When I first started doing comedy, I, like a lot of other people, looked to books about comedy to gather information and advice. One thing I never got about those books is that they spent a large amount of time telling people how to write jokes. I always found that weird because if you want to be a comic, you kinda already know how to make people laugh. Just go do that on a stage. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but it is better then taking someone else’s method of joke writing.
I used to write everything I thought was funny into my notebook or my phone. I would then either read it to rewrite it or I would just do what I had on stage and work it out from there. This suited me until I found myself with all these jokes that didn’t really have a place in my normal show. I have jokes about cats and pandas and religion, but in all it didn’t really mesh well. What I started doing almost naturally was blending all similar jokes together. Not writing them like that, but just doing one similar joke on stage ended up bring forth all the other jokes that I had written. This worked out well because it kept on subject and it really made it seem like I planned it that way when really they were a bunch of smaller jokes that my brain put together without me knowing it.
If there is one problem with writing as many jokes as I do is that I can’t remember them all. They are in my phone, I can pull them up, but I chose to just walk on stage and try to remember any new ones. If I can’t then that is too bad. Which sucks when you are trying to record stuff to check you progress and you see that you are still doing the same jokes as last open mic. The thing I do now is I usually will go up with a couple of jokes either written to completion or in my head and I work it out at an open mic. Some of my best material has come about that way. I will be on stage and my brain will say “Say this they will laugh” and I say it and they laugh. The problem is that if I do it on stage and it was kind of complicated (not just a funny line) Then I will probably never do it again for fear that I will mess up what made the original so great. That means I should record myself more.