Charm Your Date With Humor

Charm Your Date With Humor

You know people are always saying they want to date someone who makes them laugh. Be that in-demand person with these tips from five comedians; they'll get your senses of humor in sync.

By Elise Nersesian
aybe you're one of those people who has a gift for making people laugh. Perhaps on a first date, you effortlessly inspire everything from chuckles to guffaws. Congrats on that. But let's say you're more like the rest of us, who really, really want to amuse the folks we meet at bars and parties or go out with on dates... but just don't know how. Then this advice is for you. Listen up as five comedians share their tried-and-true tactics for making 'em laugh.

Funny Fundamental #1: The Bait-and-Switch
From: Andy Vastola, comic who's appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman

"The 'bait-and-switch' is often used to keep the other person on their toes, and to prevent the conversation from getting stale. There are two basic steps to the 'bait and switch.' Step one: Deliberately misinterpret something your date says. Step two: Answer with a statement that's a play on what they've said. For example, your date may ask, 'How do you like the scones?' (the bait). Your response: 'I don't know; I've never seen The Scones in concert. Are they good?' (the switch). This is a win/win situation. If your date laughs, it means they have a sense of humor and they're a keeper. If not, they think you're a bonehead and will do the breaking up for you."

Funny Fundamental #2: The Callback
From: Dan Allen, stand-up comic on Comedy Central's Premium Blend

"Show your date that you're able to laugh at your mistakes — and bring back a funny moment throughout the night — with a technique called 'the callback.' For example, one time I accidentally mispronounced 'Pinot Grigio' as 'Peanut Gringo,' much to the amusement of my date, and our waiter. Then, throughout the evening, I occasionally inserted intentional mispronunciations — like 'Fill-ette migg-non' — into the conversation. It showed that I could make fun of myself and be creative at the same time. A word of warning: Use this technique only three times in the night—after that the joke gets old, and there's a fine line between hilarious and just reminding your date you messed up."

Funny Fundamental #3: Character Voices
From: Ophira Eisenberg, stand-up comic and a panelist of Us Weekly's Fashion Police

"Pump up your anecdotes with fun character voices to get your date more interested and laughing. We're not talking about Daffy Duck impressions—stick to mimicking characters in your story. Trust me, the time you got pulled over for a speeding ticket will be so much funnier if you give the cop an oafish voice. And don't worry if you can't master an accent or if it's not a good impression—it's the effort that counts! However, don't risk trying an impression of your date while on the date. Save that for years down the road."

Funny Fundamental #4: The Save
From: Christian Finnegan, panelist on VH1's Best Week Ever, a tongue-in-cheek roundup of pop culture

"A 'save' is when you create an awkward situation by accident, and then alleviate your blunder by saying something funny. For instance, you might go on a ten-minute tirade about how much you loathe Billy Joel, only to have your date tell you she's seen him in concert fourteen times. At this point you may be tempted to apologize, but don't. You said what you said—equivocating just makes you look weak. To 'save' this situation, you need to take your argument to absurd proportions, and say something like, 'Obviously you're unaware that Billy Joel cheated my entire family out of our fortune.' This renders the whole conversation ridiculous, and therefore harmless. And by not immediately apologizing, you display a blend of confidence and independence. Ten points for you!"

Funny Fundamental #5: The "Yes And…" Tactic
From: Carmen Lynch, comedian on Last Comic Standing

"The 'yes and...' is simply building on a statement your date makes, in order to move the conversation to an absurd new level. For example, if your date takes one look at the restaurant bill and says it's so high he'll have to rob a bank to cover it, don't just let his comment sit there. Take it one step further by saying, 'Sure, robbing a bank sounds like a good idea—and there's one just down the block. How about I drive the getaway car?' If, however, you aren't digging the guy, definitely don't 'yes and...' his offer for a second date. End the improv scene right there!"

Elise Nersesian is a New York-based writer who covers love, sex, and relationships. Luckily, her current beau keeps her in stitches pretty much non-stop.
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