Advice for Kids: It Isn’t Funny

Kids, there are lots of things they don’t teach you in school. They don’t teach common sense, which would be helpful because most of the general public lacks such a thing. They don’t teach you how to ask a girl out, which would be helpful in about 15 years when that cute girl across the hall makes eye contact and you’re too busy thinking about how pretty her smile is to remember how to string together a few words to form a coherent thought. They also don’t teach you how to develop a sense of humor.

Life Chapter 33 - LaughingIt’s one thing to know when something on TV is funny and know when it’s appropriate to laugh at that funny thing. But, little tip, stop laughing at Spongebob Squarepants. That is never funny. Anyway, it’s another thing entirely to know how and when to deliver your own personal brand of comedy. Kids, not everything that comes out of your mouth is going to be hilarious. And not everything that sounds funny in your head will translate into laughter from your peers in real life. It’s likely you’ll learn this the hard way, through trial and error. But you need to learn it.

You cannot expect to make the same joke and get the same laugh every time. Especially if you’re with the same audience. Sure, running jokes are a thing, but they’re a rare exception. For example: if your math teacher asks the class what you can expect your next test to be on and you say “math,” it’s funny the first time. When she asks the same question at the end of the next grading period and you give the same response, it’s less funny. Also, it’s not funny if you are repeating the joke delivered by someone else last time. You heard laughter the first time from your fellow students and, probably, even the teacher. Therefore, your under-developed brain was conditioned to believe that your little joke was funny and would probably be funny every time you said it. And guess what? Several of your friends caught on and believe the same thing. So next time, when you and three or four of your friends say “math” in response to your math teacher’s question of “What’s this test about?” it’s no longer funny. It’s annoying.

Burned - Evil LaughKids, it’s important to have a sense of humor. Be funny. And be funny in your own way. Don’t copy the other kids’ jokes. Just be willing to change up your material fairly often. You’re in the same room with the same audience for approximately 10 months. They’re fickle and will turn on you if they get bored. But, know the difference between a bored audience and a heckler. Ignore the hecklers. As the great Taylor Swift once said, “Haters gonna hate.”

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