Dex Delivers – Guide to Comedy

posted by on 8th June 2008, at 11:45pm

It appears that you once again have decided to abandon all hope in yourself and come to me for the answers to life and all existence, hoping I will give some clues or even actually answer those age-old questions.

Yes … no need to say anything. I can tell what you desire. You desire confirmation. You have beliefs, but you don’t believe them 100%. It’s impossible to believe ANYTHING 100% unless it is proven in some way. Either it is proven through the physical existence that one can use all 5 (or, in my case, 7) senses to experience, or it is proven by the apparent conclusion through reality and the laws of physics that it is impossible.

Come now. If I told you all this, there would be no mystery, and therefore no purpose to continue life. A mere sentence of my answers could cause suicides, and a whole paragraph would reign destruction throughout the confliction of beliefs and the universe!

As fun as that would be to watch, I’m afraid I simply won’t do that. So, in its place, I will instead hand over a guide on how to perform stand-up comedy, or at least be funny whenever you’re confronted with someone that obviously needs a lighter outlook on life. That should be the direct opposite of what would happen. Yes, that is definitely what I will do.

So, here it is: Dex’s Guide to Comedy!


I’ll be quite honest. The best way to get someone to laugh is to at first not appear funny, but then suddenly come out with a hyper-humorous personality with some cheesy imitations and a couple of intentionally broken bones. How you actually enter the stage and the spotlight reflects the type of show you are going to perform.

Remember, people judge on sight before understanding. They will call your name, but to them, you are just a human being. Your behaviour defines your personality, because nobody knows you. Here are a few tips on how to represent yourself:

Walking on stage laughing to yourself or walking in a peculiar way gives the impression you are crazy, and not too many people will listen to the words you say, but rather the impressions you make. If you’re agile, and willing to look silly through movements and abilities, then this is how you enter.

If you walk on casually and formally, people will expect a vocal performance, because there’s simply nothing “odd” or “interesting” about the appearance. He’s dressed to talk, so he will talk, and everyone will listen. If you want to impress anyone with motions, do it ONLY when the situation calls for it. If you start acting oddly without reason, that severely hurts your reputation.

If you walk on smiling and thanking everyone that comes in close proximity with a big grin, first impressions are that you are new to this and unconfident in yourself. The audience are usually nice, and will handicap you by laughing as much as possible, however forced they must be. However, you can only do this once or twice, because there will likely be some members of the audience watching each performance, and he’ll easily spread the idea that you’re taking advantage of “comedic newbism”.

Lastly, enter with a flourish and a huge show of confidence, and that heightens everyone’s expectations. If you pull off a great show with this status, your reputation goes way up. Anything less, and you’re hated. It’s a big gamble; high-risk, high-reward, so only use this method at your own risk.


Before I tell you how to joke, you first need to know the basics. First off, what do you even joke about? Everyone already knows those fabled one-liners off the internet – those will only score you a cheap laugh followed by an exaggerated sigh while everyone boos in their minds. Avoid using these at all costs. Everything MUST, and I mean MUST be made up by you and you alone, almost unrehearsed and on the spot.

Now, every stand-up comedian knows that there are three key aspects one can easily make fun of: The OICs:

1: Obscurities
2: Imitations
3: Common Sense

First, the obscurities. Think of something that lots of people do that isn’t really that big of a deal, and make it that big of a deal. Show how stupid it can really be by identifying half-made-up aspects of it while still trying to show that you know what you’re talking about.

For example, parking. Ever go to a parking lot and find one car taking up two parking sections – parked right on the line? First impressions are either that the person is blind and can’t see the yellow line, is very uncoordinated and can’t steer and park properly, or is very obese and needs all that room just to leave her car. Right there, you have a reason to talk about how that obesity is really becoming a problem if each car needs 2 spaces to park.

Next, there are imitations. A famous celebrity doing something on TV that you imitate in order to make it look like it really, once you look at it that way, is flat-out ridiculous. Lots of over-exaggerated emotions, movements, and even thoughts. If someone’s not so bright, make them stupid. If someone’s sensitive, make them twitchy. If someone’s crazy, make them insane. Very simple rule of thumb. Just make sure that the real person is not there before you make fun of them.

Lastly, and this is one of my favorites, is the epitome of common sense. In another dimension, I used to work at a fast-food place, and the one thing that always ALWAYS annoyed me was the number of napkins customers would take. They would grab huge handfuls of 10-40 of them, only use 3, and leave the rest there in a mess. Big waste, especially since this is nearly every one of a hundred customers doing it every single day for 3 years.

Again, you want to over-exaggerate this and give the impression that this is just plain dumb. WHY do people need so many napkins? It’s like they have to wipe their mouths when some sort of food just touches them. Go into a demo too to show how ridiculous it would look: “Mmm, this food look good- AAH! IT TOUCHED MY NOSE! NAPKINS! NAPKINS! NOW! AAAARGGH!”

Remember, you can always mix things up. What annoys you, and what have you seen out there? Nobody else has experienced what you have, and those that have will have something to reference to, so don’t be afraid to use them and go just a little overboard. JUST REMEMBER, there is nothing more annoying then a comedic actor that thinks that every word he says is funny, so do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT expect ANYONE to laugh ANYWHERE. Just keep talking, and when they laugh, THEN you pause.

Oh, and if you’re the comedian, here’s a major look-out: unless you are pretending as part of a joke, NEVER laugh at your own stories. Trust me, just don’t.


The best way – absolute best way to get people to laugh is to tell them stories. Can be real, can be fictional, but that have to be something you and everyone else can relate to. For example, you can not tell a story where … I dunno, Roxyl invaded this planet and one of them used a gun. To one who knows what a Roxyl is, that’s funny, but since no one knows what Roxyl are (and trust me, you don’t wanna), that’s not funny to them. Instead, it makes you seem delirious to reality and you will be sent to a psychiatry. Don’t get me wrong – I’d laugh at you if that happened.

No, tell them a story, and tell them a good one, but exaggerate nearly every little aspect as best as you can. Doesn’t have to be long – in fact, so long as you keep on over-exaggerating every aspect, guaranteed it will be. Almost ask the audience “why” everything happens.

For example, say I am talking about this one story where a person bought a sword, hung it over his fireplace for a decoration, and one day when he was putting logs in his fireplace to have a nice fire, the sword fell down and impaled him in the shoulder, resulting in stitches, a new arm, and the whole nine yards. Just saying that summary alone only took me about 10 seconds – hardly worth doing. But let’s go back and spruce it up a bit. First off, he wants to buy a sword. Well, why is that? Is he this one major kung-fu movie addict who wants to be like them, so he figures that by buying a sword, he becomes a super-sert ninja capable of jumping roofs?

Work with that now. You could say: If that was the case, then the world would be this reality fiction show where the protagonist is this mild-mannered worker, but when he takes a sword in his hand, he becomes “Sword-Boy” and gets super-amazing powers from nowhere. Or, better yet, “Stand back! I have a sword, and I’m not afraid to hold it!” Oh nooo! He’s got a sword! Our guns and bazookas are useless because he now knows Kung-Fu! Gotta be sort of ridiculous. WHY would anyone buy a sword? What are they thinking?

(You can only stray from the real story for a maximum of 5 minutes, but then you have to return to it sooner or later. You can’t leave a story hanging, because that gets people anxious to hear the story and will pay less and less attention to your relevance jokes.)

Say something like: So, he buys a sword and brings it home and sticks it up over his fireplace. Again, stop, and go into another round of common sense: Forget buying a sword, why would he put it there? If he was attacked by a ninja, he would have to survive it to get all the way to the fireplace weaponless so he can get his sword. Oh, maybe he’s a Santa-hater, and should Santa appear from the chimney, grab the sword and BANG! Body language says it all. Or, maybe he’s paranoid of the fire going out of control, but at the same time rednecked, so instead of a fire extinguisher, he’s going to fight fires the MANLY way!

At one point, you can even tell the story from the sword’s point of view: Now, this sword was perhaps something from 600 years back, used in the great battles of so long ago – staining itself with the blood of millions of enemies on the battlefield as it stabbed enemies, one after the other … boy, that would get HIV around really well. Forget the heart, just stab them in the arm, and BOOM, HIV. Can’t make out with women anymore. Ha ha. But now, after 600 years of fierce battling and DEATH, the sword is now bought by someone with poor taste and horrible B.O., and place above … of course, a fireplace. The modern-day representation of a forge. Wouldn’t that be horrible for that poor sword?

And then, end off the story with that punch-line finally: Of course, what happens when you place a sword over a fireplace? Murphy’s Law. The next day, he was putting some logs in the fireplace, bending right over and sticking his head right in there so make sure the logs are placed in the fireplace properly enough to burn, and then suddenly the pin holding the sword in place slides out of the wall, and the sword falls, blade first, of course (more Murphy’s Law), into the guy’s shoulder. And what happens when you’re impaled with a sword in the shoulder?

Well, in the movies, the guy is usually like “Aaaaaaarrrrgh!”, dramatically throwing himself around, screaming in pain, and the blood sprays all over, and then you have people running in going “Aaaaaagh!”, and they pull the sword out of his shoulder, and then one of them drops it and it falls into the guy’s leg, and he goes “Aaaaaaaarrrgh!” again! And so on, and so on.

But this is reality. Whenever someone gets stabbed, they didn’t go “Aaarrgh” or anything. Once that blade was in there, it’s like this big blunt pain shooting through their arm, and they’re all like: Oooooooooh! Almost as though they wanted to inflate their cheeks to the point in which they exploded, but without closing their mouths. And their eyes bug out, of course; you can’t get stabbed without bugged-out eyes. It’s like a universal law of stabbing. When someone gets stabbed in the shoulder, their head wants to explode.

And there’s also musical stabbing: get stabbed in the shoulder, and there’s an “Oooooooooh”. Get stabbed in the leg, and it’s “Aaaaaaaaah”. Stabbed in the buttock, and it’s “Eeeeeeee”. (Do a bit of a stab-dance to show the idea can be dumb).

But in all seriousness, don’t stab people to test this. Please. This is just an example. As you can see, I’ve expended a story from a 10-second statement to an actual 5-minute speech. Pretty good, eh?


It doesn’t matter if you save your best jokes for last. Instead, try to tell your stories and finish them off with a flourish, using the spruced-up punch-line (ironic ones are the best) as the actual punch-line to everything. Start with story, add tidbits all over, and end with story. That simple.

If you’re making fun of someone or something, end it of with their most annoying or, in your eyes, ridiculous attribute, and try to keep a straight face throughout the show.

Lastly, always remember to thank everyone and that “you had a great time”, because that’s your dismissal line. If you just wave and walk off without another word, everyone gets confused, and it really messed up your well-built show with an awkward silence. That way, you’ll walk off with applause, and you can even listen as to how well you did by the volume and intensity of it.

If it’s low, then at least some people enjoyed it, and in your future shows, you need to talk about something that more people can either relate to or understand, because people only applaud you if you make them laugh. They don’t if they’re confused. Try to never confuse an audience, because it’s the absolute worst that can happen to your performance. Once they’re confused, you must abandon ship and start over, or if you’re out of time, say thanks anyways. Do NOT apologize or make up a dance to try to righten everyone out if you’ve got no more material – it’s their fault for not understanding you. You’re professional, they’re not. Just finish the story and dismiss yourself. Then you can start over with another show.

Oh, and when you leave, just a casual walk will do. If music is playing as you exit, you can do a little dance with it for a final laugh and bonus points to show that you are human like everyone else.


If everyone can make each other laugh, then the world’s a good place. There will be no need for anyone to know the answers to everything if everyone can just forget about the questions themselves and have a good time. That’s why I wrote all this in the first place, after all.

And now that I have, I bid thee farewell. Live your lives lightly and make others laugh, and you will find your own is well worth it.

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