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Publisher's Summary

The definitive joke-writing handbook

Learn comedy writing and how to write a joke with a simple comedy-writing and joke-writing formula you can use right now to write your own jokes. See why Amazon reviewers call How to Write Funny "one of the best books on humor writing."

Author Scott Dikkers will tell you how to write jokes. He’s a master joke writer, founder of the world’s most popular humor site TheOnion.com, number one New York Times best-selling humor author, professional public speaker, and successful cartoonist. Scott created and leads the “Writing with The Onion” training center at the famed Second City in Chicago. His students have been hired for the top comedy writing jobs in TV and won dozens of Emmy Awards. He’s consulted with top entertainment companies like NBC, Comedy Central, and Pixar.

This easy-to-follow guide lays out a clear system and simple formula for how to write a joke that will get big, milk-coming-out-of-your-nose laughs, reliably and repeatably. You'll learn...

  • The three sure-fire ways to generate funny text
  • The 11 different “Funny Filters” and how to use them to write jokes
  • The secret to getting rid of writer's block - permanently
  • And many more humor writing tips, tricks, and techniques

Create any joke using the Funny Filters, the 11 fundamental building blocks of humor:

Funny Filter 1: Irony

Funny Filter 2: Character

Funny Filter 3: Shock

Funny Filter 4: Hyperbole

Funny Filter 5: Wordplay

Funny Filter 6: Reference

Funny Filter 7: Madcap

Funny Filter 8: Parody

Funny Filter 9: Analogy

Funny Filter 10: Misplaced Focus

Funny Filter 11: Metahumor

If you've wondered how you can start writing jokes, how to tell jokes to your friends, how to add humor to your writing, how to add jokes in a speech, or how to add humor to your presentation, this book spells out the simple joke writing formula professionals use.

How to Write Funny is for you whether you want to find a comedy writing job or just want to learn how to tell a joke.

©2014, 2018 Scott Dikkers (P)2018 Scott Dikkers

What listeners say about How to Write Funny

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Nah.

Nah. This book is actually decent for writing in general, if you lack common writing sense. The author spends too much time in the first few chapters explaining what he is GOING to do, but never really gets to anything very useful. It sucks the funny out of writing funny.

5 people found this helpful

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RUN don’t walk away from this one

One of the worst book I’ve listened to in a long time. Author likes to give you a bunch of cliffhangers and analogies, but never anything concrete on how to write funny. Instead, he pretends like he has the magical formula on how to write funny but guards it with his life by asking you more questions. Book is a frustration nightmare that will make you want to destroy your phone and give up listening to books completely. Only thing useful about this book is the refund policy.

5 people found this helpful

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What I expected

Wasn’t looking for a comical piece about writing for standup which many other books on audible seem to be about. This is exactly the “how to” guide for writing funnier by using a simple formula. Subtext + funny filter = funnier writing.

11 people found this helpful

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Fantastically concise and quality advice.

I never write reviews on here, but I think I'm going to start, especially if I continue to find gems like this one. I'm a funny guy. At least I think so. And I know what funny is... instinctually. But having it spelled out like this was great. So many moments of "Oh, THAT'S how that works!" and "That's how that's done!" I appreciated the straight forward approach and I will be looking for the follow up books to go more in depth.

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practical advice

I liked the clear easy to understand techniques outlined for writing funny. His message is you don't have to be an inspired comic genius to write funny. Just follow these guidelines and work hard.

2 people found this helpful

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Very informative with good exercises to prime the funny mind

Coming back to sketch I listen to this in the car . how dikkers explains the different types of funny filters helps the novice comedy writer. I also took a class in which he went into detail about how to make money in the comedy biz. Overall he is great resource and you will get your money’s worth !

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Great comedy toolset

Take it from the pro, Scott really delivers in this book with all the steps to achieve your comedy writing goals. If you're as big a fan of the Onion as I am, this is a great book

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Really loved this book

The 11 filters are very smart and definitely help comedians or comedy writers to create better jokes and observations.

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Funny Writing Can Be Taught!

This is an easy-to-follow guide for improving your humor writing. I listened to it twice!

2 people found this helpful

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Unlock the tools

Nice to hear the comedy techniques spelled out ... now I’m inspired to go finish that screenplay!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Customer
  • 02-17-19

Unfortunately no useful advice for a writer

I had the impression that this book would discuss humorous writing in a theoretical viewpoint. Unfortunately, "theory" was too light to help in actual writing process. I got the impression, specifically from the part regarding SF that the writer had not read enough in SF field, although it did not seem to prevent him from taking an authoritative approach in discussing this branch of literature. All in all, I was unsure how the writer had arrived at his conclusions. I wish this book had had something real to offer. I would not have given this negative feedback if I had felt the writer had really tried his best with this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Adrian Dean
  • 01-23-22

For those who know zero about comedy

Though it was a short and sweet book. It was more for people who know nothing about comedy. For those who understand comedy in general the information adds nothing more than an explination of what you have been doing or what others do.

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  • MR D Shukla
  • 01-10-22

extremely practical book about writing funnv

this is a book I need to go back to again to note down all the learnings it's pretty incredible - highly recommend this one

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  • Francesca D.
  • 03-07-21

Really useful guide for complete beginners

After deciding to work on comedy writing at the age of 33 for no other reason than why the hell not, and some encouragement by the fact that I think I hate my career, I picked this book to get me started. I listened and took notes throughout, and will probably now buy a physical copy for reference too. It really helps to break down what makes a joke funny, and how to approach comedy writing. It's brutally honest about how difficult and competitive it can be but also provides some comfort by describing how even seemingly unfunny jokes can still be super useful to help you home your craft, provided you just don't give up!

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  • Per Burmeister
  • 04-23-20

Good How to.. book

This is a very informative how to.. book. Good break down of the art of writing funny.

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  • david s.
  • 01-01-20

A dull plod

Just couldn't get into it, too much a head trip and no heart, nothing funny about it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 07-05-21

A Master Of His Craft

I genuinely had no idea that comedy was so structured. As an aspiring fantasy writer, I am very glad I picked up this series of books. I will endeavour to apply these techniques to my own writing in hopes that I can bring something extra to the table with my books.

Thanks for the excellent guide, it’s a must read for people who want to successfully write funny.