What’s the Recipe for Funny?

This past week I spoke to a group of health insurance underwriters in Louisiana; a situation that– on the face of it– doesn’t seem like a knee slapper.

I’m happy to report that it went well overall.

One of my favorite comments, however, was, “I was dreading this but I feel like I was at a comedy club for the last few hours.”

Now I rarely lay claim to being funny because I come from a funny family—my father and mother could be so funny and I promise you that my brother will always be far funnier than I. 

That said, I use humor a lot because I think humor goes a long way toward helping people hear things that they might otherwise tune out.

So how can you become funny? 

While every ingredient inherent in that secret sauce remains somewhat elusive (and certainly varies from sauce to sauce) I did get confirmation on a few elements of what makes someone funny this past Monday while listening to Joshua Johnson’s interview, LOL Politics, on 1A. which included guests from “Funny or Die.” 

What essential elements kept coming up?

The ability to walk in others’ shoes and to be both self-aware and self-deprecating.

In fact, all three guests came back to these factors over and over.

So the next time you want to help others hear potentially complicated, contradictory, or even (gasp) potentially dull information, think about how you reacted to it the first time you heard it: were you, also, initially fearful it was going to be complicated, contradictory, or dull? Then put that awareness to work.

Because when you’re willing to laugh at yourself first, you stand a good chance of getting others to laugh with you.


Interested in reading more about how to cultivate self-awareness? You might enjoy “The Benefits of Post Roast: Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians, Too”