Here’s a few ideas of what makes children laugh in no particular order:
- Food being thrown in a grown-ups face, especially if they are mid-sentence.
- Tripping up
- Standing on a plank so the other end hits the bad guy in the face.
- Children being really naughty, like spilling juice from a bottle onto someone’s head (what is it with me and heads)
- Consistency of a habit of a particular character – for example – I went to watch Cirque du Soleil last weekend and it was incredible. In between dramatic scenes, they had some clowns come on stage and do very simple yet funny tricks. Being knocked to the floor when you are bending over is a classic. They made very complicated moves look very easy. Each clown had a certain funny trait. Do each of your characters have individual funny traits? Do they roll their eyes, let rip, go red in the face, shake?
- Embarrassing situations are other ways to incorporate humour into a situation. Is there something that would embarrass your protagonist? Do you let them get embarrassed?
I should give you a scene from a book as an example, but forgive me for using a funny movie instead.
The kitchen scene where the baddies come in the house is hilarious! It is a classic adult fight with one difference that makes it okay for kids to watch and laugh at. Jackie Chan rather than doing classic martial arts moves (here I go again can I keep off the subject ;) ) uses things he finds in the kitchen to fight with. Well it has us all in stitches. Especially the two pans when he doesn’t just hit once he hits one side of the head then a leg then the other side it’s too funny and so original. Who would have thought these days that you could make such an original fight scene. My point is, take a classic event, like a fight scene and give it an unusual setting with unusual weapons. You can do this with any kind of scene if you think outside the box.
Situation: Kid is playing in a park when bad guys turn up.
He could be:
- swinging on a swing and swing right over booting them in the head.
- coming down the slide and as bad guy tries to grab him boy ducks and slides between bad guy’s legs and runs off.
- on the roundabout and fling his legs out so he hits them all as he swings around.
I could go on but you get my point.
I never thought I’d ever say what I said on Sunday:
“Hannah stop throwing oranges!”
As soon as I said it I thought it was hilarious. Do you have any lines like that in your ms? You could alternatively say: ‘Put the oranges down” “That’s enough orange tossing”
Well I hope I’ve given you all some ideas of how to make scenes and dialogue funny. How do you bring on the funny?