Adding Humor To Your Show – Lesson Six

Now that you have practiced becoming a good communicator, you could stop here and have a very lucrative career in radio broadcasting. Let’s explore adding some humor to your radio show. Humor is a very touchy form of communication. What may be funny to you may not be funny to anyone else. Although, sometimes you need to just take a chance with humor.

There are two major rules to follow about humor and your radio show.

The first rule is to not feel ashamed of using someone else’s joke.
The second rule of humor is that “the best ad lib is a written ad lib.
Listen to the radio and watch television. Don’t be afraid to use someone else’s joke, as long as you modify it to fit your particular audience. Hmmmm … where have we heard that before?

Write down everything you are going to say on the air, whether it be humor, a break, news, a public service announcement, or backgrounding about an artist. Even if you know what you’re going to say, write it down! A badly delivered joke or a joke that you have forgotten the punch line to is a reflection of you and the station, not the joke itself!

There are basically two types of humor used in radio. These are written humor (live) and pre-produced humor (not live on the air). Most of the humor you use on the air will be pre-produced humor. When you are using live humor it is usually limited to one-liners and very short anecdotes or stories.

Let’s first look at pre-produced humor. Personally this is my favorite type of humor. You can be as creative, silly or whatever as you like. The sky is the limit with pre-produced humor. Here are some ideas on what you can produce.

  • Take-offs on current television shows or movies
  • Create new characters to use inside your radio show
  • Magazine and book parodies
  • Impersonations of famous people
  • Take-offs on local and national political figures

There are an infinite number of comedy bits you can produce. You can work on these until you have them perfected and then insert them at different places in your show. Listen to this to get an idea of what pre-produced humor can sound like. Listen to how they are produced. You can do many character voices yourself. All it takes is a little bit of practice and creativity.

Try to have a variety of one voice, two voice, character, and other comedy bits produced. This will help your show sound fresh and exciting.

You can also subscribe to different services that offer pre-written one-liners and pre-produced comedy packages.

Now, let’s look at live humor. The main focus of live humor is the way you deliver it. Live humor, on the average, should be no longer than thirty seconds or so. This will restrict you to mainly one-liners and very short stories and anecdotes. The live humor you use should relate to something else in your break. It could relate to a song you just played or to a public service announcement you just read. Make sure if you use a one-liner it is relevant to your break. Here’s an example.

KBBC FM 98 … Light Rock With Less Talk … Elton John with “Your Song” … we also heard from the Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, and all the way back to 1976 for Captain and Tenille’s “Wedding Song.” Speaking of weddings … this is the month when most weddings take place in the U.S. According to the census, a wedding takes place every three minutes during this month. Makes you kind of stop and think … why do people get married? My dad told me he didn’t marry my mom for her money … he married her so he didn’t have to blame all of his problems on the government!

- Go to commercials –

- After the commercials –

9:40 … 50 degrees with showers continuing all day. Time now for another 30 minutes of commercial free music. We’ll hear from Chicago, the Carpenters, and Whitney Houston. It’s all coming your way next on FM 99 KBBC … Where you’ll hear light rock with less talk.

Do you get the idea on how to work a joke into your break. Usually it’s a good idea to go into a commercial or another song right after the punch line. This way, if the joke isn’t funny the commercial or song will take the audience’s attention away from it. Always conform your joke to your particular city and listening audience. Don’t just out of the blue use a one-liner. Live humor almost always has to be set up. You want to try to make every break in your show flow. You can use one-liners and short stories with public service announcements, news and sports stories, and song artists and titles. Be creative about using jokes, but make sure they make sense in the break and they enhance the break. Never use a one-liner about a commercial you have played. Don’t ever joke about a station sponsor, unless you have been told to do so. Sponsors are the people who keep the station going. They are the biggest source of revenue for the station.

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