How to Write Funny by Scott Dikkers is a book that provides guidance and insights into the art of humor writing. Dikkers, one of the founders of The Onion, a well-known satirical news outlet, shares his expertise on crafting humor. Here are the key ideas from the book:
Understanding Humor
Dikkers begins by explaining the basics of humor and its various forms, from satire and parody to absurdity and wordplay. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the principles of what makes something funny.
Observation and Empathy
Humor often arises from keen observation of human behavior and empathy for the quirks and foibles of others. Dikkers encourages writers to pay attention to the world around them and find humor in everyday situations.
Writing with Specificity
Specific details and vivid descriptions enhance the humor in writing. Dikkers advises writers to be specific in their descriptions and avoid vague or generic language.
Exaggeration and Hyperbole
Exaggeration and hyperbole are common comedic techniques. Dikkers explains how to use them effectively to create humor that resonates with readers.
Timing and Pacing
Timing is crucial in humor. Dikkers discusses the importance of pacing, setup, and punchlines in delivering jokes effectively.
Voice and Character
Developing unique voices and characters in writing can add depth and humor to a piece. Dikkers provides guidance on creating memorable characters and giving them distinct comedic traits.
Surprise and Misdirection
Surprise is a key element of humor. Dikkers explores how to set up expectations and then subvert them with unexpected twists or punchlines.
Wordplay and Language
Playing with language, including puns, wordplay, and double meanings, is a classic form of humor. Dikkers discusses how to use language creatively for comedic effect.
Satire and Social Commentary
Humor can be a powerful tool for satire and social commentary. Dikkers explains how to use humor to critique and comment on societal issues.
Writing Exercises
Throughout the book, Dikkers provides writing exercises and prompts to help readers practice their humor-writing skills and generate funny ideas.
Editing and Refinement
Writing humor often involves revision and refinement. Dikkers offers advice on the editing process and how to improve comedic writing through rewriting.
Finding Your Comic Voice
Dikkers encourages writers to find their own unique comic voice and style. He emphasizes that humor should be authentic and reflect the writer's personality.
Learning from Comedy Masters
Dikkers draws inspiration from famous comedians and humorists, sharing lessons and insights from their work.

"How to Write Funny" is a practical guide for aspiring humor writers, comedians, and anyone interested in adding humor to their writing. Scott Dikkers' book provides valuable techniques, examples, and exercises to help writers develop their comedic skills and create funny and engaging content. It's a resource for those looking to infuse humor into various forms of writing, including satire, comedy sketches, and more.