How to write humor like a Cartoonist?

Have you ever looked at the comic strip in your daily newspaper and wondered how did the writer come up with such an amazing piece?

Well, according to Scott Adams there is an actual formula for creating humor and he uses it every time to create his popular strip Dilbert.

It’s a fact that if you do something long enough you will start to develop your own techniques and methodology, but what Scott says is that every piece of humor no matter who writes will be based on this theory of his.

This ingenious formula of humor, which he calls his Dimensions of Humor can be considered more of a theorem that exists in nature, which he has observed and identified.

According to the theorem, humor is classified into six distinct elements. These are Clever, Naughty, Bizarre, Cruel, Cute, and Recognizable.

And if you want to make your joke really effective you should have at least two of the elements in it. Anything more than two makes your joke even better.


Let’s understand these elements

  • Clever: Well if you’re smart then your jokes must be too. Clever is a combination of words of things that people didn’t think you could combine. The first thing that comes to my mind is the popular sitcom Big Bang Theory, especially Sheldon’s punches are fantastic.
  • Naughty: We all know what that refers to, sex or bathroom jokes. The combination fo naughty and clever will always give you a great result.
  • Bizarre: This is the most powerful element. Anything strange or out of the ordinary. Such as when Ford Prefect sticks a Babel Fish in Arthur’s ear in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Cruel: Any act that is unkind, is a staple in humor. Just think of Charlie Chaplin and his skits, they were always full of people being kicked, hit or being sprinkled with flour.
  • Cute: Mostly refers to animals or kids. In fact, even animal related analogies add to the humor.
  • Recognizable: Humour is about people and the more familiar the story you’re telling the funnier people will find it.


Some extra tips for humor writing.

  • Choose an interesting topic. When writing humor, if your topic doesn’t already have an element of humor in it, your joke is going to fall flat.
  • Humor is about people and how they act, so make it believable. There is humor in most of our everyday acts, you just need to find it.
  • The best type of humor is where you make the reader think and analyze. When your reader is reading and making a neural connection that is when you joke is really going to blow his mind.
  • Funny words immediately help the readers prep themselves for what’s coming next, so use them.

Scott Adams is not just a cartoonist but also an established author. He has written several fiction and non-ficiton works of which the latest Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter in which he predicted Trump’s win, two years prior to the election has brought him a lot of fame or infamy.

If you’re interested in reading more about Scott Adams writing here are some links to his work.

Humor Writing Tutorial


Know any funny words? Please share them down below. I love reading your comments! Thanks for reading.


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