Jerry Seinfeld on Writing a Joke


Jerry Seinfeld is considered a god of comedy and rightfully so. He’s known for his well balanced and excellently orchestrated jokes. Most of all, which is one of his more admirable feats if you ask me, his wit. Jerry Seinfeld knew what would make himself laugh and how to deliver that to someone else who may have either shared his experience or has an understanding of what he means. Either way, he told his own jokes. He did everything the way he wanted to and followed his own system.

At the end of the day, if you aren’t making something that you would enjoy, why even bother doing it? That concept really sticks with me and it applies to comedy as well. My jokes center around things that I have experienced and found to be absolutely stomach turning because of the punch line. They were ironic and I found that hilarious.

Moments that were a good slap in the face where I couldn’t help but find myself chuckling, asking “Really!? Of all things, really?” Because that is just how life works. When I relay my jokes and stories to the audience, I’m putting out there material that I would find humorous if told to me. If I enjoy it and think it’s funny, that will definitely show when I talk about it to the audience. I am talking about what has meaning to me. One of the most important things Jerry Seinfeld stresses about comedy is to begin with something hilarious right off the bat. It doesn’t matter what it is, it just needs to be something that will hook in your audience and catch their attention.

Something funny will introduce them to the joke and kind of make them perk up their ears in curiosity. This happened, you say? Tell me more. It kind of works like that. Almost as if you were telling and story and trying to capture their interest with the first page. Your starting line of the joke is the page one of your
book. Make sure you choose wisely. It’s all about the wording in the joke. Such as key words or phrases that are going to stand out and resonate with the listener. As the comedian is talking about the story and trying to emphasize the emotional aspects of the situation, key words will be stressed to dig for an even bigger funny.

Use specific words that the audience is more likely to find funny in the first place. As for the design of it, make sure it sounds like a story. People naturally gravitate towards storytelling and it will gain their interest. They will be absorbed in it and want to know more. You have their attention. But make sure not to drag it out too much. If the story is much too lengthy, it’ll feel like the joke is being dragged out. Lastly, end that joke with a bang! The conclusion has to end with the biggest laugh that way it really sticks with the audience.