Humor Writing: How to Think, Write, Speak, and Be Funnier!
4.1 (652 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
5,311 students enrolled

Humor Writing: How to Think, Write, Speak, and Be Funnier!

Great for Writing & Public Speaking: Learn the Techniques Professional Humorists Use to Create Consistently Funny Comedy
4.1 (652 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
5,311 students enrolled
Created by Dave Fox
Last updated 11/2019
English [Auto]
Current price: $27.99 Original price: $39.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 18 articles
  • 13 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Master the techniques professional humorists and comedy writers use to create consistently hilarious material
  • Learn how to find humor in nearly any situation
  • Discover how to take something that is funny, and stretch it to make it a lot funnier.
  • Understand how when you write or present humorous material, subtle things like word choice, word order, and pacing can make a profound difference in whether or not something is funny.
  • Learn how to observe comedic masters and learn from what they do.
  • Learn how humor can be used in nearly any form of writing or presentation to make it more captivating.
  • You must be extremely intelligent, or kind of dumb, or somewhere in between.
  • You must know how to play nicely in the online classrooms.
  • And if you're feeling a little nervous about signing up for a humor writing course, that is a good thing. It means you are curious enough to test your abilities and learn something new. Don't panic! Everything is going to be okay!
  • Finally, if you are signing up at a reduced price during the beta-testing phase, please understand that some of the videos are still works in progress and will be improved dramatically within the next month or two. In the meantime, thanks for your patience! The audio portions of the videos are still packed with information!

Contrary to popular belief, a “sense of humor" is not a magical “gift" a few special people are born with. Humor and writing are skills anyone can develop.

In this online workshop, award-winning humorist and bestselling author Dave Fox teaches you how! 

Discover the techniques professional comedy writers use to write consistently funny material. You'll learn how to think, write, speak, and be funnier. 

Each lesson includes specific writing techniques and exercises to  incite maximum laughs. We'll focus on writing humor columns, personal essays, and creative non-fiction, but the skills you learn can be applied to writing genres of all sorts -- fiction and non-fiction -- as well as stand-up and  sketch comedy, cartooning, movie scripts, and more. 

Full-blown comedy might or might not be your goal. Perhaps you want to take more serious forms of writing — fiction, feature articles, blog posts, travel writing, children's stories, personal memoirs … even office memos, cover letters, or devilishly sexy personal ads — and sprinkle in some giggles. Whatever genres you write in, this class will help you infuse more laughter into your work. 

This course is also wildly useful for people who do any kind of public speaking, who want to keep their audiences awake and riveted to what they are saying.  

So come join us in this fun and inspiring (and occasionally weird) workshop, and stretch your comedic potential to cackle-inducing new levels! 

Some of the topics we'll cover include:  

  • The universal element present in all humor

  • Proven tricks to create or strengthen your comedy

  • Giving your jokes maximum impact with the right words and timing

  • Stretching your punch lines to make them punchier

  • Streamlining your phrasing so your punch lines don't get swallowed up in flabby verbiage. (Mastering this skill will make a vast improvement in all of your writing.)

  • Learning from your favorite professional humorists

  • When and why to throw away your best joke

  • Publishing your humor

  • How to not be that annoying guy at the party with the lampshade on his head

What's Included:

  • Lots of fun and super-informative video lessons.

  • Links to lots more videos on YouTube that illustrate specific concepts you've learned. (That's right! You can watch "Saturday Night Live" sketches and a clip from the iconic "Soup Nazi" episode of "Seinfeld" ... and call it studying!

  • A free e-book of humor essays referenced in the videos

  • A teacher who's a best-selling author and award-winning humorist ... who loves helping people become hilarious.

I am utterly positive you will not find a humor writing course of this quality anywhere for such a low price! (And if you disagree after checking it out, Udemy offers a 30-day, no-hassle, money-back guarantee.)

So hey! What are you waiting for? Dive in today and start making people laugh so hard, milk will come out of their noses ... even when they're not drinking milk.

"[Dave Fox is] the best writing teacher I have ever had. Talented, funny, approachable, and structured."

– Leslie in Surrey, England

"Dave Fox is an amazing teacher who will give you online feedback as if you were sitting right next to him."

– Joan in Bakersfield, California

Also check out my other courses on Udemy:

  • Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals (and still have time to enjoy your trip!)

  • Travel Writing: Explore the World and Publish Your Stories

  • Deep Travel: Have Adventures No Guidebook Can Tell You About

  • The Writing Mind 1: Defeat Writer's Block & Write Confidently

  • The Writing Mind 2: Overcome Distractions & Get More Written

Who this course is for:
  • Writers in all genres -- with the possible exception of obituaries.
  • Public speakers, presenters, and anyone who talks to audiences.
  • Aspiring stand-up comedians.
  • Extremely intelligent llamas
  • People who want to be funnier
  • (And if you're single, did you know that a sense of humor is one of the things people say they find most attractive? Take this course and you'll be able to write killer online personal ads -- you sexy thing, you!)
Course content
Expand all 58 lectures 03:47:31
+ How to Write, Think, and Be Funnier
12 lectures 24:42

Welcome to "Professional Humor Tricks for Writers, Speakers, and Other Misfits!" This course is designed for a wide range of writers and speakers. You'll discover that, contrary to popular belief, a "sense of humor" is not a magical gift that only special people have. It's a skill anyone can learn.

Preview 03:39

Can you really learn how to be a funnier person? Yes! In this lesson, we'll talk about why and how it's possible.

Preview 03:29

Some people wonder if studying humor, and learning comedy techniques, takes away the creativity. But no! Just like studying music theory will make you a better musician and composer, studying "comedic theory" will make you a stronger and more consistent humorist. The techniques you learn become your tools, your bag of tricks to draw from. You use those tools to ratchet up your creativity in the joke-writing and storytelling process, so that being funny becomes a lot easier.

Preview 03:25

Who is your favorite humor writer or comedian? Do you have a favorite movie, a TV show that consistently cracks you up? You can choose anybody you want to be your virtual mentor. Here's how to do that ... and how to thwart the dreaded Cubic Zirconium Conundrum.

Slither Into the Brains of Your Favorite Humorists and Harness Their Brilliance

Whether it's a published story, a scripted event, something you randomly blurt out, or an unexpected moment in your day, if something is funny, there's a single root cause.

The Universal Rule for Absolutely Everything That's Funny

More funny ideas flit through your brain on a daily basis than you realize, yet most of them vanish quickly. Here's how to fix that.

Finding Funny: Humor is Everywhere. You Need This Important Tool to Capture It

Welcome to our online Comedy Lab -- your place to test out what you've been learning and get some hands-on humor writing experience.

Welcome to Our Online Comedy Lab!

It's time to start learning from your favorite funny person.

Comedy Lab: Meet Your Virtual Mentor

Start dissecting all things funny and your humor skills will soar.

Comedy Lab: What's So Funny? (And Why?)

When you fish for ideas, you need to carry a net.

Comedy Lab: Humor Hunting

Throughout this course, I include short excerpts from my own humor columns as examples of various techniques. This free, downloadable e-book includes all of those columns in their entirety.

As you work through the lessons, you can refer back to this e-book and read the stories pertaining to each individual lesson. Enjoy the stories -- and also watch for the techniques I use as you read them!

Free E-Book: "Read at Your Own Risk" (Humor columns referenced in this course)
74 pages

At the end of each section, you'll find a single-page "cheat sheet" summary to help you review and retain what you've learned so far.

Section One "Cheat Sheet" Summary: A one-page review of what we've learned.
1 page
+ Set-Ups and Punch Lines
8 lectures 22:43

You can't have a punch line without a set-up -- and different kinds of comedy call for different kinds of set-ups.

The One-Two Punch: The Two Key Components to Being Hilarious
The One-Two Punch in Action: "Almost Live" and "Saturday Night Live" clips

A lot of potentially hilarious jokes fizzle -- not because they aren't funny, but because they're not structured in a funny way. In this lesson, we explore a simple way to solve that problem.

Punching at the Right Moment: Why Good Jokes Flop -- And How to Fix That

Now that we've learned the basic structure of individual jokes, we learn now to weave those jokes together into longer humor tales, essays, and presentations -- with an easy-to-master formula that's used by professional storytellers, sketch comedy and improv artists, TV sitcom and movie writers, and more.

Your Hero Up a Tree: Professional Humorists Use This Formula to Craft Wild Tales
The "Hero Up a Tree" Technique in Action: SNL's "Luvahs in the Hot Tub" sketch

The "Things Go Wrong" idea is the basic concept to humor, but describing how they go wrong can make the difference between whether or not you spark laughs.

Tweaking Your Words: How Specific Details Can Take You from Bland to Hilarious

It's time to tackle your first humor column for the Comedy Lab.

Comedy Lab: Rough It!
Section Two "Cheat Sheet" Summary: A one-page review of what we've learned.
1 page
+ Beginnings, Silly Putty, and Endings
6 lectures 21:53

Learn how to hook your readers from the very beginning ... before they wander elsewhere.

Blast Off! - How to Reel In Your Readers Immediately

Why you shouldn't always begin at the beginning -- and where to start instead.

Dive In!

How to stretch your humor and make it funnier.

Shaping Your Hot, Hot Body ... with Silly Putty!

Wrapping up your story is often the hardest part.

The End: Spiders Down the Drain & How to Take Advantage of Short Attention Spans

Squash some Silly Putty on your words and start stretching!

Comedy Lab: Stretch Your Silly Putty
Section Three "Cheat Sheet" Summary: A one-page review of what we've learned.
1 page
+ Twelve Techniques for Making Things Funny (And Funnier)
16 lectures 30:22
The Twelve Techniques: Your Bag of Tricks to Draw From When Writing Punch Lines
Parallels: The Fine Art of Incongruity
Binky the Rat
Parallels in Action: Eddy Izzard's Death Star Canteen (The Lego Edition)
Takes-of-Three and U-Turns: How to Yank Your Audience Where They Least Expect It
Bad Math: Why Some Numbers are Funnier than Others
The Fine Art of Telling Lies (Dave Barry's Not Making This Up?)
Twisted Interpretations: How to Get Your Readers Naked
Uh-Oh! (How to Build Comedic Tension)
For Better or Worse: Superiority, Inferiority and False Bravado
Superiority in Action: Glove and Boot's "Vertical Video Syndrome"
False Bravado in Action: Stephen Colbert vs. Google
Repetition and Callbacks: Lessons From the Soup Nazi
Repetition in Action: Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi" episode.
Comedy Lab: Punch It Up!
Section Four "Cheat Sheet" Summary: A one-page review of what we've learned.
1 page
+ Tightening and Pacing
8 lectures 24:50
Don't Drown Your Jokes! - Why Fewer Words Mean More Laughs
Prune Your Words and Tighten Your Tales for Maximum Impact
Why You Should Always be Willing to Throw Away Your Best Joke
Timing is Everything: How to Use Comedic Pauses in Both Spoken and Written Humor
How to Scream: Crank Up the Volume in Your Punch Lines!
Survival Tips for Public Speakers: What to Do if Your Audience Doesn't Laugh
Comedy Lab: Tighten Up!
Section Five "Cheat Sheet" Summary: A one-page review of what we've learned.
1 page
+ Expose Yourself!
8 lectures 22:59
Where, Why, and How to Publish Your Humor
Dot-Comedy: Launching Your Humor Writing Career on the Internet
Publishing Your Humor in Newspapers and Magazines
How to Play the Odds and Get Published
Go Be Funny! This is Your Final Lesson but the Party is Just Getting Started!
Comedy Lab: Polish Your Final Draft

Pitch Your Story

You’ve worked hard in this course and hopefully created some masterful humor. Now that you’ve completed the previous Comedy Lab exercise and polished up a final draft, it’s time to fling it into the world.

For this final exercise, give some thoughts to where you might publish that story. You might also come up with ideas for different versions you could eventually write and pitch to other publications.

Once you’ve given that some thought, feel free to tell us about what you've come up with in the Q&A forums. (And remember, I’m always looking for submissions to I especially love travel humor but will consider other topics too. If you’re interested, check out the Writers’ Guidelines.)

Comedy Lab: Pitch Your Story
Section Six "Cheat Sheet" Summary: A one-page review of what we've learned.
1 page