Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Imagination is Intelligence Having Fun

Writing funny is like climbing an intellectual Mount Everest with someone threatening to throw banana peels and tomatoes at the back of your head if your joke "stinks". 

If you can't think of a joke, consider a repertoire of "funny sounding" facts which you can stream together in Tweet fashion:
  • The man who created the Thighmaster was a Buddhist monk. 
  • Fastest-growing religion in Ireland: Buddhism.  
  • Buddhist monks at Japan's Yakushido Temple perform a purification ritual by "setting fire to their own pants."
  • It is estimated that 75% of all U.S. dollars contain traces of cocaine. 
  • There are more churces per capita in Las Vegas than in any other U.S. city. 
  • By the year 3000 B.C., there were at least six different types of beer in Egypt. 
  • The ancient Sumerians had a goddess of beer.  
  • A "beer can fancier" is called a canologist.
  • When asked to name the odor that best defines America, 39% of Americans said "barbecue." 
  • It takes approximately 92-hours to read both the Old and the New Testaments aloud. 
  • You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV. 

True, on their own, these "factoids" are not entirely interesting, nor are they entirely funny, but it's this type of exercise that can get your imagination working. To write funny, you have to think funny. 

One of the goals of humor writing is to minimize inhibition. Write freely, edit last. Jerry Seinfeld said that "the whole object of comedy is to be yourself, and the closer you get to that, the funnier you will be." 

Writing freely about what you know, adding in factoids, and looking at the world with unbridled imagination can help you train your mind to climb the intellectual hurdles we commonly place ahead of us. 

As with any career, the road to success is always under construction.

Post a Comment