

Step 1. Brainstorm

The punchline is what makes you laugh. While the whole joke might be funny to the audience, the part that will make them laugh the most is the punchline. Therefore, you should come up with more than one potential ending to the joke.

  • Consider what your point of view is. Your perspective on the auction should be unique in a way that makes it comical.
  • It will take a while to come up with a joke. Take some time to consider what makes the introduction of the joke funny. This part is where you comment on something that seems comical to you and the punchline is where you give the subject your personal spin.
  • Consider this joke from Jerry Seinfeld about stain removers: "Now they teach you how detergents can remove blood stains. This is a pretty violent image. It seems to me that if you have a T-shirt with a huge blood stain, maybe your main problem It's not washing it. Maybe you should get rid of the corpse first. "

    • The first three sentences make up the introduction, in which Jerry explains the funny thing about commercials for stain removers. Take a specific perspective and focus on just one issue: blood stains.
    • The last sentence is the punchline. To end the joke, Jerry makes a comment about how strange it is that stain removal products employ the removal of blood stains from clothing like a commercial hook.
Write Punchlines Step 2
Write Punchlines Step 2

Step 2. Write several auctions

Arm yourself with a pen and notebook and write the introduction at the top of the page and then jot down more than one punchline for that joke. For each one, try to make the angle different.

  • At this time, avoid censoring yourself. Don't think too much about coming up with the perfect punchline but instead do free writing of the first thing that comes to mind.
  • Make sure the finishers relate to the intro. You can include certain words from the introduction in the auctions or build on them when writing them.
  • Continuing with the example of Jerry's joke about detergents, consider the auctions you would write following the introduction: "Now they show you how detergents can remove large stains. This is a pretty violent image. I think if you have a T-shirt with a huge blood stain, maybe your main problem is not washing it. "
  • What could you write to end the joke that makes reference to this introduction? It could be something like "Maybe your main problem is that you are a serial killer." While it might not be as good as Jerry's punchline, it's for this reason that brainstorming and writing down various options will help. The punchline might not be as comical as the original, but it's still tied to the intro and takes the joke in a different direction than the audience would expect.
Write Punchlines Step 3
Write Punchlines Step 3

Step 3. Make sure the punchline follows the introduction

To write a perfect punchline, the introduction should be a story that the listener can follow through to the punchline.

  • Once you've written more than one punchline, read each one to make sure the introduction leads to them.
  • Cross out the auctions that do not refer to the introduction.
  • However, if you really like one of your finishers even though it doesn't exactly refer to the intro, you could rewrite the joke so that the finisher fits better. Jokes are fluid, and the process of writing a good one often requires editing multiple times.
Write Punchlines Step 4
Write Punchlines Step 4

Step 4. Make sure the introduction and ending are short

Many comedians have developed styles for telling jokes that do not always follow the rigid intro and punchline structure. However, for the most part, the jokes are relatively short. Your introduction should only be a few sentences long (in most cases, between one and two), and the ending should be the same length or shorter.

Consider this joke by Jimmy Carr that spans two sentences. One sentence is the introduction and another is the closing: "It shouldn't be called the Make a Wish Foundation, right? Its real name should be the Make Another Wish Foundation Because We Can't Do Anything About THAT Other."

Part 2 of 3: Write the auction

Write Punchlines Step 5
Write Punchlines Step 5

Step 1. Reinforce the joke

After determining which punchline you will end up with, you can write the joke in its entirety. Pay attention to its length and find where you could trim it.

  • Compared to the punchline, is the introduction too short or long? Does the joke include any parts that don't add to your perspective or enhance the punchline?
  • Continuing with the example of Jerry Seinfeld's joke about detergent, consider how much it would lose fun if I added a part related to the other functions of the detergent. The joke would be less comical if it talked about the other types of stains that detergents remove or how absurd these commercials are in general. The introduction would have three more sentences that would not be related to the auction.
  • Also, make sure the auction is about a single idea. Continuing with the Jimmy Carr joke example, the punchline is "Your real name should be the Make Another Wish Foundation Because We Can't Do Anything About THAT Other." In this case, the auction is about an idea that synthesizes Jimmy's perspective. Instead of wasting time with examples of other wishes or explaining that the first wish children make is not to be sick, the punchline is strong enough that the audience understands what you want to say without having to be explained.. The emphasis on the word "ESE" is comical because the audience automatically knows that it refers to children's illnesses without the comedian having to waste time explaining it.
Write Punchlines Step 6
Write Punchlines Step 6

Step 2. Change course at the auction

Often times, the punchline can include a reinterpretation of what is in the introduction. This way you can turn the joke around or destroy the assumption you made in the introduction.

  • Suppose you wrote a joke about something you saw on the news. In this case, the introduction would be like the headline that you would read in the newspaper or on a news website. This is usually the mechanism for the Weekend Update section of the American comedy program Saturday Night Live. In the introduction, the presenters give the audience true information, after which they deliver a punchline that is funny because it takes an unexpected turn and breaks the audience's assumptions.
  • For example, this is a joke that actually featured in a Weekend Update: "David Beckham, the British soccer star, has signed a $ 250 million contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy team." This is recited as if it were the headline of a news story and, by itself, it is not funny. The public hopes that what follows is a joke about David Beckham or money or a Briton moving to the United States.
  • However, it's funnier to have the punchline reorient the audience's assumptions. Through the introduction, you have a lot of potential topics that you could address. Audiences may expect you to go off on a tangent talking about David Beckham. However, the punchline of the real joke takes a twist: "… which apparently … exists."
  • In this case, the auction destroys the assumptions that the public might have had about the meaning of such a contract and instead comments on the fact that no one in the country knows about one of the most popular sports in the world or has an interest. at.
  • To help you find an auction, use the six main questions: who, what, when, where, why and how. The answers to these questions will provide you with material you can draw on that may help you find an angle that your audience may not expect. In the David Beckham joke above, you could get your own punchline trying to answer the question of why he signed the contract. This is because your own sense of humor will make you wonder why this topic would interest someone in the first place. Answering the "who" is also helpful, because David Beckham is a world-famous athlete whether or not someone likes soccer.
Write Punchlines Step 7
Write Punchlines Step 7

Step 3. Guide the auction to the public

Knowing your audience can help you craft shots that have a better effect. This must be able to identify with the auction and find it comical.

  • This means that if you are going to tell the joke in a certain setting or for a group of people of a certain age, you may need to be careful with the language you use.
  • Don't write an auction that you know the public won't understand.
  • Knowing your audience will help you better tailor your jokes and punchlines, and it might also make it easier for you to come up with a comic punchline. If you are going to tell the joke to people of a certain profession, it will be more humorous if the jokes and auctions are related to it, since it will be easier for the public to identify with them.
Write Punchlines Step 8
Write Punchlines Step 8

Step 4. Finish with a witty phrase or line or twist

The punch line doesn't always have to end on the funniest word, but you should get into the habit of trying. After all, the auction is a blow, so it should be quick and concise and end with the funniest thing.

  • Determine what word you will hit with. Each punchline will have a word that will link to the idea of your joke and will be the funniest part. This word should be located as close to the end of the joke as possible.
  • Here's an example of a Mike Birbiglia joke: "My family is Italian, but we're not real Italians. We're more like Olive Garden Italians." The funniest part of the joke is the phrase "Italians from the Olive Garden" and, for this reason, it is at the end of the joke. In addition, it allows time for the audience to react and laugh because there is nothing that comes after.
  • If you keep talking after the witty line in your joke, your audience won't have time to enjoy it.
  • Check the auction to find what the clever line is. If this is not at the end of the joke, check to see how you can rearrange the structure of the punchline so that this part can be at the end.
Write Punchlines Step 9
Write Punchlines Step 9

Step 5. Practice the joke out loud

Read it out loud and find your rhythm. What will make your joke and punchline funny is, in part, how you tell it with your own unique voice.

  • Read the joke out loud to see how it feels. Check to see if there are any parts that feel awkward or too long and if you can trim it somewhere else.
  • Read the joke to a friend and see if he laughs and if the joke has an effect on him. You can ask for their opinion on the joke and see where you could make changes.

Part 3 of 3: Add a Potential Retruque

Write Punchlines Step 10
Write Punchlines Step 10

Step 1. Write a second ban that follows immediately after the original ban

It is known as a retruque to the extension of a joke that has the function of a second punchline or a comic way of transitioning to another joke or adding something to the first joke.

  • In essence, the retruque is the joke that follows, which feeds on the previous joke. This is very common in the repertoires of live comedians.
  • The purpose of the retruque is to help you move slowly and naturally to another topic while still eliciting laughter.
  • Retrucks are sometimes written to give the impression that they just occurred to you on the spot during the presentation.
Write Punchlines Step 11
Write Punchlines Step 11

Step 2. Use the snap to transition to your next joke

Sometimes you can use a pun to make a connection between your jokes in the form of appendices or witty comments.

  • Add one more punchline to tie in the jokes you've written.
  • In another Mike Birbiglia repertoire, he talks about how boys in the last years of elementary school start kissing and the joke ends by saying, "I'm not going to do that. And all the girls said, 'It doesn't matter. the list'".
  • In this case, "… all the girls said, 'Never mind'" is the first punchline, which ends the first joke and provokes a laugh.
  • The phrase "'You're not on the list'" is the retruque or the second punchline, as it continues the joke, elicits more laughter, and allows Mike to transition to talking about social cliques in schools that are based on who. whether or not it is on a "list".
Write Punchlines Step 12
Write Punchlines Step 12

Step 3. Use a snap to reorient the joke in case the punchline doesn't work

Sometimes the jokes have no effect, in which case you could add a snap as a backup punchline.

  • Imagine that, in one of your jokes, the punchline has no effect. Imagine it's a very simple joke, like, "A priest, a pastor, and a rabbi walk into a bar and the bartender says, 'Is this a joke?'" But the punchline isn't funny when you tell it. Therefore, you can have a retruque up your sleeve to continue the joke.
  • This can be as simple as "The priest, the pastor and the rabbi look at each other and then the priest says" What? Are you a comedian? Is that why you need another job as a bartender? "
  • You could even go further and include yourself in the joke. Often times, it is people who have the capacity for self-critical humor that are funny. Since the pun is not that funny, you might take the opportunity to make fun of yourself by adding another pun, such as "For being religious figures, they didn't give me a good tip. I had to work an extra shift to pay the rent."
  • If you make fun of yourself and include yourself in the joke as the penniless bartender and comedian, you could generate a bit of compassion in the audience and provoke a laugh.


  • Use a clever line or phrase to end the punchline (and thus the joke). The funniest words should be as close to the end of the joke as possible.
  • Come up with several finishing options and recite each one out loud to determine which one sounds best.
  • If you come up with a brilliant ending that doesn't quite follow the introduction, rewrite it.
  • Use the punchline as an opportunity to add your own perspective and humor to the joke.

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