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Jul 29

street joke delivery

Okay, following on from my last post about editing joke stories, here’s my edited version of the selected street joke:

A little girl puts her hand up and says: a cold is contagious
Teacher’s like: “well done. Anybody else?”
A little boy puts his hand up (hand goes up): “yawning is
contagious” “Excellent”.

Then Little Johnny puts his hand up and says:
“My mummy was mowing the lawn. My daddy looked out the
window and said it’s gonna take that contagious to finish.”

This is how I’ve put the joke story into my own words and naturally there’s some reduction in the amount of words that I’ve used.

The first version of the joke is 87 words long whereas my version is 73 words which is about a 15% reduction.

The less words there are, the quicker you get to the punchline. And as the bearded Shakespearean-one said: “brevity is the soul of wit”. Thanks for that Shakey.

Obviously there’s only so much help I can give you in a blog post on how to deliver a street joke. If you need a resource for street jokes I’ve found a great one that you can get here: joke story resource.

I also would generally advise not rushing through the joke story to get to the end. You might have the tendency to babble, especially if you think you can’t quite remember it.  This sometimes can elicit a laugh in your audience, but I think it’s nicer if the laugh comes from your joke, rather than you being laughed at for your inability to deliver it.

Your audience (whether one person or a group) need to hear each bit of the joke’s story, or set-up line. It has crucial information in it which makes the punchline work.If you gabble to get to the end and all they hear is:

“it’s gonna take that contagious to finish”

It’s not really going to make much sense.

Likewise if you forget the punchline your audience will feel ripped off, you’re not going for the Steve Martin approach after all (note: I’m talking about early stand-up Steve not Pink Panther-era Steve).

If I were telling this joke I’d “play” the other characters in the joke story. On this line:

“A little girl puts her hand up and says: a cold is contagious…”

I’d pretend to be the little girl and I’d put my hand up and put on a little voice for her.  Sounds strange in the cold light of day on this blog, but go with it. Obviously you don’t have to do it that way, everybody’s approach to joke telling is different.

And before you deliver the punchline you might want to give it a slight pause. There are varying theories on how long you should pause for.

I’d say anything longer than 3 seconds is excessive with this joke story particularly. It’s one of those things that you’re essentially going to have to feel. Sorry, a bit of work is required here.

I’m trying not to dissect the frog to much as i want to to live again afterwards and not be a a soggy mess on the table. Sorry for the graphic imagery.

I’d recommend having a look at a stand-up comedian and seeing how they do it. Go for one those joke-teller comedians in this case.

Some of the comedians in this category that I’d suggest looking at are as follows:

Bernard Manning (UK)
Jimmy Jones (UK)
Frank Carson (IRE)
Roy “Chubby” Brown (UK)
Mike Reid (UK)

Please note: for the purposes of seeing how the pros deliver jokes these guys are amongst the best. Even the dead ones. If some of their jokes are too delicate for your sensibilities I can only apologise, but they are what they are.

Here’s that resource again joke stories.

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