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Jerry Seinfeld On How To Write A Joke

Jerry Seinfeld explains his joke writing process, using one specific joke about a pop tart as an example of how his jokes begin and evolve over time. He said that he’s been working on this one joke for two years!

A lot of great writing tips in here, even for those of us who aren’t necessarily humor writers.

I love the tip about being specific in your writing–that’s something I’ve been trying to do more of myself. For instance, the line that he uses about “the back of my head blowing off” instead of just saying, “my head blew off.” Or something like that.

Enjoy.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

(Hat tip to Michael Hyatt)

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9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on kaissa45.

    Like

    February 11, 2013
  2. Reblogged this on LITNIVOROUS and commented:
    Pop Tarts. Jerry Seinfeld. The hidden poetic process in joke writing. Mind Blown.

    Like

    February 11, 2013
  3. Reblogged this on Condofire and commented:
    Inside Jerry Seinfeld’s writing process – The Pop Tart!

    Like

    February 11, 2013
  4. Thanks for this! I really think that there’s a lot of useful material here for writers of all kinds!

    Like

    February 11, 2013
  5. And I effing love Pop Tarts.

    Like

    February 11, 2013
  6. peachyperspectivve #

    What stuck out to me, specifically for web writing, is the importance of the opening sentence. Grab attention by painting a word picture, write something shocking, ask a question, etc. Also, the ending is important, too, even if most people who start reading won’t make it to the end … unless we trained people to read it all because it’s a continuous joke that you don’t want to miss out on.

    Like

    February 11, 2013
    • Yep. One thing I try and do is start with the craziest opening sentence I can think of and then try and connect it to my topic. Usually, I go to far and have to rein in the opening sentence a little, but that little exercise gets my mind thinking creatively and about what would be a catchy opening.

      Like

      February 11, 2013
  7. Jerry Seinfeld is funny!

    Like

    July 25, 2013

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