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How To Be Funny: The Six Essential Ingredients To Humor

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Mel Helitzer’s Comedy Writing Secrets is commonly used as a textbook in college courses on comedy writing.

What does it say is the best method for how to be funny? Helitzer explains the “THREES” formula.

It’s an acronym for the six essential elements that are found in everything from good one-liners, to funny anecdotes to full comedy sets:

  1. Target
  2. Hostility
  3. Realism
  4. Exaggeration
  5. Emotion
  6. Surprise

Here’s a breakdown:

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