Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #373 – Funny Isn’t the Goal

We all want to be entertaining on the air.  But “funny” isn’t the only thing that entertains.  And for that matter, “punch line” humor is dead, anyway.
It’s the UNEXPECTED remark that cracks people up.  But great vocabulary, the ability to paint a picture, and vulnerability are all ingredients of “entertaining,” too.  Think “A Christmas Story” about the kid and the B.B. gun.  (God bless you, Jean Shepherd, for writing that.)

In coaching hundreds of Personality morning shows, I think these may be two of the main things I’ve learned:

  1. Step One is never just to try and be funny.  Step One is to be Relevant.  THAT’S ALWAYS THE GOAL.  Then – and only then – should you turn your sense of humor and your personality traits into something to do on the air.  But if the listener can’t see himself/herself in it, then it’s just another deejay telling a joke.  Ho hum.  (You know, I can just click Amazon Prime on my phone or iPad and see Jim Gaffigan.  He’s funnier than you.)
  2. You can’t MAKE someone funny.  (Partner, caller, etc.)  But that can actually work, and become humorous if you put it in the right context.  Use your imagination.  Instead of going for a joke, go for a funny REACTION.

Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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