Do the Twist
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
"I once shot an elephant in my pajamas. What he was doing in my pajamas, I don't know."
A basic form of humor is to set your audience up for one thing and then give them something unexpected. Groucho Marx, author of the two jokes above, was a master at it.
This is not the non-sequitur. A truly inspired non-sequitur has its own mad logic, and even insight, but the twist is much more straight-forward.
Try It OutYour mission, should you choose to accept it:
- Write at least five two-line "twists"; short, one-two punches where the first line leads the audience to expect one kind of follow-up and the second line gives them something else again.
Guidelines for Critique:
- Was the first line a good setup?
- Was the second line a surprise?
- Was it a funny surprise?
Anitra L. Freeman
All contents and images are created and copyrighted by Anitra Freeman, except quotes from published material, which are attributed to the author and used only for educational purposes. Others may use this material, on request, for personal or educational purposes where no fee is charged, with credit to the author and a link wherever possible.
StreetWrites Workshop Exercises