Eric Hoffman, Author, Comedy by the Numbers
There's a lot of books out there claiming that they contain the secret to being funny, but only the authors of Comedy by the Numbers actually know how to crack a joke. LAist spoke with co-author Eric Hoffman about the how-to-guide to makem-laughs and crackem-ups, and even got him to reveal a few of the secrets just for you. But, be warned, Eric also reveals the means by which you'd know if you're currently funny or not, so you might find yourself making a shocking discovery. Don't worry, though, either way you'll be one step closer to being funnier than you've ever been by the time you finish this interview
How can the reader tell whether they're funny, aren't funny but think they are, or aren't funny but would like to be?
If people tell other people you're funny, you're funny. If people actually groan every time you start to tell a joke, then you may just need to freshen up your comedic stylings. Lay off the 'dry hump' jokes for a while. Tone down the mugging. Now, if nothing you ever say EVER gets a response, from anyone, including family, who HAVE to laugh, then you just might be "not funny." (employ "You Might Be A Redneck If--" delivery here:) If you say "knock, knock" to someone...and they say "no one's home." --then you just might be not funny! Sorry, that just seemed to work for me. Anyway, our book can help everyone from the pro's to the "everyday Joe's" get easy chuckles AND popularity!
What are some indications that we might one of the few to posses true comedic talent?
Flawless timing. The ability to appeal to everyone. A good "anger face" is essential as it's
used in practically every comedy routine. One indication is the ability to make old bits seem new and relevant (because as we all know, "everything's been done beforeã!"). The type of performer who can make a Mirror Routine (#75 in our book) seem like you've never seen one before, that's what I like. And a good Slow Burn (#153) goes a long way with me.