An invaluable guide on how to "lighten up" from a distinguished pro who has provided laughs for JAY LENO, BILLY CRYSTAL, STEVE MARTIN, ROBIN WILLIAMS, BRAD GARRETT, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, AND MANY MORE.
Who hasn't wished for the perfect withering comeback line, a clever tension-breaking quip, or a winning flirtatious remark? Being funny is hard work and not everyone is a natural. How to Be Funny is a witty guide that teaches readers precisely how to be funnier in everyday life. It's a must-read for anyone who has to speak in public, be engaging and funny at work or at play, or who hopes to one day go out on a date.
Jon Macks, a comedy writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, Hollywood Squares, and the nation's top comedians, politicians, and corporate leaders, knows his funny business. Here he demystifies the process of making people laugh, breaks down the basic building blocks and types of humor -- which include self-deprecation, misdirection, deadpan delivery, sarcasm, and "the reverse" -- and reveals the best approaches to use in common situations.
How to Be Funny features helpful (and hilarious) tips and anecdotes from the comic legends Mack's worked with -- including Jay Leno, Arsenio Hall, Gilbert Gottfried, Billy Crystal, Rita Rudner, Dave Barry, and Carrie Fisher -- in his eleven years as one of the nation's top television writers.
Whether the goal is to give a memorable public address or deliver a killer line with friends, How to Be Funny is a charming, instructive, and practical read.
Can a book really teach you how to be funny? Macks, who has written jokes for big names including Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and Robin Williams, thinks his can. Though some might argue that wit is instinctive, Macks contends that by following his advice and making a serious effort to improve--or even develop--a sense of humor, almost anyone can learn to"be funny in everyday life." He fills his how-to with tips and homework assignments on topics like self-deprecating and topical humor, sarcasm, using funny words and sounds and storytelling. Macks admits that although a flair for comic timing can be taught,"these techniques and advice will not work if you have the unfunny gene...if you are a cemedically-genetically-deformed person, return this book and get your money back." Macks's running comedy while he teaches makes his funny-for-dummies original and easy to read, yet many of his suggested jokes and one-liners for everyday life are real groaners; he offers this zinger as a way to lighten the mood in an elevator:"Does anyone have Dramamine?" That said, Macks does devote a good chunk of the book to explaining how to incorporate humor into public speaking, a situation where, unlike life, having scripted jokes is a good idea. He also includes helpful tips on how to handle rude audience behavior, like this classic:"Could you speak a little louder? We all missed the part about the Viagra not working."