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LAUGHTER, the Best Medicine And a nice waky… I mean, way to practice English (understanding!) • funny/ˈfʌni/ ▶adjective (funnier, funniest) • 1 causing laughter or amusement. • 2 strange; peculiar. • 3 arousing suspicion: there was something funny going on. • humor /ˈhjuːmə(r)/ (BRIT humour) ▶noun • 1 the quality of being amusing, especially as expressed in literature or speech. ■ the ability to appreciate or express humor. • 2 a state of mind: her good humor vanished. ■ archaic an inclination or whim. • 3 (also cardinal humour) historical each of four fluids of the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile or choler, and black bile or melancholy), formerly thought to determine a person's physical and mental qualities. • Now, let’s see what some famous people say about comedy: Laughter is an instant vacation. Milton Berle Tell me what you laugh at, and I’ll tell you who you are. Marcel Pagnol Life is improvisation. Tina Fey But we could say this is the rule for comedy today… It’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately. George Carlin We’ll begin by stating some things you can and can’t do while writing jokes in general. Do’s and Don’ts of Humor Writing • Don’t use bad or restricted language. • Don’t focus on a specific gender, racial or ethnic group. No one will be offended if you focus on yourself. • Don’t use written humor if it distracts people from the lesson, only use it if it makes the lesson better. • Don’t use humor that mixes up your message. • Do have the frame of mind to write, and use your imagination. • Do check your work. • Do make a link between yourself and the audience. • Do remember to be surprising. Now see if you can understand what the fun is in each of the following jokes from famous comedians from the USA and England: How many people here have telekinetic powers? Raise my hand. Emo Philips What if there were no hypothetical situations? John Mendoza Why are women wearing perfumes that smell like flowers to attract men? Men don’t like flowers. I wear a scent called “new-car interior.” Rita Rudner As long as there is algebra, there will be prayer in school. Larry Miller Don’t touch that dial. And, if your TV has a dial, go buy a new one. Stephen Colbert Batman never fights crime in neighborhoods that need it. I’d like to see Batman fight crime in my neighborhood. “Robin?” “Yes, Batman?” “Didn’t we park the car right here, man?” Dave Chappelle I went into a McDonald’s yesterday and said, “I’d like some fries.” The girl at the counter said, “Would you like some fries with that?” Jay Leno Have you ever noticed that anybody going slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin I constantly walk into a room and I don’t remember why. But for some reason, I think there’s going to be a clue in the fridge. Caroline Rhea I am not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens. Woody Allen When I was a little kid, we had a quicksand box. I was an only child … eventually. Steven Wright My wife has tons of credit cards. She has so many magnetic strips in her wallet, her purse points north. Peter Sasso Ok, people, now it’s your turn... Think you’re funny? SHOW US!!
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