A while ago I went to The Comic Strip to see Jon Dore perform. He was very entertaining and I was quite impressed overall. I am always in awe when I see comedians perform so successfully for a crowd, and this night was no exception. I have always thought that being a comedian must be terrifying, especially when you see those comedians that just flop completely. You can’t help but feel sorry for them, while at the same time being thankful that it’s not you that is up there. Over the course of the night however, I started to think that there were actually a lot of similarities between being a teacher and a comedian – both of us are up on a “stage” trying to reach out to a room full of people. Comedians try to entertain the crowd while teachers try to engage students.
As I was thinking along these lines, I began to notice that Dore’s best jokes were the ones with the unexpected punch lines. This is not a surprise for most people interested in comedy. As the Wikipedia article on punch lines says: “Punch lines generally derive their humor from being unexpected.” And Blaine Ray has always said that you don’t necessarily have to be a certain personality type to be an effective TPRS teacher, and that using unexpected details is the key to being able to tell funnier and more interesting stories. I think after watching this comedian and paying close attention to what was funny and why, I finally understand what he means by this!