NEOPIA CENTRAL - Laughter is the one language spoken by all. Oh, come on, you
know it's true. We all love humor. It's the one thing that can bring people together,
even during tough times. It's something everyone can turn to when they need a
In some situations, the only thing we can do is laugh. When the Lab Ray changes
xKiLLER_GrarRLx into a Pink Usul, what can we do but crack a smile? When you
get 5 Gold Dubloons in a row in Black Pawkeet Slots and you only bet 1 Neopoint,
what can we do but giggle insanely. When simsman24000 loses all his Neopoints,
what can we do but comfort him and give him lotsa gifts? Call it cruel, call
it mean, call it Steven -- laughter unites us all. And I'm going to teach you
how to be funny. *cue introduction music*
That's the thing we're after!
Make me smile, make me giggle,
Make me laugh so hard, I jiggle!
Was that funny? Probably not. I know I'm not the funniest of Neopian Times
writers (Stoneman3x, plushieowner, TK, and Roxy -- I bow to you), but I think
that I'm humorous enough to teach you all how to be funny, and hopefully then
you can become one of the humor writers of the Neopian Times! I mean, why wouldn't
you want to be one? Humor writers may be a dying breed, but they're a dying
breed getting all of the fanmail.
So call it "Humor 101", "How To Write A Funny Article", or "43 Steps To Becoming
Hilarious" -- but whether you like it or not, this article will inform you of
all the ways to be funny, and how to convert that funniness into Neopian Times
1. Take The Funny Quiz
Before you read any more of this article, we have to determine if you've got
what it takes to be funny. Answer this question:
Last night my owner gave me ______ for dinner!
a. freeze-dried evaporated powdered food pellets
If you answered a, you're the complete opposite of funny.... yes, you're unfunny.
If you went the right way and answered b, then feel free to continue reading
the article. Oh, and if you didn't answer anything because you knew you could
read the article without taking the quiz, then you're a fun-sucker. >:(
2. What's Your Topic?
This is a very tough question for anyone to answer without sounding like a pompous,
arrogant little Uni: what can you bring to the world of Neopian Times humor?
If you say "Lucky Green Boots," you might as well leave now. But if you think
you can bring something other than interview articles and musicals about Meridell,
then by all means come along and try your luck.
How can you determine what you can bring to the humor society? Well, for starters,
search around Neopets until you can find something that you think is funny.
The easiest way to make people think your funny is to convey your feelings about
something you think is funny. Make sense? Here's an example:
I think King Skarl is fat. I think King Skarl being fat is funny. Because
I think King Skarl being fat is funny, I can investigate why I think that. When
I know why I think King Skarl being fat is funny, I can use that knowledge to
convey the thought of King Skarl being fat to be funny to others so that they
will think it's funny.
In other words, you need to find something that you laugh at, and find out
why you laugh at it. Now you know why you think it's funny, so it's your job
to make others think it's funny as well. Get it? It's a bit complicated, but
the simplest way to put it is "laugh and get laughs."
Well, once you discover that one thing that makes you laugh that will become
your 'trademark', so to speak, you need to incorporate it into what you're writing.
There's no point to writing great jokes and then not even using them in the
piece you meant to use them in.
3. Relate and Appeal
You know what's funny to you. That's fine. But what do other Neopians think
is funny? Doctor-Shoyru rivalries, interviews with affluent and illustrious
folk, and White Weewoos all seem to be working so far, but Neopians these days
want something fresh and new. If you don't already have a good subject for your
humor to be represented in, then search through recent news -- people like current
events. They're untouched and untainted -- perfect for new, fresh material.
But it isn't just about a random subject. You've got to relate to the average
Neopian. If you write about the latest off-white colored objects, then sure,
you'll appeal to all four Neopians who care about that sort of thing. You need
to shoot higher.
That's not to say you can win them all over, though, but you'll want to appeal
to as many people as you can. For example, I'm trying to appeal to all people
who are less funny than their 90-year-old school librarian, which might be quite
A good way to appeal to many people is to write about broad, general topics
that you KNOW will get people to read. There are tons of people who are crazy
about avatars -- why not choose that? Find a way to make avatar-collecting funny!
This is a very wide appeal to Neopians everywhere.
So what about the other word in this subtitle: relate. Relating to people
is similar to appeal -- it's putting your self on the same level as others in
order to make things seem funnier. Nobody wants to hear comedy about having
millions of NP when they only have a couple of thousand. If you're down in the
dumps when it comes to money and you make fun of it, then people who are always
in your same money situation will be able to relate to that.
4. Don't Pump The Pawkeet
Look back at what I said about avatars. If you're an avatar collector, you'll
have a much easier time making jokes about collecting avatars than a person
who doesn't know what the word 'avatar' means. This goes back to the whole relate
thing -- people can relate to you if you collect avatars as well. But this also
goes on to a method I like to call Pumping The Pawkeet.
Picture a Pawkeet. Yes, a fat little green Pawkeet. And stick an air pump
in its mouth. When you press on the pump, the Pawkeet will inflate with air.
Now, Pawkeets aren't supposed to inflate with air, so you want to pump it as
little as possible, right? Here we go:
When you're finding your topic, you need to stay within your range. If you're
an expert at Whack-A-Kass, then by all means, don't pump the Pawkeet. If you've
only played it a few times, though, then give the Pawkeet a pump. Notice how
the Pawkeet gets irritated -- hey, you would too if someone pumped you up with
unnecessary air. However, if you haven't even taken a swing in Whack-A-Kass,
then pump the Pawkeet lots of times -- and he'll go crazy.
My point is this: you can only go so far with what topic you choose and what
your jokes are about. If you're familiar with your topic although it's not that
funny, go ahead and write about it anyway. If you're only slight acquaintances
with your topic, then the audience will know you're not 100% sure what you're
talking about, and will become irritated. If you go after a subject that you
know nothing about and choose it just because you think you'll get tons of laughs,
then the audience will become fed up and you won't get rave reviews.
When you choose topics and jokes to write about, you have to stay within your
knowledge range. Millionaires don't want to hear a common Money Tree visitor
making jokes about having too much NP to spend, when in reality they've got
zilch. The same goes for avatar collectors -- they don't want to read a comedy
piece about the stress of collecting all those avatars when you've got a whopping
six of 'em... get my point?
There's also another way that you can Pump The Pawkeet. When you're going
for a joke in your article, make sure you don't push it too far. If you're going
to make fun of Pink Kadoaties as a little anecdote in an article about NeoHome
construction, don't change the article to being about Pink Kadoaties. Learn
how to limit yourself and your jokes to stay relevant to the topic.
5. Let 'Em Have It!
Well, you've chosen a topic and found out what's funny about it, so now it's
the final step: write the jokes! Sure, you can have the subject you want to
write about, but it's no good if you don't know how to make things funny.
One way you can make things seem funny is through comparative insults. These
don't have to (and shouldn't) be mean -- they should always be light-hearted
and joking. I could say that Hannah the Usul is smellier as dung, or sick Doglefoxes
have more slime than Meuka. See? I'll admit, they're not my best work, but they're
light, fat-free, and they don't hurt.
Of course, you can always just tell the audience a joke someone told to you
and take credit for it. WRONG. The one thing you can never do in the humor world
is take credit for the jokes of others. Two of the funnier quotes in this article
were written by Ridergirl, a good Neopian friend of mine. While I give her complete
and total credit, I'm not implying that you take the jokes' of others and write
your entire article with them, even though you give credit. 99% of being funny
comes from writing things that nobody else has heard and being 100% original
with your work.
Well, although this article seems to end rather abruptly, I hope you now have
a slightly larger knowledge of the world of humor and funniness. I don't expect
you to be an all-star comedian after reading this, but I hope you now know how
to choose a topic, how to set limits for yourself, and how to appeal. You may
not be crack-up funny right now, but hey -- it's a start.
Author's Note: Thanks to everyone for reading! As always, comments via
Neomail are greatly appreciated and accepted, but please, don't write "I'M NOT
FUNNY! YOU STINK!" As I said before, this article isn't guaranteed to make you
funnier -- if you thought it was, then I'm sorry for letting you down. But hey,
look on the bright side -- if you didn't like the article, at least it's over!
Oh, and a special thanks goes out to Ridergirl. ;)