How to Be Funnier

“Don Rickles cannot tell a joke,” says his friend Bob Newhart. “He forgets it. ‘Two guys walk into a bar…Excuse me, three guys walk into a bar…They go up to the bar…Oh, and they’re with this lady…So three guys and the woman walk into a bar…’ By now you’ve lost interest.” But if you’re bent on being the life of the party—even knowing that Don Rickles is joke-challenged—Newhart offers these tips:

  • Know thy audience. “Your audience will tell you where to go. One time I happened to use the word denigrate onstage, and it didn’t get any reaction. So as I continued my act, the left side of my brain was fast-forwarding to see if I had any other big words coming up.”
  • How to Be FunnierREUTERS/Gary Caskey
  • Follow the signposts. “I used to do this routine: ‘Let’s be honest, guys. We’ve all done this—the wife’s out of the house and the kids are gone, so you go into her dressing room and put on one of her gowns and walk around the house. We’ve all done that, right, guys?’ And based on how soon they began to laugh, that told me what kind of audience I had.”
  • The world is weird—embrace it! “I saw something in the paper that was so odd, it was hysterical: They assassinated the minister of tourism in Afghanistan. What threat did he represent? And how busy could he have been? A phone call every couple of months? A newlywed couple saying, ‘We’ve argued about this long enough. Let’s flip a coin—Paris or Kabul?’ ”

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.