It’s how you tell them!


There isn’t just one form of comedy – it comes in different varieties and genres. If you’re an aspiring comedian then you should be able to explain the jokes that you tell and know why they are funny. You need to grasp the fundamental grasp of humour to be able to use it properly. Understanding all the different genres of comedy and why they work is important if you want to master your craft in writing and performing comedy. Here are some of the comic forms you should know about:

Deadpan – also known as dry humour and is all in the delivery rather than what is being said. Deadpan is the art of delivering a punchline with no visible change in your emotional state. The comedian should sound bored, uninterested and monotonous so the joke or observation sounds sarcastic. The comedy value comes from the funny story and the contrasting way it is being told. For details on how to Book A Comedian, visit

It’s how you tell them!

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Toilet Humour – often considered the basest form of comedy, this type of humour relies on being unpleasant about bodily functions. It is designed to make you cringe but also laugh because of the brutal honesty of it. It can be vulgar and sometimes in poor taste and is often found in more ‘adult’ comedies.

Satire – often related to current affairs but doesn’t have to be – satire is one of the most difficult types of humour. It requires a certain level of knowledge and intelligence that your audience need to possess as well. Satire needs irony and sarcasm – not just mockery. Writing satire will require some advanced writing skills and the ability to create a social commentary on the thing that you are satirizing.

Black Comedy – also known as gallows humour or dark comedy and focuses on issues of a more serious and often morbid nature. It is a way of dealing with the more upsetting things in life and many people need laughter as a way to deal with such issues. Clever black comedy doesn’t laugh at the bad thing itself but uses a combination of deadpan or satire to mock the horrible situation. It is a fine line between good dark comedy and shocking people and so it needs to be undertaken carefully.

It’s how you tell them!2

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Parody – unlike satire but taking elements from it, parody is about laughing at something by imitation. This can either be a good-humoured tribute or done because of distaste for the object being parodied.

Topical Humour – this type of comedy is found on many of the late-night talk shows and focuses on current affairs and events. It’s straightforward humour which pokes fun at the less serious items of news from recent media. This can easily cross over with other types of comedy in this list and contain elements of satire and parody.

Slapstick – this is one of the easiest forms of comedy to recognise as it’s much more physical. The humour comes from over the top gesturing, movement and ‘accidents’. It can be silly and ridiculous like Mr Bean, for example, with his endless hapless incidents.

Written by suNCh8

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