March 18, 2010 Jill

analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it. (E.B. White)

Not true in Omri Marcus‘ hands.  His new post 10 Ways to Write One Liners is funny and informative:

When writing One-Liners there are 2 basic ground rules. The first is the length of the joke – the shorter the distance between the setup and the punch line, the funnier it is. The second is that the punch line will always be at the end.

He really does have 10 styles to choose from including:

2. Verbal Jokes: Bun (it’s like a pun but not 100%): A Very tricky technique where the punch sounds a bit like the word expected from the setup, but not really. It’s a very risky technique, as you may easily find yourself with a childish jest instead of a solid funny joke. The end result being a cough, instead of a laugh (that’s a good example for a bad use of that technique).
For example:

Congratulations to Dolly Parton. She received an honorary degree from the University of Tennessee. It’s a Ph.-Double-D. (Jay Leno)


In the year 3000 YouTube, Twitter & Facebook will merge into one super time wasting website called YouTwitFace. (Conan O’brien)


8. Humor based on extreme approach – Laughter can also deal with our deepest fears. If we can’t control what scares us, the second best thing to do, is to laugh about it. The result is a great feeling of power – a small victory over fear. Come on – let’s say the worst imaginable thing, and enjoy the one second our Id goes wild before our better judgment kicks in.

For example here is a one-liner about the most common fear – death:

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather… Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car
(Bob Monkhouse)

Or another one about pedophiles:

I met an amazing girl on the internet. Smart, sexy, uninhibited…of course it turned out to be a twelve-year-old paraplegic boy. I’ll be honest – the sex was disappointing. (Jimmy Carr)

There’s lots more. Go read the whole post.