Can you teach someone how to be funny? Theoretically, yes. The funny bone is not a womb. It’s not present in some people, but not in others. However, there is a definite pre-existing condition that gives a clear indication, like height for a jockey or basketballer, that a career in comedy is more likely.
So what is that condition that will ensure that the School of Hard Knock Knocks can teach someone how to be funny? Simple. You’ve been told by someone else that ‘you are funny’.
If you’ve ever been told, “Fuck me! You’re funny!” or “You’re one funny bugger”, then chances are you are! And that’s the first step to being ‘funny on purpose’. And when you can turn on the ‘funny-switch’, you have a chance at a stand-up comedy career. The next step is learning the technique.
As with music, painting, singing and dancing, stand-up comedy is an art form that can be taught. British comedian Jeff Green was one such comedian who understood that stand-up comedy can be taught and in 1987, shortly after visiting London’s Comedy Store , he enrolled in a stand-up comedy course at the Jackson’s Lane Cabaret Workshop. Sitting beside him, was a young Eddie Izzard.
Even Introverts are Funny
Comedian Rachel Berger reminds us that it’s not necessarily the outgoing extroverts that are the funny ones. “Some people are shy and socially awkward, and so they’re told they’re not funny. Yet some of the best comedians are shy and socially awkward, like Hannah Gadsby and Luke McGregor,” she says.
“The way their (children’s) stories have a beginning, a middle, a resolution — also known as a punchline — is the same as the way a comedian tells a story. It’s just that as we age, we tend to be driven by the ego and a need to impress. We lose the knack for being completely driven by the need to tell the story.”
Stand-up Comedy is Show ‘Business’
Today, there are multiple stand-up comedy courses available online and in person. Even NIDA, arguably one of Australia’s best performing arts institutes runs a basic stand-up comedy course, so clearly stand-up comedy can be taught.
So if someone’s told you that you’re funny, what are you waiting for?! Enrol in our next stand-up comedy course today.