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The Greatest Joshua Dudley Fan Club Page Ever

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Fan Club Issue #6: How Not To Write A Humor Column

It recently occurred to me that many people out there might be thinking about writing their own humor column but have no idea how to get started or where to find help. Well then, it's just your luck that this particular pot of gold at the end of the rainbow contains many factual and some not quite so factual tips on things to avoid doing should you ever begin the envious task of writing a humor column.

I have indexed them by number so you can follow along easily. Now remember, this article is called "how to not write a humor column", so should you come upon a number with some bold words behind it that say "don't be funny" - just do the opposite and you'll come out okay! Come on and just follow your computers glare on downward a few lines and read on!

1) Use plenty of bad jokes.

Despite how you may feel about great humor columns you have read or are thinking about writing they are not a good forum for old 1930's style vaudeville jokes. Please, I urge you, do not begin a humor column with a knock-knock joke, asking about various methods of changing lightbulbs, a discussion of various creatures crossing the road, or this - So I went to see my doctor and I told him I hadn't had a bite all day. So he bit me. I think you get the point. Humor Columns are where you vent thoughts about policemen, mismatched socks, insurance forms, etc., not where you do your best literary George Burns or Jack Benny impressions.

2) Write about something that's funny to you but no one else.

Yes, I realize that at certain times of the day after you've had your morning latte', and have taken your cucumber cream patches off of your eyes, that it can be the funniest thing in the entire world to discover that your two brand new pairs of stylish argyle socks in different colors are now just two different argyle socks of different colors. Honestly now, even as I'm writing this I can tell that losing socks to the washing machine isn't funny (in fact it's downright spooky) . So don't spout off paragraph after paragraph about how washing machines are a tool of the devil, or a portal to another universe - your music's just not playing to this audience, dig? But of course, washing machines and socks are just one classic example of isolated humorous instances that no one cares about. In fact there are many many humorous things happening all the time that don't relate well to print and in fact fit quite neatly under the category entitled "I guess you had to be there." Okay, here's a for instance: you're walking home to your apartment after a long day at the office, and on the way home you buy a huge hoagie sandwich which you proceed to dispense with in record time. As you unlock your apartment door you unleash a cavernous like belch which promptly squelches the beginning of the surprise party that your friends waiting inside had planned for you. They don't say "SURPRISE!" they just stand around looking confused and bewildered. Yes, an awkward situation indeed, and certainly not one worth writing about in a humor column. I guess you had to be there.

3) Remain wildly unfocused and don't summarize at the end of the column.

It's a proven fact that a humor piece that jumps all over the place and has the audience scratching their heads won't be as successful as one that sticks to a topic and attacks it with vicious wit. It's never a good idea for the audience to wonder out loud as they are reading your article "what in the world is he trying to go for here?" But it is a good idea to wrap up all your ideas at the end of the column with a running gag from earlier in the column. (ex) Often in fact the people who read your work may marvel at the complexity of it and think that it takes weeks of planning to write something that is funny and amusing to a general audience. Whatever you do don't let them know that it's all just a slapdash effort to meet a deadline and you finished it and sent it to your editor just before you fell asleep while drinking Jolt Cola.

Did you see what I did there? I went completely off topic and left you scratching your heads wondering how the sentences got strung together like that. So to summarize - don't do that. And to finish - remember to summarize.

4) Go for the cheap laugh.

I'm sure that ten years ago, none of you ever used the phrase "smooth move ex-lax". I'm sure that you didn't because that joke was designed strictly for the purposes of making fun of someone who had just done something dumb looking, and preferably with several people around to illicit laughter. This is known as "the cheap laugh". It is the most obvious joke that you can make, and it is often overused and frequently only funny for the person who has said it. This can be directly applied to humor columns, as the number of fart jokes, crude ethnic references, and any mention of Michael Jackson and plastic surgery has dramatically increased in recent years. Word to the wise: fart jokes are for kids, no one wants to hear a constant running gag about your Indian next door neighbor, and everyone knows that only five percent of Michael Jackson's skin is originally his. Don't settle for the cheap laugh, be smarter than that.

So now that you know what not do, go out there and don't do it! The End.

Well, with another issue out of the way, I can only look forward to the next one. I must also point out that this is the first issue of the fan club to be posted on the internet for a premiere instead of e-mailed to everyone. In future issues, and as my html skills evolve, I would love to see the fans more involved with the website. Maybe we could do like a fan poetry corner …or something. Maybe we could have a comments section. I just don't know yet. But for now, I'm glad I was able to do this. So remember send all your questions, comments, complaints, dirty laundry, and death threats to It is 100 percent guaranteed that I will answer you in a future issue or personally. If you would not like your answer posted to the fan club, just say so (unless its obvious, then I'll probably know). And just to prove my point…..

The Fan Section wants to know: 1) hey josh-which male member of the addams family do you find the most attractive and why 2. if two dogs ate a third dog, and one was pregnant, which dog makes out the best?

1) I'd have to say that Mr. Adams (Raul Julia in the first two movies) really wore his suits well. 2) This question is extremely ambiguous but I think that the pregnancy bit doesn't really matter in this case. The dog that ate the most of the other dog would definitely have to be the top dog.

See you next time!