HomeCommunicationComedy – Keep a straight face. Do not smile to let them know the joke is coming.
Comedy – Keep a straight face. Do not smile to let them know the joke is coming.
November 10, 2018
One golden rule a lot of comedians follow, is not to smile when making a joke.
While in most social situations having a smile is a good idea, when it comes to comedy and making jokes, it is better not to smile.
This is because one important element of jokes is for it to be unexpected. When you smile before making the joke, or while making the joke, it hints to the people around you that you are going to say something funny, and this takes away the element of surprise, or unexpectedness.
Another reason is that if you smile too much when making a joke, it implies desperation and needing the other person to laugh as well at the joke. NEEDING someone to laugh at a joke kills the joke.
There are some type of jokes where smiling can be useful, such as if you are going to insult a friend in a joking way. But then again, such type of jokes can be risky.
As a rule of thumb, I tend not to smile when making most jokes. I either keep a straight face, or I have a small smile. There are some jokes where smiling or laughing when saying it, or after saying it will be a better idea; but not for a lot of jokes. With practise, and more time talking to people, and thinking how other people around you would feel because of your behaviour; you will start to develop an instinct for it.
To get a better idea of when to smile and when not to smile when telling jokes, watch videos of comedians making jokes to learn the body language and way they behave when making jokes. Watching successful comedians tell jokes is one of the best pieces of advice I can give you for learning comedy and improving your comedy instincts.