To be a master, one needs a craft, and to have a craft, one has to have a process. Comedy might be the most peculiar art form of them all. Every medium of art is open to subjectivity, but few mediums produce as visceral a positive and negative reaction as standup comedy. You would think that an art form as emotionally charged as comedy would have theorists aplenty waxing philosophical about the purpose of comedy and its construction. While a few engage in discussion on the former, scant is the number of comedy fans and professionals that detail the latter.
If you’re looking to get into comedy and learn how to write a joke correctly? Tough luck, kid. You’d probably have a better chance of getting into a nun’s bachelorette party. The field’s luminaries are usually tight-lipped about their process, and those who are generally willing to teach aren’t funny. Joke writing, especially for standup, is a game of trial and error. Unless, of course, one of the greatest comedians of all time decides to teach you how it’s done.
In the video above, Jerry Seinfeld, a titan of standup comedy, details his process for writing jokes. The process varies from comic to comic, but the video is a gem for aspiring standups and curious fans alike.