Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Just wondering - I do that a lot - if there are people reading this who are joke-deprived. By joke-deprived I'm not referring to the actual act of "getting" or appreciating when someone relates a funny story. I'm referring here to the actual act of telling or re-telling a joke that was told to them.

Y'see - I can't.

Well... I could if it was socially acceptable or allowable to carry the joke around on a piece of paper and read it aloud. However, I can't envision sitting at a table with - let's say - a business aquaintance and whipping out a cue card from my purse and then saying, "hey - did 'ya hear the one about..." after which I would recite it.

On the rare occasion that I've attempted to re-tell a joke, either I forgot the punch line or relate the joke incorrectly. Then I get hurt when nobody laughs or there's a puzzled expression on their face.

It leads one to wonder if there's a secret in joke telling and to this end a search on the Web revealed some hints in an article printed in Reader's Digest, with some hints passed on by some well-known comedians.

Comedian Jay Leno advises people to keep it simple.

"If you just do a joke about the funny noise that potato chips make when you bite into them, you'll get more laughs. Jokes work best when they're easy to understand," Leno advises.

Meanwhile, Conan O'Brien advises:
"The most important thing is to keep it short. It's like knowing when to leave the table in Vegas. Get your laugh or, if you're lucky, laughs, and then get off the stage. If you don't trust yourself, hire a friend to tackle you after four minutes."

So now I'm wondering (and admittedly hoping) that there are others like me "out there" that suffer from this affliction. If so - let's share angst and pass on some joke-telling advice and/or hints

By the way - heard any good jokes lately?

Writers & Friends

1 comment:

moliz said...

Oh, Ellie, meet another one who can't tell a joke...ME! I have actually tried to memorize a joke so I wouldn't mess up the telling of it and then, still, messed up the telling of it. You're not alone.