How To Tell A Joke: Part I

The Story

How To Tell A JokeI once volunteered to speak to my son’s 8th grade class about “joke telling.”

As the big day approached, I could see that my son was worried. He confided that even his best friend wasn’t looking forward to my appearance because “your dad just isn’t that funny.”

What had I done? I was pretty sure I could withstand making a fool of myself in front of a bunch of goofy 14-year-olds, but I didn’t want to humiliate my son in front of his friends and lose him to the Witness Protection Program.

In case you are wondering, I am not a professional comic. At the time, I didn’t even know much about joke telling. I had volunteered because I enjoy humor, they needed someone with a pulse and I thought it might be fun. Oh, and because, sometimes, I’ve got less going on upstairs than a 1 story house.

The other thing that got me involved was my desire to extol the virtues of humor.

For example, do you know that humor relieves stress, improves your mood and makes you feel better? Scientific studies have shown that it even contributes to a longer and happier life.

Good humor and the ability to tell jokes impresses others, too.

I’ll bet one of the most popular kids in your high school class was the class clown. Right?

And do you know what women look for most in men? Actually, it’s confidence. But sense of humor comes in second, ahead of such things as money and good looks, so you get my point.

It’s this simple: If you can tell a joke, people will like you. Opportunities will come to you.

The Dénouement

You remember I said that at the time I didn’t know much about telling jokes. Well, that had to change, and quick.

I couldn’t forget my jokes, mess up the setups or swing and miss on the punch lines.

So I got a quick education in joke telling. And I’m going to share with you what I learned, a simple set of rules for telling jokes.

But that’s in my next post, which will appear soon.

How To Tell A JokeSo, I bet you want to know how I did in my 8th grade gig?

I killed! (At least, that’s how I remember it.)

I broke out my very best material, including a slapstick classic I call “The Golden Goblet” that ends up with me pouring cold water down the front of my suit.

Best of all, my son still speaks to me . . . even though his best friend doesn’t.

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