Public Speaking Course:
Words are Funny
Some words are simply funnier than others and the words you choose can
be the key to creating a successful witty line or a dud. All professional
comedic writers agree on the following techniques taught in my public
speaking course. The sound
of some certain words can almost guarantee a laugh. In particular,
the 'K' sound in words is the granddaddy of all funny sounds. In Neil
Simon's play, The Sunshine Boys, Willy, a main character, gives his
nephew a lecture about comedy:
"Fifty-seven years in this business, you learn a few things. You
know what words are funny and which words are not funny. Alka Seltzer
is funny. You say "Alka Seltzer" you get a laugh . . . Words
with "k" in them are funny. Casey Stengel, that's a funny
name. Robert Taylor is not funny. Cupcake is funny. Tomato is not funny.
Cookie is funny. Cucumber is funny. Car keys. Cleveland . . . Cleveland
is funny. Maryland is not funny. Then, there's chicken. Chicken is funny.
Pickle is funny."
Is "Spea-king" funny? Or Publick, as in the old way of spelling
it? Remember being funny is part of using the skills you learn in your
public speaking course.
Someone actually researched why the 'k' sound is so funny to people. They surmised
that it has something to do with the sounds we hear as babies that are
with comfort. Like cootchie-coo, cuddle, cozy, etc. Note that these
words don't have a 'K' in them, but they have the 'K' sound. Kinda Crazy,
huh? Or how about Captain Kangaroo? That brings up a funny thought or
Those turkeys over at XYA (remember no Z's allowed) company can't hold
a candle to our team of installers.
I'll bet you a cupcake to a cucumber the blue team will outsell the
So kids, keep on keeping on.