T Nation

Developing a Sense of Humor


Does anyone here thinks it's possible to actually actively work on and improve your sense of humor? I would like to develop better "wit". I work in customer service and work with some people that are fairly witty and good at coming up with quick comments on the spot that make customers laugh.

I have been trying to do this and think that I have, to a small degree, become a little bit more witty. I think what has helped is just being around the others (listening) and always trying to come up with something myself.

To me it seems like for such an important life skill it rarely(if ever) gets talked about in this way.

Thoughts? How does one become funnier?


This is innate. I believe you can learn how to approach things better in order to communicate better...but no, you don't learn how to be a natural comedian. You either are witty and quick with a comeback, or you aren't.

I have a friend now who we have known should be on stage since we first knew each other. He is a natural comedian...one of those types who can have a whole table filled with people he doesn't know laughing within 5 min. He didn't LEARN that. He may have worked on technique a little....but much like any comedian would.

Richard Pryor may have worked on his routine for a long time before we ever heard it on stage, but you can bet he was naturally funny before he ever wrote anything down.

My humor in life is sarcastic and heavy handed. It works for me but I have to watch how and where I use it. Everyone doesn't respond the same to the same type of "humor".


Nope you either have it or you dont. Good luck.


hang out with BugAD


HM is prob the funniest person I've ever encountered tbh


There's a great book called "Writing Comedy Secrets" by Melvin Helitzer. I'd suggest getting that. You may not "have it", but you could cultivate something like it. There's different kinds of humour, and different ways to convey ideas, so you may just need to find out what kind of funny you are.


"That would be humor.....I recognize that"


It's like strength. Some people have more natural talent, but everyone can improve. I've been working on getting funnier. Most of the time I just come off as corny, but once in a while I get a good laugh. The trick is to not take yourself or things around you too seriously.



A lot of humor is making quick connections. The greater your knowledge base, the better your chances of pulling ideas together. Plus, you need to have a good vocabulary.

When all else fails, point to the fattest person in the room and make mooing noises. Works every time!


I wish I could post forum images in real life.


I see people in the future having really big problems with this. The internet has created an environment where people don't even have to have any real social skills anymore...and it will only get worse. "LOL" is not a real world response....but damn it I almost said it one day out loud.

Posting internet gifs is not comedy...unless YOU created it. Taking someone else's has to be the least original act since Vanilla Ice.


Oh come on X, you "almost" said it? You probably were telling your patients that you saw some funny shit online and that you "rode to work on my LOLlerskates" or some shit.



Hanging around funny people will help your sense of humour.

Don't know any? Get a blue collar job, for whatever reason blue collars workers are always the funniest people I meet.

I use to toss garbage for the City of Toronto during the summers while in University -some of the funniest people I ever met.


PGA has this gift and we have both been victims of his online humor at our expense!

Remember BrokeScar Mountain, and the Lord of the rings movie?

Let's not forget "T-Park episodes.." I can't seem to find any of those anymore.


LOLlerskates...I am def using that in real life now


Agreed, but haven't you ever been in one of those meetings right before lunch time where some asshole keeps talking and arguing just because he likes to hear the sound of his voice. When that happens I wish I could call troll on him with a nice big internet gif.


I prefer LOLlercoaster.


Immerse yourself in comedy. Watch as much standup as you can find. Go to a comedy club. It is possible to pick it up, you most likely won't be the next dave chapelle, but it is possible to polish what sense of humour you do have. There are some good books on comedy but being funny in person is very different to writing comedy.


I'm one of the guys in my group of friens who is always making the other guys laugh. Most of my remarks usually just come off the top of my head. It's not something I practice at.



OP, you should try and encounter as many types of humour as you can - bawdy, satirical, black, slapstick etc. I've never been a fan of telling jokes, I can't remember all the joke, can't do much with the punchline but give me situational stuff and I love it.

Most importantly you have to be able to laugh at yourself and your own flaws, it makes it easier to see other people's flaws, and make fun of that. Just be sure you know where you're overstepping the boundaries - especially at work, with clients etc. Remember also that different cultures view humour differently and it's important to know what subjects are okay and taboo to joke about.

In a work setting I'm a lot more careful than I used to be, but that's okay, I'm only at work 8/10/12 hours a day, the rest of the time is being funny and developing my sense of humour with my family and friends.

I think having a sense of humour is one of the greatest traits you can have.