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How to be funny: the 6 essential ingredients to humor - The Week

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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:

Remember, the best humor has emotion and surprise, not snark and sarcasm.

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