I'm in a problem. With a Pennywise-esque character, we should get some of his humor, and he was a funny (and a somewhat mentally disabled) bastard. Sadly, my humor relies on video editing, and the only other type I'm (probably) good at is description humor:

Object is to be kept within a circle, inscribed with the symbols of all 64 genders that don't exist... Item-666, hereby referred to as "All the Nazi Gold"...

But I think I'm very bad at in-dialogue jokes.

I'm wondering, is there a general structure for told jokes, and if yes, what is it?

  • I like this question, but humor is hard to come across in books with dialogue. Oct 4, 2017 at 19:41
  • But then there's the subtle humor in everyday events. My friend keeps messaging me with pictures of Bill Nye, and he captions it with "Bill Nye the Nazi spy," or something. Oct 4, 2017 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


An effective way to make a joke in a dialogue is to make the punch line protrude in some way from the rest of the text while being followed and preceded by normal text.

It is important to clarify that the dialogue and the situation that revolves around the line of dialogue must be in resonance with one another.

You do not play clown jokes in the middle of a war or at a funeral.

In itself, you have to remember that your characters are real people in your story, they have fears and aspirations and react in the same way that you or me (in their place) would, they are not robots, nor masters of comedy.

If you must put jokes, you should not seek to be funny if they do not agree with the situation or the character.

Batman does not make jokes

The joker does, but his jokes and jesters are not funny, they are scary.

Spider-Man makes jokes of his cituacion highlighting how ridiculous what is happening right now and how it somehow will end up in his favor, as if it were the most trivial thing in the world.

Rule No. 1 of commedy: The funny thing happens when something that was not what we expected happens.

Do you imagine a situation somewhat intense and then solve or mark it in some unexpectedly way to create comedy (not in a spectacular way bit not the less).

This is all very generic the best way is to write lots of variation of you scene and then choice 1 that is the most funny afterwars.

And remember the rule of comedy No 3: Comedy comes in 3, but that´s a story for another day.

Cheers mate!, and good luck.


Humor in general relies in something unexpected happening.

If you haven't already, go watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's a brilliant movie filled with hilarious dialogue and situations.

If you want dark/sick humor, try playing some Cards Against Humanity (there are great online servers for free).

Last but not least, here's an article listing some easy dialogue jokes.

  • Monty Python use live-acting as their medium of choice. I am not sure their humor would work as well in a purely written form. But there are examples for brilliant comedy writing, like Douglas Adams for example.
    – Philipp
    Oct 10, 2017 at 12:04

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