Any intelligent person can learn how to write and make comedy videos, work at it, and even produce them. The problem is that the commercial world won’t pay enough for second best to allow everyone to make a living. In humor, good enough is no longer good enough. Only a few of those who study how to do comedy go on to become professional comedians, but the same is true in many professions.
Comedy is a lot like professional sports. Past successes are history. You get paid for today’s hits. Since you’re only as good as your last joke, there’s considerable insecurity in comedy writing—and a great deal of turnover.
Whether for you or to share with others, making a funny video can be a fun way to pass the time. Writing a script and planning out your video can help give it plenty of jokes and comedic scenes. Then, once you’re ready to film, knowing how to act humorously can help your jokes resonate with your audience. Before you know it, you’ll have a hilarious video to share wherever you want!
Whether you’re an aspiring comedian with stage fright or you’re getting paid gigs, these comedy tips can still take you to the next level.
1. Tap Your Authentic, Funny Self.
The audience is there to see YOU…whether you’re famous or not. The more “real” you are with the audience, the more they respond to you.
One of the most common questions I get from newsletter subscribers is asking why they can be so funny with friends but, when they try to turn it into a comedy routine, their material comes out lifeless humorless.
Being a great stand-up comedy writer is about understanding principles of comedy…it’s not about applying comedy techniques or formulas.
Base your humor around unexpected situations or reactions. At a base level, humorous situations arise from situations that you believe will happen one way that turns out an entirely different way. Plan situations or lines in your funny video that lead the viewer to one conclusion only to flip that conclusion on its head.
2. Allow ideas to Evolve.
Your best material isn’t going to be written the first time through. It’s often said that great comedy isn’t written… it’s re-written.
Usually, comedians will write a joke that gets the joke’s main idea across to the audience and test it out. From there, they repeatedly revise and test their joke out until they find the best way of writing and delivering a line. Many comedians do these 20 or 30 times before settling on the final form of the joke.
3. Pattern the humor around relatable situations.
Successful, funny videos are usually based on situations that people can relate to. Think about who your video’s target audience is and write in situations that this group has probably experienced.
4 Use metaphors or similes to create humorous dialogue.
Funny videos often compare one thing to a caricature of itself. Brainstorm things that remind you of a certain character or situation, and implement them into your dialogue to amplify the humor.
5. Try adding funny anecdotes or stories if you’ve got writer’s block.
If you don’t know what to write, brainstorm funny things that have happened to you. From there, you can either tell your story during the video or write about characters that experience a similar thing.
PART 2- Filming the Video.
1. Gather together your filming equipment.
To make a quality video, you will need equipment to capture the picture and audio. Depending on your preferences and filming expertise, you can use a smartphone, video recorder, or camera to film your video.
2. Test the filming equipment beforehand.
Before you start making the video, film a few seconds before making sure your equipment is working. Once you’ve checked that the equipment is recording and ready to go, you can start filming your funny video.
3. Add in common funny props or figures.
Funny videos often use certain situations or props to enhance the humor. Study popular funny videos and look for recurring props, situations, or figures that they use, and add them to your video as desired.
- Babies, animals, and other cute things are popular features of funny videos. Silly videos also often feature situations that involve accidents or “fails,” funny singing or dancing, and unexpected (but well-meaning) pranks.
5. Try not to overact the humor.
Although it’s important to let your audience know subtly they’re watching a funny video, acting overly dramatic can ruin the scene’s natural humor. Beyond a few nods to the audience or exaggerations, avoid delivering your lines or acting with too much emotion or emphasis.
- An exception to this is if you are making fun of overly dramatic actors or films.
PART 3 – Editing and Sharing Your Video
1. The most successful funny videos are usually 3.
minutes or less if your video is longer than this, try to cut or edit as many unnecessary scenes as possible to make sure you’re entertaining your audience.
2. Cut the scenes on movement or actions.
Keeping the video moving is important for all videos, but hilarious ones. When editing between shorts or scenes, try to end on an action or gesture.
3. Edit out any mistakes or accidents.
Keep an eye out for any lines your actors messed up or scenes that you didn’t want to include in the final cut. Make sure you cut these parts out for a smoother, funnier final product.
4. Show your edited videos to others for a second opinion.
Once you’ve edited your video, show a copy to your friends or family. They may suggest ways to edit or re-film the video in ways that enhance its comedic value.
5. Share your funny video with other people, if you want.
The best part about making a funny video is sharing the gift of laughter with others. If you want others to see your video, you can share it privately with your friends or post it online for anyone to see.
TIPS FOR PERFORMING STAND-UP COMEDY
Don’t memorize every word of your performance.
If you memorize every word in your performance, you’ll end up sounding like a robot on stage. Two things will happen. First, you’ll lose all the feelings in your material. You’ll no longer be authentic to the audience. Instead, the audience will feel like you’re talking AT them instead of TO them. You don’t naturally memorize words when you talk to your friends; you’re focused on the story you want to tell.
Second, if you memorize word-for-word, you’re going to forget where you were during a performance. The first thing that breaks your concentration will derail you, and since all you’ll remember are a string of words, you’ll be unable to remember which word you were on…the whole thing falls apart from there.
Instead, memorize what you want to talk about (the subjects) and then talk about it.
Focus on what you want to tell the Audience, Not on Yourself.
When you focus on yourself, you get stage fright. When you focus on the audience, you feel passion for what you’re saying. When you concentrate on the audience, the audience is going to feel it. They’ll sense your authenticity.
Perform Several Times a Week.
The more time you spend on stage, the more success you’ll have. Performing frequently allows you to test out the ideas you had while writing much faster. If you’re going to rewrite a joke 50 times before settling on the perfect one, you might want to perform more than once a week. Not only does it help you revise your material, but it helps you develop stage comfort as well.
Just because you get a laugh doesn’t mean you’re done.
Getting a laugh doesn’t mean you have a finished joke. It means you have the basis for a joke. After a joke gets a laugh, your job is to figure out how to maximize the next audience’s laughter by revising the joke. Try taking out words that aren’t necessary or adding other words/phrases in.
Don’t Speak Formally.
Throughout school, you’ve been taught to write very formally. You were taught to write complete sentences, to use introductions and conclusions, etc. But that’s not how people communicate in everyday life. When you talk to a friend, you’ll say only half a thought and pause. You’ll use informal words. You’ll gesture. This is what people are accustomed to when communicating verbally. When you get on the stage and speak as if you’re on a school debate team, it comes out awkward and inauthentic. Listen to how you and others around you naturally speak. Your performance should mimic it.
Tips for marketing your Stand-up Comedy.
It doesn’t matter what medium you use for marketing yourself. If you’re not worth talking about, you’re not going to get the Youtube views, live shows, or followers. Being remarkable isn’t simply about having high enough quality material. Just because you get the audience to laugh doesn’t mean that they’re actually going to remember you long after the show or become a fan of yours.
Remarkable is all about becoming sticky in the mind of the audience. The number one way of doing this is by being highly creative. Could you give them a reason to remember you? They may not remember that you were 10% funnier than the other comedians…. But they’ll always remember you if you give them something new and interesting.
Be Seen. Don’t be an Outsider.
The more often you’re seen by other comedians, the more comfortable they will be around you. If you’re an outsider, they will likely hesitate to give you a slot on their show. However, if they have seen you perform several times in the past and like your performance, they’ll likely come to you when they have an opportunity.
Networking is the number 1 marketing strategy in stand-up comedy. Every one of your paid shows is going to be as a result of who you know. A recommendation can get you in the door of a comedy show much faster than the best promo video. Network with fellow comedians and use your network.
If you want the audience to remember you after the show, give them a reason. The more unique you are as a comedian, the more successful you will be in the long run. Audiences love uniqueness. Once you meet a minimum standard of quality, uniqueness becomes much more important to your success.
Tips for becoming successful in stand-up comedy.
Being funny is a requirement to get into comedy, not an advantage.
Nobody has ever said, “I’m not funny at all. I’ll be a comedian”. It’s like assuming that you’ll be a successful entrepreneur because you have a business license. It’s a requirement to start. Sure, some people are funnier than others but don’t rest on your natural sense of humor. Nurture it by studying comedy and applying what you’ve learned.
Learn the craft.
Learn stand-up comedy inside and out. No matter what level you’re at, there’s always something to learn. Search for every opportunity to learn more about what creates success in stand-up comedy. There’s always something new and interesting to explore.
Don’t be a look-a-like.
If you’re a look-a-like, the best you can hope for is to be seen as a want-to-be. That been said, you got to start somewhere. That somewhere is likely going to be similar to a comedian you love. That’s ok. Learn your lessons, and then move forward into your own persona. You’ll go through 2 stages in your career as a comedian: emulation and creation. You can begin by emulating other comedians you love and testing out ideas….then you’ll find what works for you specifically and move into your creativity.
Don’t get caught up. Work on Yourself.
Too often, comedians want to know what action they should take to market themselves or how other comedians write their comedy. Find every strategy you can but at the same time realize that they’re just strategies.
Study the masters.
The great thing about the masters is how many videos you can find of them. Watch their comedy and analyze it. Understand what they are doing and how they are doing it. Then apply those principles to your own comedy writing, performing, and marketing.