Morbid and 9/11 jokes can easily get tiring, especially if you use them too much. So, you will need a light-hearted filler humor, something that relaxes.

The goals:

  • innocent: offends nobody, and everyone laughs
  • soft: it's enough if people feel better after hearing it, and it hardly gets tiring.

What should I keep in mind when making one?

  • 4
    There are many ways to be funny, and just about all of them can be innocent (and usually will be if the humour is quite subtle). "Terribly British" humour is a good example.
    – J.G.
    Dec 14, 2017 at 21:39
  • It's very easy to have your jokes to be interpreted in an offensive way, there is a skill here that every comedian has to learn. I think the movie Life Is Beautiful is an excellent example of using lighthearted humor in a very morbid environment.
    – Alexander
    Dec 14, 2017 at 22:55
  • I've answered about the sort of jokes, but I wouldn't think of it as "filler" - by definition filler is stuff that doesn't need to be there. Comic asides are another thing entirely, with a fine tradition. Dec 15, 2017 at 10:33

3 Answers 3


Many writers have a weakness for wordplay and puns, which are typically inoffensive (although they don't have to be). Whether or not these are tiring is very individual to the reader.

A higher caliber of humor is based on your characters. A character who is insecure, or uptight, or awkward, or overconfident, or pretentious, or just plain dumb can be an endless source of humor, in the right situations.

It's worth noting, however, that even the seemingly soft-and-fuzzy humor of (for instance) Peanuts often has a dark undercurrent, or hidden edge.


If you're thinking of something that offends nobody, and which people feel better after hearing, you're most of the way there.

Everyone laughing is quite an ambition, and I'm not sure it's possible. The trick is that if your humour has a target, that target will be the first to laugh - laughing with someone is always funnier than laughing at them. Displaying genuine affection for the object of any jokes (even if the affection isn't part of the joke itself) will let you get away with a lot more than otherwise and the humour won't have to be innocent or soft. Think of Waldorf and Statler in "The Muppet Show" - downright abusive some of the time, but they're there every week.

Also, the humour shouldn't only flow one way. In "Cheers" when Norm and Cliff would joke with Woody (again, genuine affection there), it was always funniest when he ended up looking smarter than them.


The Incogruous Theory of humor is that humor is precieved in the realization that the expected nature of a situation and the actual nature of a situation are not the same. Consider the brilliant marking of Thor: Ragnorock. When the Audience see's Thor's gladiatorial opponent as the Hulk in armor and carrying a weapon, the expected reaction would be either bravery or terror (the latter being an expected humor play). The actual reaction, one of absolute joy is much more humorous because the audience would not typically think of that reaction (and it perfectly mimics the fan response that they themselves were going through). Thor's reaction is totally inappropriate for the sitution. Similarly, his simple explination of his relationship to the Hulk would be expected. They've been in several movies at this point, Thor needs to quickly explained to the stunned audiece. The audience expets him to refer to Hulk as an ally who he fought with to save the world on numerous occasions. The fact that Thor sums it up as "He's a friend from work" creates the unexpected image of Thor, walking into a cube farm, and seeing the Hulk in a suit and tie, using the copy machine, and striking up a conversation about the football game from last night, a stark contrast to beating up aliens and robots.

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