Top 5 Humor Writing Tips

People sometimes ask me, “How do you write funny?” I’m not sure if they mean my writing is humorous or the way I write is hilarious. So, I usually stare at these people until they wander off.

If they’re asking how I come up with funny topics and put them on paper (or screen), I share my Top 5 Humor Writing Tips.

Kidnap Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry. Some people think Dave retired from writing his nationally syndicated humor column, but that is not the case. He is living under the stairs in my basement (ala Harry Potter) and he gives me funny phrases for food. It’s a win-win.


(Have you seen this man?)

Channel your bitterness and anger. Writing my humor column was the only thing that kept my teenage daughters alive. After a day of whining, slamming doors, moody sighs and over-the-top drama, they’d see me writing and back off. And their behavior wasn’t great either.

Use hyperbole ALL THE TIME. It’s one thing to say, “It’s so cold, my dog is shivering” and quite another thing to say, “It’s so cold my dog is selling lap dances to purchase a ticket to San Diego.” Exaggerate everything until the hyperbolic part of your brain explodes into a million shards of dark humor.


Document everyday situations. So you were driving to see Trolls but instead you crashed into a median, ruptured your front tire, lost your hubcap and had to deal with a mansplaining mechanic who talked to you like you were suffering from brain damage. Yep. Write about that.

Read funny stuff. When Dave Barry stops talking to you because he thinks that’s a good idea, browse the internet for funny articles. Reading different types of comedic writing can get your humorous juices flowing (which is actually really gross) and you’ll be typing up knee-slapping blog posts in no time at all.

If none of those ideas work, maybe you’re just not funny. Have you considered a career in math?



Ringo’s Tips for Living

Living with a dog is a lot like living with a zoned-out stoner. They both stretch out across the couch all day, smell bad, mooch out of the pantry and don’t have jobs. But I LOVE our puppy!!!

In my last Life and Laughter column, I wrote about the last two years since we adopted Ringo. (Shhhh. Don’t tell him. He doesn’t know we’re not his real parents.) Here are some life-isms I’ve learned from our crazy-ass puppy:

(Ringo, two years ago. I don’t know the name of the dog sniffing his butt.)

Naps aren’t a luxury–they are a necessity. Ringo spends most of his day spread out across the living room floor, or couch, moving only for food, a walk, or a belly rub (see below). He has turned napping into an art form. Taking a cue from him, I will curl up around him on the couch until we both start snoring.

Belly rubs make everything better. Ringo LOVES having his belly rubbed vigorously. In fact, when he sees us coming, he’ll roll over so we have better access to his tummy. But NO ONE better touch my belly. I will slap you. Instead, I’ve learned that shoulder and back rubs make amazing substitutes for the belly rub.

(Ringo, letting it all hang out for a belly rub.)

Eat only when you’re hungry. We feed Ringo twice a day. Sometimes he eats, sometimes he doesn’t. He doesn’t ever feel the urge to clean his plate or finish all of his dinner; unless steak, gingersnaps or small pieces of cheese are involved. I haven’t quite mastered this lesson since I eat anything that isn’t plastic. And some things that ARE plastic.

Be excited about going outside. Ringo has trained me to walk him twice a day. Each walk is an adventure for him. He’s as excited today to walk as he was the very first time we took him to the park two years ago. I especially like our winter walks when no one is outside. Great way to clear my head.

Sometimes a hug makes everything better.

(Giving my daughter a hug. Or strangling her. I really can’t tell.)