Here’s Exactly How You Tell A Joke Like Louis CK

Don’t even try unless you have something funny to say, but if you do have a funny idea, this is what Louis might do with it.

Here’s Exactly How You Tell A Joke Like Louis CK

WHAT: A video analyzing Louis CK’s joke-telling style.

WHO: Video essayist The Nerdwriter.

WHY WE CARE: As E.B. White once said, explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog: you understand it better but the frog dies in the process. Amazingly enough, though, when one of Co.Create‘s favorite video essayists does a forensic analysis of Louis CK’s beloved Monopoly joke, it’s an illuminating procedure in which the frog survives. The Nerdwriter breaks down each component of the joke in a way that viewers will not only still find it funny, but they will walk away with a blueprint for how to better tell their own jokes. “How Louis CK Tells A Joke” explores the 200-word Monopoly joke over the course of about eight minutes, revealing CK’s penchant for smart word choice, clear premise establishment, vividly drawn counterparts, emphatic pauses, and dramatization. What remains to be seen, though, is whether viewers will be able to use these tools anywhere near as masterfully as Louis CK. (Just kidding, they definitely won’t.)

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.

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