If you fancy yourself a funny person, or you’ve ever done anything that slightly borders between funny and annoying or obnoxious, you know that you have a real border and a line to cross between funny and annoying. But where is the line? And how do you be humorous, without crossing that line and turning into somebody who is more annoying and unwanted, than funny and popular?
There are a few keys to consider and think about when it comes to being funny without being annoying. This especially may be worthwhile for younger people, and those up-and-coming comedians out there who fancy themselves as funny and want to better improve their skills to make more people laugh and enjoy themselves.
First, that line doesn’t exist
That line, the one between funny and annoying? It doesn’t exist. You can’t know exactly when you’ve crossed it. It depends on the joke, the audience, the gag, the context, and what’s happening around you, and it’s different every single day and in every single situation.
A good deal of being funny without being annoying is very simply working and experimenting through trial and error. There will be points when you cross the line, and there will be points when you get it just right. But you can’t know and recognize those points until you do them over and over, and occasionally fail and become the annoying person from time to time.
Learn the room and leave on a high note
One of the best ways to be funny without being annoying is learning the timing, delivery and outcome of your jokes and gags, as well as learning how to gauge people’s reactions to those gags. In doing so, you can figure out pretty easily when you should “leave the room on a high note,” so to speak, after you’ve done your best joke and have people thinking highly of you. You can always look at funny pictures for inspiration for some good jokes too.
If you bring your best material, and the come back with more after your best jokes or gags, you run the risk of wearing out your welcome and being less funny, and more annoying. Avoid that! Leave on a high note and make it a point to always cut your jokes at the top, leaving people wanting more and thinking highly of you as a funny man or woman, and not less of you as an annoying person who doesn’t understand humor and when to stop.
There’s no set line between funny and annoying. Trial and error will get you closer to perfection every day, but you need to remember that you will step over that boundary from time to time, and have to deal with the consequences of doing so. That’s fine, too; comedians go into their work knowing they will occasionally over step that boundary, but they do it fearlessly with the knowledge of knowing they are good enough to come back and make up for it in time. The same will happen to you, as you improve your jokes and more over time.