Whether you want to be a humor writer, a comedian or a clown at a party, these videos can teach anyone interested in increasing their comedy skills through the simplest—yet sometimes the most elusive—comedy technique.
In this post we will dissect these videos to see what they share in common. When you watch them, think about the exact moment the humor happens so you can recreate it in your own writing and jokes.
I like Cat Friend versus Dog Friend because it takes something familiar that we can all relate to: cats and dogs. We also find the metaphors pretty accurate to the personality of the animals. The element that is unexpected is how the videographer/director uses humans to show this.
The idea of juxtaposing two unlike things can be pretty funny. This song and the cartoon are familiar to me and the parody of it becomes something more. Then when there is a change near the end in the kitchen, it is so unexpected that it makes me laugh.
My mother loves this. That in itself is unexpected. They are using a malapropism to play with words. More on that is in a previous post on Word Play.
Here is another commercial my mom loves—and she might have been the one to show it to me. Who would have thought this company would show this on TV? Sometimes shocking is funny. It is also a parody of a song—it is a joke for the effect of humor.
Comedy relies on context. I have been a substitute teacher, so that in itself makes the piece feel like a private joke. But then the idea that a substitute always messes up on names but in this case, the opposite of what usually happens (at least when I have been a sub or a student) makes it more funny. One of the things I like with Key and Peele videos is how they explore racial issues and gender issues in unexpected ways. Their comedy draws the line between satire and comedy because satire usually is trying to ridicule something like injustice (like animal farm) whereas a parody is simply for the sake of amusement. After a while their videos get to be formulaic, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. They are very successful because they understand the formula of comedy.