Ways To Generate New Material

📢 Listen to this comedy tip.


You’re an aspiring comedian. You want to write jokes or comedic skits that can entertain audiences.


Chances are your writing process will be different from the average person who works on comedic topics. For you, your job is to come up with material and then write it down. But, before you hit the keyboard, there are several things that you must do in order to get your work into shape.


For one – It’s good, but not necessary,  to have the idea of what you want to write before you start putting pen to paper. For example, if you want to write a joke about a celebrity that hasn’t been seen in a while, and they haven’t been seen in public since last year, it would be wise for you to think about what they look like so that when you actually sit down and start typing out your joke it will feel more realistic.


If something isn’t done properly for fear of it not being funny or embarrassing someone, chances are it won’t be funny or embarrassing enough at all.


Secondly – give yourself some time and dedicate some personal time each day; 10-15 minutes might do it for the average person.  But for an aspiring comedian? It could take 6 hours or even more depending on how much thought and preparation goes into making sure your jokes are as good as they possibly can be.


Overcome writer's block with daily writing

You know the feeling. You’re up late writing a daily blog post or a funny Facebook status that you have no faith that it is worth publishing. The problem with your writing is that you aren’t achieving anything. But you want to get something out of it. If only life was as simple as writing something down on a piece of paper and watching it roll off your tongue.


Don’t be discouraged by the fact that you are not getting anywhere. Because there is no shame in not finishing what you start and just typing away, as a writer, until the words flow through your fingers like water from an overly-humid sponge.


Write about anything and everything, even if it doesn't seem funny

If you’re looking for a way to deal with writer’s block and get more done, your daily writing might be the answer. This method has been used by comedians for years to help them come up with material and overcome writer’s block. The goal is to write daily and in the same way until the day comes where you are able to produce something funny.


A comedian can become so prolific that their writing style becomes recognizable as a signature style to a specific brand of comedy. It takes sometimes over 20 years for this comedian to achieve such recognition, but after coming up with new material, they can begin producing comedic routines that are  known worldwide.


Always be writing! Write once a day at least — but not while you're driving! Writing can be therapeutic. Write when you're stressed out or happy or sad or bored and as quickly as possible so that you aren't bothered by it anymore.


The first thing you should do when you feel like you’ve run out of ideas is go outside and look at the world. It’s a great way to inspire you to write; to see how life is so often an endless string of events.


When you’re writing, it can be tempting to try and control what happens next. But that’s a recipe for a lot of boredom. Instead, focus on the flow of events and the things that happen in this moment. It will help you figure out a way to continue writing — because there will probably be something happening again tomorrow or the next day or week.


The benefit of daily writing for comedians is that your jokes get easier to come up with as time goes by and your memory improves due to practice over time.


How writing can help with making a joke out of an event or conversation.

If you’re a comedian, you should use free writing as a tool to help you come up with material and overcome writer's block. You don’t need to be an expert at everything to write daily. You just need to do it for a few minutes every day.


You may have heard that writer’s block is a malady that many people suffer from who write and don’t want to write anymore? While this certainly isn’t everyone’s experience, one-third of all people in the United States suffer from writer’s block, according to statistics provided by Psychology Today .


Sometimes, writing is like an addiction — we continue on long after we realize we shouldn't be writing because it relieves stress and helps us relax. What's normal for most people doesn't necessarily apply in professional settings or in relationships. If so many have been turned off by your writing because of something they see in your act or what they read online, it might be time to take a break before continuing on your journey through the oeuvre of yours or someone else's act or relationship as a writer.


What are some simple steps to eliminate writer's block?

A writer’s drive for perfection doesn’t mean that they are inhibited from sharing their work. In fact, the opposite is true. They should practice their craft on a regular basis to create the best work possible.

Daily writing is an easy and effective way to get rid of writer’s block and improve your skills. It can be as simple as jotting down short thoughts at the start of every day. This will provide you with ample opportunities for practice, refining your craft, and making progress toward what you want to achieve in comedy.


It doesn’t take much time or effort to do this; it’s just a matter of sitting down at a computer and jotting down 3-5 sentences that capture your attention and put a smile on your face. You’ll notice that you don’t have to spend days or weeks composing a story before getting started; if you make enough progress in just one day, it won’t feel like work at all.



It’s incredibly hard for comedians to come up with material that isn’t rubbish. I think a lot of people who write comedy are scared to try anything new. I believe we all have the capacity to be funny, but it takes so much work and dedication it seems impossible to create anything worthwhile. The trick is learning how to make yourself laugh when you’re not expecting laughter at all.


The paradox of comedy is that there seems to be only two ways of being funny: It can be stupid or it can be clever. If you do both it is probably best not to make jokes at all. You see, if your material is just stupid enough, you’ll end up with something like this: “The good news is that we have another day of work ahead of us…”


A comedian should be able to write something as stupid and ill-fated as “The bad news is that we have another day of work ahead of us…” and still come out with something funny about doing the same thing over again every day for 10 straight years.


When writing jokes, I suggest starting with what has worked before then develop your own way of doing things. Don’t get too caught up in trying to force the joke, or trying to build in momentum by using big words and clever metaphors; keep it simple! Don’t worry about making sure the punchline comes out right the first time. Just keep writing!


What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Are you a comedy creator? Apply to Comedy Trade School.

Learn comedy skills and strategies from a community of established comedy creators. Membership is by invitation only and is prioritized by member referral requests. Please note that our community is for people who are serious about comedy creation. Please do not request an invitation if you are a comedy fan who is merely curious about the inner workings of comedy creation. We get it. We really do. As much as we'd love to have you, our resources are limited. But, please please please continue to support your favorite comedy creators. There is no commercial solicitation allowed between members on the site. If you're here to try to sell something please contact our advertising coordinator.

Fill out the following form and you'll be sent an email when membership registration opens.

Request An Invite

Leave a Reply