alibi online
Weekly Alibi PodcastFree Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 V.15 No.48 | November 30 - December 6, 2006 


How to Tell a Joke

... Or, Stop Torturing Your Friends, You Moron

So you want to tell a joke, do ya? But you just don’t have the chops. Instead of heartfelt belly laughs, your punch lines receive responses like, “Oh … I think I get it,” “Is that the end?” or “Why have you done this to me and my family? Leave my house.”

Fear not, there’s hope for you yet. Follow these simple rules, and you’ll have friends and co-workers in stitches in no time. I know what you’re thinking: “I’m much too fat and boring to make people laugh.” Well, you’re only half right, tubby. Read on!

Rule 1: Gauge your audience. Simply finding the right group of people for a certain gag will solve 80 percent of your joke-telling problems. (Yes, a full 80 percent. I ran the numbers.)

Rule 2: Don’t build up your joke. Surprise is always the best policy for joke telling and for punching somebody in the face.

Rule 3: Relax. This is the easiest rule to follow but often the most overlooked. I suggest a few deep breaths and some light stretching; or, failing that, a shot of Jack Daniels and a quickie with someone you trust.

Rule 4: Essentialize. Think of the setup to the joke as the rocket that will carry your punch line to comedy heaven. You need to ensure that all the parts are there but that it be stripped down to its lightest possible weight. Avoid tangents and too much information.

Rule 5: Know the punch line. This may seem a bit obvious, but there is nothing more disappointing or embarrassing then a botched punch line. Oh, and don’t laugh at your own jokes.

Rule 6: Don’t be Ray Romano.

These rules alone won’t guarantee a flawless delivery, but they should help. Try it out now—you’ll be surprised by the results. If it’s still not working out, you can always do us all a favor and give up. Remember, being funny is like being a hippie: You’re born a little bit different from everybody else, and people laugh at you.


Today's Events

Thor at South Broadway Cultural Center

The powerful but arrogant god Thor is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

Lightning Hall • folk-blues at Corrales Bistro Brewery

ABQ Trolley Co: The Hopper at Hotel Albuquerque

More Recommended Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    tartar control and more
    tartar control and more7.20.2016