The Power Of The Dad Joke

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some people can say just about anything tell jokes that should be terrible and still make an audience roar with laughter until i met my wife i always felt incomplete now i’m finished [Laughter] that was norm mcdonald and it’s why in this video we’ll be breaking him down to cover how you can make people obsessed with you by telling bad jokes that still manage to kill that’s fine with me about that owl i don’t give a hoot before the jokes though we have to note that in near every clip of norm he smiles like crazy while he’s joking smiling is just a plain good charisma habit in most situations but with comedy specifically it sub communicates you’ve just said or will say something worth laughing at so by adding that mischievous smile it makes getting the laugh much easier what’s the movie going to be called i know what it’s going to be yeah what’s that if it’s got carrot top in it you know what a good name for it’d be what’s that norm box office poison i won’t belabor the point except to say that everything norm does is enhanced by the fact that he makes you expect to laugh with his smile and demeanor and then subverts what you’d expect to laugh at which brings us to norm’s first comedy sin and second comedic habit norm explains his jokes the old adage is you have to explain a joke there is no joke but norm flips that advice on its head by explaining jokes the audience already understands which winds up being even funnier than just being witty to see that watch for the reaction to the genuinely clever part of norm’s dig at carrot top compared to his explanation of the dig you have a scene where you and you you and him embrace yeah lots of making out oh for god’s sake it’s like nine and a half weeks but carrot top is it called nine and a half seconds [Applause] it’s like he’s premature ejaculatory in your own life you can use this trick to turn a bad joke into a great one if it doesn’t land just explain the punchline with a big expectant smile on your face playing like the other person would erupt into laughter if only they got the joke it works even better with truly bad jokes since they are more obvious making the explanation less necessary and therefore more funny watch here now but bob has a beautiful face like a flower yeah cauliflower [Laughter] no offense but your face looks like a cauliflower similarly normal set an audience up to think he’s going to say something interesting or insightful only to hit them with the least insightful thing he could possibly say he uses pregnant pauses to bait the audience into thinking something great is coming and then hits them with nothing which is somehow even better kickboxing yeah and that’s an odd sport what they do is they combine the style and grace of boxing with with kicking [Laughter] this works because jokes are supposed to be non-obvious comedians will even razz one another when jokes are too obvious and they can see the punchline coming from a mile away but norm takes advantage of this expectation by making his punchline so stupidly obvious that they managed to surprise you so if you find yourself stuck with nothing interesting to say to close out a thought or a story purposely saying the least interesting thing possible can save you this takes guts because it has to be as lame or redundant as possible for it to be funny if it’s only mildly uninteresting you’re actually just being boring you’ve got to commit like norm does here i asked you to come on i find out you pushed out on me and quit smoking what is that all about no because it’s bad for you they have these [ __ ] things on the side you have to read the fine print where it says it’s bad now another adage of humor is the jokes are funnier when told in the first person even if they didn’t really happen to you you’re supposed to hide this narrative sleight of hand though to maintain the effect i was on this plane once and i’m sitting there and uh you ever been on a plane no but it’s a [ __ ] joke it works better if i tell it in the first person norm follows this rule starting jokes off in the first person like you’re supposed to but then he makes it painfully obvious he’s lying about it all having happened to him in this next case he purposely screws up the details of a character’s name to tip off the audience when i was young there was a fella uh by went by the name of jacques de gautier while i was scrambling to get out of high school jacques zagattino had already i think you just changed his last name well you know a man grows he uh other times norm uses old-timey language that you know he’d never have said to create the same effect if this were a memoir i would tell about my wife what a battle axe honey i look in the mirror and all i see is a fat ugly old man and i need you to give me a compliment she says all right then uh your eyesight is damn near perfect i said you dirty dog and other times he includes impossibly absurd details in this case he’s saying that he was once a bartender with a ridiculous item behind the bar but then acts confused when conan asks for clarification and i see in a in a right in the bottom of the bar area there’s a uh there’s a shoe box with a turtle in it from where what is that doing there what in these cases the joke shifts from being solely about the content of the story to norm’s unconvincing first person delivery he’s putting on a deliberately bad performance for his and the audience’s enjoyment now you don’t need to make up stories to put the essence of this joke into practice instead recognize that if you’re trying to be funny and you mess up the delivery skip important information in a story or flub a punchline that’s not the end of the joke it’s the beginning of a new joke about how bad you are at telling jokes and that’s almost always one that people love which takes us to the least copyable but most iconic norm joke the long meandering prank joke it’s one where norms delays and delays and delays the punchline goes into a podiatrist’s office the potential office says what’s the problem and the mos says what’s the problem where do i begin man at night i i sometimes wake up and i turn to some old lady she fell in the in the in the cold of last year and my other boy and this is the hardest pill to swallow doc and then this hellish facade once only to arrive at the end and have the punchline underwhelm in spectacular fashion the doctor says moth man you’re troubled but you should be seeing a psychiatrist why on earth did you come here and then the ma said because the light was on these jokes do not work in normal life where the expectation is that people do tell long unsatisfying stories so please don’t deliver a three-minute long pun to your friends and family it will not go over well but norm was in a setting where we expect the guests to come on with curated stories proven to get laughs his brilliance was to upend that expectation do everything you’re not supposed to do and finish with a pun you might hear from your dad upsetting contextual expectations makes this a meta joke and an andy richter’s word somebody said i gotta show you something they took out a four mile hike to show you a dog turd [Laughter] like i said the specifics of a three minute pun are tough to copy effectively but you can use your environment to make bad jokes land harder than they have a right to like norm did you just need to pick an environment where playfulness is less expected for instance the first minutes of a job interview networking event or the initial awkward phases of a first date obviously you’re not going wild using toilet humor here but something light like an exaggerated compliment perhaps joking about how the company’s cool technology makes you feel like tony stark that can lighten the mood tremendously and this is a mindset that is run through everything we’ve covered and one that will make you much funnier if you adopt it norms seem to believe that you could make just about anything funny it didn’t have to be a zippy one-liner or super quick wit which he definitely had for him it was about playing with whatever the moment offered and reducing all the rules down to one primary guideline do what you can to make people smile if you internalize that mindset even your worst jokes can become awesome so hopefully that all helps to punch up your own humor from norm but quite frankly there won’t ever be another norm now if you want to become the most charismatic and confident version of you that is something we can help with and you might like to check out our course charisma university it’s a step-by-step program for building your confidence and charisma as quickly as possible over 9 000 people have joined the program so far and here’s what just a few of them have to say loving the course i have cherry-picked a few things for example the filter lesson in the conversation module this one lesson completely changed my life i’ve liked a girl for over a year now but never thought much of it because i thought she was just too pretty took your lessons gave things a shot and now we are dating another member wrote i’ve already watched a lot of the youtube channel and loved it but charisma university’s action guide really helped me put this stuff into practice and changed my life insane social experiences i never thought i’d have and work-wise i ended up getting a best-selling author as a mentor i am so glad i joined and this last one comes in saying i am significantly more confident in all social situations the connection i feel with strangers and close friends and family alike have increased dramatically i transitioned from someone who never got asked to hang out regularly to multiple people texting me on a daily basis many people have openly expressed their admiration for me and i get a lot more positive attention i have grown so much because of this course i can’t thank you enough now the program comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee which is for any reason whatsoever it’s a 60-day guarantee even though the course is just 30 so there’s absolutely no risk on your side you either like it you become confident and charismatic up to your standards or you get every penny back so if this interests you and you want to unlock your own confidence and charisma go ahead click the link on the screen or in the description below and you can learn more about joining either way i hope that you guys enjoyed this video and i look forward to seeing you in the next one



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  1. Weird how this video made me google to see what carrot top was up to nowadays and it turns out he was on the plane with that lady that thought the guy wasn’t real lmao

  2. Hey guys for those interested I can send you the whole charisma university course for a much better price ! The course is amazing but not affordable for everyone :/ so let me help you out 🙂

  3. Oh! Great! This is me! I do exactly the same things! I'm not always totally great at delivery – there are just some people who won't laugh at it, no matter how well you do it, but generally speaking you can have a lot of fun with people like that

  4. I like how the narrator makes it sound like you, or anyone, can actually pull this off. No, you can't. That's why we watch these videos over and over. Only he could do it.

  5. I watch your videos in different languages, I bought a book, Charlie is just super sexy!
    Make a video about Johnny Depp (introvert with trademark humor), James McAvoy (extrovert with vulgar humor), Armie Hammer (cute, liberated), Neil Harris (frenzied charisma), Graham Norton (finds a common language with people of all ages, makes fun of everyone equally), Keira Knightley, Salma Hayek, Zach Efron (the last three tell great stories), Mila Jovovich (very charming, funny)… It would seem that many actors were disassembled, but they are constantly repeated and there are few favorites among them. From the series, you can make out the characters of the Tudors, although they are no longer new… You can read the Legends about Aang – I always liked that Aang does not have an ideal character and there are still plenty of ideas!

  6. 6:04 This reminds me of my brief stint as a magician in high school. I only knew a couple card tricks, and frequently messed them up, so I intentionally acted the part of a bad magician. I would fumble my cards, act embarrased and insist on trying again when my tricks failed, and when they succeeded, act just ridiculously pleased with myself and over confident. By really hamming it up, I turned my bad magic routine into a good comedy routine.


    COuld you make a video about: How to console anyone if they had a tough time or had a trauma or so … how to comfort anyone and let them feel good …. <3

  8. I think it was jerry Lewis that told Conan that the key to comedy is to tell the audience what you are about to do, do it, then tell them it has been done.