JOKE STUDY SERIES INDEX
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Original material written by professional humor writers, John Cantu (editor) and Susan Cerce who's material has been performed by The Smothers Brothers, Kevin Mean, Joan Rivers, Rip Taylor, and many others.
Real World Examples of Editing and Updating Jokes
INTRODUCTION: (This article is a Mini-Lesson in Polishing Jokes)
Consider each of these jokes as mini-lessons in which you will discover how published jokes are like a grain of sand in clam shell.
You polish them till you have a valuable pearl. Always review jokes in joke collections with the broadest possible view of the joke(s).
Also as you go through these joke updates, notice that there are three basic ways to switch/update/adapt an 'old' joke.
- Switch the set-up
- Switch the punch line /punch words
- Switch the essence, idea, or premise of the line.
And notice how they are edited for rhythm, to avoid awkward repetition of a word twice, for more clarity, or to reduce number of words.
Cantu & Giles Updating Jokes
Fasten your set belts. Here's an over the shoulder look at a couple of writers batting around some jokes and updating and editing them for better clarity and bigger laughs. I'm tossing them and Giles is editing them.
And as the pros say, "An old joke is a joke that doesn't get a laugh."
Be advised there are 117! jokes here!!!
One of the major differences between civilians and humor pros is when civilians hear something funny their tendency is to simply think 'That is a funny joke.' When comedy pros hear something funny their tendency is to both, think 'That is funny', and also 'Could the construction be changed to make it stronger?' I.e., funnier. Sometimes not, but the analysis is still important.
In an interview with Larry Wilde, Jerry Seinfeld says, "I will spend an hour trying to get an eight word sentence down to five."