ROUTINE BUILDER 1. Put Each Joke on a Separate Index Card 2. Organize the Jokes into Categories 3. Arrange Jokes so One Thought Lead to the Next 4. Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite

Introduce the Routine

Add Segues

Reword It Conversationally

Search for a Story Line

INTRODUCE THE ROUTINE It's so unnatural to just come on stage and start saying your first joke. You'll want to bring up the subject matter of your routine in the same way that you'd bring it up in normal conversation. You can do this in one of three ways:

STATE THE TOPIC The purpose is to bring up your subject matter in a conversational manner, so when I say "state," I don't mean you should simply say, "I'd like to talk about the post office." Actually, that's not a bad approach, but if you have a show with several routines it'll soon become repetitive. There are as many ways of bringing up your topic as there are topics, but please don't ask the cliché question, "How many people here...?" Be original, not stereotypical.

PROCLIAM THE PUNCH-PREMISE Sometimes stating the topic isn't enough because the routine requires more information for it to make sense. When this is the case, proclaiming your punch-premise, including its negative opinion, will add the needed information to frame the routine.

PRESENT THE SETUP-PREMISE Some routines will have more of an impact by presenting the setup-premise's positive opinion, which will often be performed as sarcasm.

Deciding whether you introduce your routine with the topic, punch-premise, or the setup-premise is best settled by trying them all. It'll often be a matter of which lends itself to the best misdirection or which doesn't give away the joke. Figuring this out will become easier with experience.