I was watching an episode of Hypothetical the other day and one of the jokes that James Acaster was making was about the hypothetical question about creating a new holiday and he said a line that made him laugh as he was surprised that the audience reacted so well to the joke as he didn’t find it that funny.
This is really relevant when it comes to improv because even though it is made up on the spot, a lot of the time you can be pleasantly surprised when something makes the audience laugh a lot.
I think the most important point that this makes is that you shouldn’t plan what you say or do in improv because it can lead to people not laughing or responding as you thought that they would. This is the great thing about comedy you cannot predict what people will find funny!
Everytime I have done a show I am always surprised at some of the things that audiences find funny. I think one of the most popular things people find funny is when they can see an improviser breaking down in a scene. Usually in Punders this is me, I break character if I find something funny and then I cannot contain my laughter and i burst out laughing. Once you have composed yourself the audience still find this funny as they know that you are holding it in.
Laughter is a funny thing and Ian Mclaughlin used to do a fantastic show about the Science Behind Laughter and why we find things funny….and then Jimmy Carr made a show about the same thing and that sadly vanished which is a shame because Ian’s show was so interesting.