Credit:

Richard Termine

This summer, Studio 360 and Scholastic have a challenge for high school students: write something that makes us laugh. Before he was a public radio host, Kurt Andersen launched the groundbreaking humor magazine SPY. Here are a few of histips for aspiring humor writers.

ENTER HERE:Funny Ha Ha: The High School Humor Challenge

Kurt's Five Lessons of Comedy

  1. Concentrate on what amuses you and your friends --- not what you imagine hypothetical people might find funny.

  2. There are no clear pre-established lines marking when a joke "goes too far." But there are lines, and you have to suss out where the line is, case by case, sometimes coming close to the line but trying not to step over.

  3. Humor and comedy are not all-or-nothing professional pursuits: humor and comedy can be what you produce sometimes and not others, and a given piece or a project can be "serious" but have humorous/comedic touches.

  4. Your best bet is to write the kinds of things not many other people are doing: fill a void.

  5. Befriend funny, interesting, creative people. You will inevitably work together on funny, interesting, creative projects. It's a virtuous circle.

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