Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Social_nav_masthead_logged_in
 
What's So Funny?

What's So Funny?

Date: Nov 11 2008

Themes: Hobbies

Intro

1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Every party has that funny person who is entertaining a crowd in the corner. Everyone feels like a comedian every now and then when you’re telling a story and all your friends are cracking up. But to actually stand on stage alone try to tell jokes is a very difficult thing because…what if the people don’t laugh?

Though funny things happen all the time, it’s difficult to figure out the secret to being funny. Listen to Jason and Mason discuss a few different approaches.

Dialog

1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Jason

Jason

Mason

Mason

Jason:  I was thinking about trying to get a gig as a stand-up comedian because I feel like I’m totally different than all the other stand-up comedians.

Mason:  You’d have a weird sort of shtick, you know? It would, I don’t know, be unusual for certain.

Jason:  Stand-up artists are always really angry it seems like. I thought maybe I could do something with just being really mellow.

Mason:  I don’t know, I think mellow’s been done, that kind of deadpan humor, dry humor. But I think there might be a market for a really happy comedian. No one’s really done that for a long time. You have to go back to the ‘30s or something before you have just an upbeat, happy guy.

Jason:  Yeah, yeah. I could use a laugh track just to make it seem even more retro.

Mason:  Personally, I’m a black humor guy, like really sadistic stuff where it’s like, I should not be laughing at that because it’s just really not OK, but man, it’s still funny.

Jason:  Yeah. I like slapstick. You know that whole…

Mason:  ...old school, like Marx Brothers, Three Stooges stuff.

Jason:  Totally. I just think it’s so silly, you know? It’s like life is such black humor all the time, you look around you see absurdity everywhere. But you don’t see people slipping on banana peels just left and right.

Mason:  You know what you gotta do to see that? You gotta go to improv. Improv groups, you kind of get caught up in that energy of making stuff up on the spot and it gets really slap-sticky.

 

Quizzes

Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!

 

Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

Go to the TOEFL® page >

Discussion

Jason has been thinking about trying to stand on stage and tell jokes. He says a lot of comedians are very angry, so he might try being mellow. Mason says that a happy comedian would be even more unusual, but his favorite kind of comedy is the dark kind that makes you feel guilty for laughing at it.

But sometimes the world seems like it’s full of dark humor. When everything around you seems absurd, there’s nothing better than some simple slapstick comedy which involves physical jokes.

What’s your favorite kind of comedy? What do you think is the best way to be funny?

 

Comments

Log in to Comment

bc0878

bc0878

Israel

i love u…....

09:49 AM Dec 18 2008 |

Ruilong

Ruilong

China

I agree that black comedy make me more attractive and sometimes make me thinking about my life!The true comedy is those when you laugh,you will feel guilty about what you just being the hero of the joke! But sometimes,when my friends tell me a joke,im laughing ,im not laughing because of the funny of the joke,but his behavior and his act !

02:50 AM Nov 17 2008 |

Ruilong

Ruilong

China

I agree that black comedy make me more attractive and sometimes make me thinking about my life!The true comedy is those when you laugh,you will feel guilty about what you just being the hero of the joke!

But sometimes,when my friends tell me a joke,im laughing ,im not laughing because of the funny of the joke,but his behavior and his act !

02:48 AM Nov 17 2008 |

Marcelolic

Marcelolic

Brazil

The person is funny not because he wants and ya because he was born like that ;)

07:44 PM Nov 13 2008 |

Marcelolic

Marcelolic

Brazil

I like comedians of kind "silly" hehe for example I adored the Jerry Lewis's films…today I like Jin Carry's films :D

07:35 PM Nov 13 2008 |

Sophie yang

China

I like sitcom~

03:33 PM Nov 13 2008 |

waite pearl

Saudi Arabia

i agree with u “sense of humor “sth by nature u can’t act it ,or u will be silly . It’s so easy to make people cry ,but the hardest thing to make them laugh.specially now when the world become complex.
I like the old comثdian movie ,it was so simple and u feel it.

08:24 PM Nov 12 2008 |

AMY-08

AMY-08

China

Smile

08:58 AM Nov 12 2008 |

salehahmed99

Syrian Arab Republic

i agree with najafi that the comedian like a preacher who should understand all people classes and trying 2 make them very close 2 eachother becuase the life now becoming so hard and so forth

01:43 AM Nov 12 2008 |

Nancy Yan

Nancy Yan

China

Humor , In my opinion ,far away from me , I don`t know why , but i didn`t laugh in a long time .

sound bad !but that us true !

01:21 AM Nov 12 2008 |

Stitch

Stitch

Taiwan

From wikipedia:

Black comedy is also known as dark comedy.

Synonyms include dark humor and morbid humor.

Black comedy usually includes an element of irony, or even fatalism. This particular brand of humor can be exemplified by a scene in the play Waiting for Godot: A man takes off his belt to hang himself, and his trousers fall down.

The movie, In Bruges, is also an example of black comedy.

09:47 PM Nov 11 2008 |

Roger_ksa

Roger_ksa

Saudi Arabia

i have been wondering about what does "black humor" mean?

if i noticed about it i'll let you know.. but at least someone here can answer this question, and i'll appreciate that :)   

08:25 PM Nov 11 2008 |

Totto

Totto

Sudan

yah, I agree with you, Roger Ksa.   Sometimes it is hard to be funny unless someone has that talent by nature. You know?   And I have a question which is what does Manson mean by " black humor ?"  does that mean something is not supposed to be funny, but at the same time someone cannot help it but laught at it?  Or what?

07:41 PM Nov 11 2008 |

Roger_ksa

Roger_ksa

Saudi Arabia

I think that being a comedian is something you can have it by nature i mean its from god.

and also the most difficult kinds of comedian is that when a person give a joke for people who don't speak his language!! 

06:17 PM Nov 11 2008 |

amany7

amany7

Saudi Arabia

I like comedians when they talk about political Issues ^^

12:02 PM Nov 11 2008 |

kukuka

kukuka

Ukraine

how can you measure the amount of people's sensitiveness? Different people – different senses of humor.

11:44 AM Nov 11 2008 |

kukuka

kukuka

Ukraine

to be a good comedian you should have the gift

10:41 AM Nov 11 2008 |

kaira_harry

Yemen

08:46 AM Nov 11 2008 |

kaira_harry

Yemen

my friends see me the best about the jokes

very funny hahhahahah 

but i think the fun not just on the jokes

there a lot things very funny

 

08:46 AM Nov 11 2008 |

alez1986

China

wendy?wendy-qian?Surprised

08:41 AM Nov 11 2008 |

Likes (33):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast