Spontaneous humour vs telling jokes

Just sneaked out of the conference to catch up on the blog.

Best nugget from yesterday was an idea passed on by Gary Schwartz. Gary was discussing the value of spontaneity and way unexpected humor is often more satisfying than telling jokes. This is in an Improv context but obviously applies elsewhere…

If in a scene you tell a great joke, the audience will get a surprise, and laugh. But as the joke teller, you know the punchline and you won’t be surprised… But suppose in the heat of the moment you say something spontaneous, and then everyone starts laughing… now you’re sharing the surprise with them.

Great moments in Improv come when a group creates something together that is not forced or controlled by any one individual. I think great teams in all contexts are able to generate the same kind of spirit where a group mind is created that is more than the sum of the parts.

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