How to Use eHow to Turn Yourself into a Comedic Force to Be Reckoned With

Image representing eHow as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Great news! I’m funny now!

Here’s what happened: I was Googling “How to write a thank you letter for a present that boggles the mind– seriously, what is this thing?”, and my fervent Google prayers were answered by eHow.com. If you’ve never heard of eHow, it’s a website where contributors write articles on how to do things. Often these are very helpful things like “How to Reduce a Heating Bill”. Sometimes they’re surprising things like, “How to Foil a Kidnapping Plot and Keep the Money Yourself”. Sometimes they’re very odd things like, “How to Get Your Cat a Diploma” and “How to Keep Rats and Snakes Out of the Toilet” (which opened up a world of toilet-vermin-related terror for me that I previously did not know existed). In an effort to distract myself from toilet-rats and -gerbils and such, I decided to find out if there’s anything eHow can’t teach you.

There isn’t. I learned How to Look Like Pamela Anderson. I learned How to Greet an Alien Visitor. I even learned How to Put Stickers on My Guitar, and though I haven’t learned How to Buy a Guitar yet, or How to Convince Yourself to Buy a Guitar Even Though You Have No Musical Talent and Hated Piano Lessons When You Were a Kid, I’m sure eHow is just waiting for me to ask. I thought to myself, Self, is there anything you’ve really wanted to do that your innate boringness was preventing you from accomplishing? Surely eHow can help! and that’s when the internet provided an answer in the form of a How-To Guide:  How to Write a Funny Facebook Status Message. Ah-ha! I said to myself. You could be funny! It was quite the breakthrough, and I’ve spent the better part of the day learning how to do it. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to practice after this. Just reading these articles made me a Funny Person. I decided to start small…

Step #1 How to Send Comic Text Messages

This one was helpful because I was previously unsure of my texting abilities. The guide walks you through the step-by-step process of sending a text message, even making sure you double check that you’re sending it to the right person. That’s great news because I once ended a relationship by sending a comic text message to the wrong person. Unfortunately, it kind of glosses over the actual funny part. It directs you to a website with humorous messages, but says a shared joke or experience is better. This is going to be a problem for me, because I can’t decide what’s actually funny or not.

I practiced by sending my brother a text that said, “Hey. Remember that time when I asked you what kind of spatula I should buy? Laughing out loud.” He did not respond, I assume because he was incapacitated by laughter, but also possibly because he was in school. I realized that I needed to define Being Funny.

Step #2 How to Be Really Funny

I picked this one over similar guides because of the “really”. I don’t want to be regular amounts of funny, but I couldn’t find one that said “pee-in-your-pants hilarious”, so I went with it. The first step is to find a sarcastic person who is making people laugh and ask them if they are being sarcastic. If you are not laughing and other people are, don’t worry! They’re not laughing at you, they’re laughing at sarcasm that you’ve failed to recognize. I wish I’d known this in middle school, because I now realize there’s no such thing as bullies. If the person answers in the affirmative, you’re supposed to stalk them and learn their habits. This probably involves a lot of hiding behind menus and trash cans. I was home alone all day and I had no one to follow, so I just skipped a few steps until I found one I liked, which was to make hilarious faces during normal events. In fact, I’m making hilarious faces as I type this!

Me being HILARIOUS!

Step #3 How to Be Sexy and Funny Like Sarah Silverman

Bonus! I am now funny and sexy. I don’t look like Sarah Silverman, but I have accumulated several topics that are taboo, including Mormon underwear, talking about how much I like asbestos, and the board game “Taboo”. Apparently these are my new bread and butter. I’m not sure what to do with them, but maybe just yelling those things at certain times is enough to be funny. On to the sexy part! I need to accumulate T-shirts, which I already have. BLAMMO! Perhaps I was sexy the whole time.

Step #4 How to Tell Funny Stories Like Ron White

This tip is very interesting:

Deliver jokes and funny stories with a very raspy voice. Ron White‘s raspy voice is from smoking too many cigars and drinking too much Johnnie Walker Black Label Whiskey. Be insightful but blunt when delivering material.

If I’m talking to you and my voice starts getting raspier, it’s because I’m being funny. Even if you miss the punch line to the jokes I got from the internet, this should be enough to clue you in when it’s an appropriate time to laugh. I will also be drinking more whiskey and smoking cigars, then gargling razor blades to ensure that my raspiness is genuine. I practiced when my dad came home from work, and he asked me if I had a cold. I asked if he was being sarcastic. He was not.

Step #5 How to Find Funny Stuff to Email

Since I’d mastered funny text messaging, I moved on to email. This is great because I finally have a way to respond when my grandma sends me adorable forwards about kittens. Just you wait, Grandma. The guide recommended collegehumor.com and it looks like it’s right up your alley.

Step #6 How to Develop a Child’s Funny Bone

I didn’t open this one because it kind of scared me when I thought about it. Why would I want a child’s funny bone? Where would I keep it? In a jar on my shelf? Under my bed? How would I explain it to my friends? What if one day I’m framed for a series of terrible murders and the police discover that I have developed a child’s funny bone and am keeping it in a jar on my shelf? Won’t that look bad?

There you have it. I’m no longer a Comedy Padawan. I’m a Humorous Jedi. A Funny Person. I’ll be here til Tuesday.

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196 comments

  1. Jerry

    Okay, so my cat now has a diploma but I’m having trouble finding him a job. There has to be an eHow article on that, right? I mean, I know times are tough nowadays but surely these corporate fat cats can find it in their hearts to give Fluffy an internship.

    • Laura

      What is Fluffy’s degree in? My cat got an English degree and now has a job writing ehow articles (some of his more popular ones are “How to Hide Small Objects”, “How to Give Yourself a Manicure Using Only a Sofa”, or “How to Tell Whether or Not the Roomba Really is Trying to Kill You”).

    • 349cuntsville

      What exactly would be en’tailed’ in an internship for some corporate fat cats? Indulge me a few fun puns, Jerry, I may have some advice for Fluffy.
      Do cats drink coffee or smoke? Or do they eat tuna and require large cushions to be positioned near windows for optimal sun exposure?
      Remind Fluffy to ask the right questions, wear the purrfect suit, and comb that cow lick. He’ll do well at Fat Cat Inc.
      Regards!

  2. Mikalee Byerman

    How about: How to get crazy people to stop messing with your life, thus inspiring you to start a blog to try to help others through similar crazy experiences?

    I’m SO going to try that!

    Awesome post. Thanks for sharing…

  3. Andrew Rowley

    Now you need to ehow “how to be funny in lifes unfunny situations, sort of like sitcom actors”. When you ‘ve mastered that, you’ve mastered life itself!!

  4. Rachel

    You are definitely funny!
    My eHow experience ended when I read about how to clean a toothbrush after it falls into the toilet.
    My answer would be: throw that sucker out!
    eHow suggested vinegar.

    Great article!

  5. Addie

    Awesome. My favorite part is how you put punctuation outside quotation marks. That is not sarcasm. Way to stick it to the man. I think I’ll stalk you now to be funny without all the work of reading eHow articles.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I didn’t even realize I was doing that. I’d like to say that was my grammatical rebellion (grammellion?), but actually I just need to start editing these things…

      • sy

        as long as you’re hitting the reader in the right places (and you are) don’t worry about punctuation. you can always ask someone who doesn’t have actual writing talent to do that.

  6. Lee Ann Rubsam

    Forced funny never works. It comes naturally or not at all — just sort of flows as you go. The forced stuff always makes me think, “Oh, they’re trying to be funny — and not managing very well.” You come across as a natural. Forget eHow. :-)

  7. rachaelmogle

    I’m immediately posting this on all my friend’s walls who are funnier than I am – or, should I say USED TO BE funnier than I was. Now, they got nothin’ on me. Comedy Central, here I come! Thanks for the help.

  8. misfit120

    Geez….I’ve been doing this comedy thing at http://misfit120.wordpress.com for just about a year now and all I’ve got to show for it is a comment from a guy in Germany who thought my “rats ass” logo was funny but couldn’t read my blog because he doesn’t understand English. (sigh)

  9. Tori

    Gotta love the “How to foil a kidnapping plot and keep the money yourself” tips! Thanks for the laugh & congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

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  11. bigsheepcommunications

    Well, now I’m conflicted. Do I want to spend the rest of the day immersed in eHow or should I avoid it for the rest of my life? Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  12. J DUBBS

    haha, i love this! i have used ehow a few times for some random things (like How to use a can opener) but i would have totally been on it more if i knew things like “how to greet an alien visitor” was available.

  13. Renee

    I might become addicted to eHow because it feeds into all of my neuroses. I started with bed bugs, then switched to grilled cheese, but I swear the photo showed a bedbug in the grilled cheese sandwich.

    • Stephanie

      I don’t… I don’t even know how to deal with this information. Was this photo on eHow? Why would there be a reason to show that, other than nightmare fuel? If it makes you feel any better, I’ve never seen a bedbug in any of my grilled cheese sandwiches.

  14. maasanova

    Great post…FYI you’re much more attractive than that vile demon Sarah Silverman and her toilet mouth.

    My cousin is THE DON when it comes to FB status updates so I don’t think you’ll be winning that game, but you are funny keep it up…!

  15. Shari Lopatin

    Oh my gosh, this is hilarious! EHow, huh? I bet there’s a TON of good writing material on there. I’ll have to check it out. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! This was a very funny post! I was just Freshly Pressed yesterday, for my post, “Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables.” If you wanted to read it, you can, at http://ShariLopatin.wordpress.com.

    Great post and tip!
    Shari

  16. Anya

    Your post is profoundly hilarious :) Thank you for brightening my Friday (even more than it was already bright, being Friday and all…)

  17. saramosier

    After reading your How To about How To’s, it turns out that I have also been sexy the whole time thanks to my extensive collection of t-shirts. Who knew it was that easy??

    P.S. This is the greatest thing I’ve read all week, and I’m not being sarcastic!

  18. George

    I apologize, I realize my last comment was too ambiguous. On a scale of 1-5 where “1” indicates Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast and “5” indicates Ben Kingsley in Ghandi, your blog is a solid 4.

    • Stephanie

      It’s so weird you would say that, because it’s been a goal of mine since I was a little girl to be more like Ben Kingsley. Not Gandhi– I don’t want to be assassinated. Just Ben Kingsley.

  19. Abigail

    “I asked him if he was being sarcastic. He was not.” Fantastic. Bless the contributors of eHow and you…the person who dredges the site for funny/useless instructions :)

  20. rtcrita

    You are so right about e-how. I have spent way too much time and ended up in areas I had no initial interest in when looking up something simple to begin with.
    But something tells me you’re doing just fine being funny without ehow and the zillion and one ways on how to skin a cat, or get your cat a diploma or whatever cat knowledge you’re needing (or just curious) to know!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. It would go kind of like this:
      1. Write a post about your lame day on the internet.
      2. Go to bed.
      3. Wake up in the morning and worry that you’ve hit your head because that can’t be the traffic on your blog, it just can’t be.
      4. Bemusedly gain twitter followers and worry that nothing you write will ever be funny again.

  21. sportsjim81

    Ok, that was hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud at work. If anyone needs to know how to make yourself laugh out loud at work, just read this post! Great stuff.

  22. porkchop

    Zomg my cat got a diploma in scuba diving, well it’s more of a certification, two month course, true story. Mr. Ziggums did it to keep the rats in my toilet at bay, but he when i found him scuba diving in my fishtank I wasnt happy. Best laid plans right? Also this is not sarcastic.

  23. Rich

    Wow, great stuff. My first time here and I have to say, if my blog got married it would probably be to your blog, they are both very similar. Great stuff. ~Rich

    • Stephanie

      Aw, thanks! My blog has been dating for a while now and was about to buy a basket of kittens and resign to the life of a cat lady blog. It’s good to know it still has options.

  24. somethingnewplease

    But you’re not a Jedi master yet. The next logical step is to write your own EHow’s on being funny.

    Being funny at a funeral

    Being funny at an arraignment

    Being funny at the Gastrointestinal Doctor

    Et cetera, Et cetera.

    Please let us know if you do.

    D

  25. plaridel

    funny. funny. you went to all the extremes to give all these know hows, but didn’t say if you found something about writing that thank you letter. i bet ehow failed you. :)

    • Stephanie

      Actually, it saved me! I still haven’t figured out what the gift is, but the article is “How to Write a Thank You Note for a Strange Gift” and I was able to adapt it for my purposes.

  26. Matt

    Thanks for the tip. My comedy career hasn’t exactly gotten off the ground yet. Maybe this will get me out of the slummy comedy clubs where I perform in front of a few dozen people.

    Actually, by “slummy comedy clubs”, I mean my bedroom.

    Actually, by “a few dozen people”, I mean my dog.

    … actually, by “my dog” I mean my 18 cats.

    Sigh…

  27. Nicole

    OMG, you are a force to be reckoned with! That was so hilarious. I went through and did something similar with all the crappy things you find on Twitter. I’m so glad that we all use the Internet for jokes. I love it! Keep up the awesome job :)

  28. Ryan McGivern

    I like funny people. I search them out in dark parking lots. I sneak up on them and say (in a raspy voice) “knock knock” to see if they have an awesome knock knock joke. Usually the only knocking is their canes or walkers against my forehead.
    I like the humor of nature. Have you ever just looked at a gibbon? What is that all about?
    There are all kinds of pranks one can pull at the office to get a laugh. I like the “ask the HR supervisor out on a date while on work hours” gag to get the “its not appropriate to ask for dates during work hours” routine. Sure, Tammy! Whatever.
    Laughing is good for you. So is brushing your teeth. I don’t suggest doing the both at the same time though–that could damage tender gum tissue and that’s no laughing matter. Best to leave teeth brushing for your most dreary moments just to be safe.
    Seriously, Ryan

  29. mynakedbokkie

    It is amazing what is available on the net! (and i think you need to take it all with a pinch of salt). Could you imagine telling your grandmother that you will be able to learn how to be funny on a computer in 15 years time! She would have thought that funny!!!

    I remember when the internet first staretd, and my dad was excited about being able to find stuff. I couldnt understand what “stuff” was….. he used to say “well, anything”. Back then I doubt it was anything even remotely similiar to the information overload we have now.
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!!
    xx

  30. karleytime

    Great post! I must admit the mention of “How to Keep Rats and Sakes out of the Toilet” freaked me out a little, now I have a new phobia to add to the list!

    Keep up the funniness!

  31. anonnickus

    I am off to the Home Depot for a new garbage can. I shouldn’t have to stalk under unsanitary conditions. A terrific post.

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  33. leadinglight

    I knew about the snakes in the toilet. I used to live in Sri Lanka. One time when I was about six, I was refusing to take a bath. Then a small snake comes gliding into the room from the toilet and I start screaming. My maid rushes in, the dog starts barking and my great-aunt takes the broom, winds the snake around it and tosses it into a grain sack to take to the rubbish pit.

    I understand the need for that particular e-How article, especially in Asia.

    • Stephanie

      My favorite part of this was the mental image of your great-aunt winding a snake around a broom, but that’s really terrifying. For some reason, the smaller the snake, the creepier I find them.

  34. helmiyadi

    Yeah, I want being funny too, so what you wrote is really guiding me to make border, what funny or what not funny, sorry If my english not good, cause I am Indonesian

  35. Oh Cheers

    Awesome recommendations and advices. I shall be studying the educations and installing into my wetware for immediate implementation. Then behold the outpourings of enhanced entertaining consumables!

  36. Joanne...

    Yes, you ARE funny! I laughed out loud reading this. I definitely need to spend more time at eHow with a sense of adventure. I tend to just hit it as needed for “practical” advice, but this sounds a lot more fun!

  37. Holly

    And I always discounting ehow articles when they showed up in my Google searches. Hmmmm. Never again. Who knew there was so much to learn from them! This article is hilarious, thanks for the laughs!

  38. The Et Al. Enthusiast

    Thanks for giving me another website that I can spend hours on, laughing and gleaning somewhat useful infomation from. :P

  39. Rex

    I loved you your work just like I love humor. Never fear the fun. Years ago a manager told me on my appraisal that I laugh too much. I still joke plenty.

  40. antsrants

    I suppose nobody can truly define “funny” since it’s so subjective. Regardless, you captured a whole bunch of smiles with your post. Thank you for that!

  41. rod

    Here’s another How to in case it’s not yet contributed in there.

    How to confuse and old time friend you have not seen for a long time:

    Give them a blank do-I-know-you stare. And say something stupid like ‘yes?Are you talking to me?’

    :-)

  42. aroomofheroine

    Nicholas Cage films shit me too. Which is why, after
    accidentally clicking on How to Greet an Alien Visitor, instead of the comments posting section, I wonder if aliens have already landed outside my window and just want to give me the heads up on H.A.E. (Hosting Aliens Etiquette).

    Anyway, I was thinking that if Mr Cage has an afternoon free, and he has read the Ehow Guide to Hosting Aliens, that you and he might kick with a lemonade, and come up with some ideas for lists.

    Top 3 Benefits of Making Lists With Nicholas Cage:
    1. Nicholas Cage might smile. He might also think about playing a character with an insatiable urge to make funny lists.

    2. Aliens might turn up and take Nicholas away with them to make lists about Hosting Humans for Afternoon Tea.

    3. Much like Point 1. Nicholas Cage might smile, might giggle, might roll around the floor laughing his arse off and agree that life is the happier for making lists.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. You’re the first person to respond to a list with a list. I particularly like this list, too. However, if Nic Cage makes a movie about someone who writes lists after meeting with me, I will be forced to assume that he’s playing a character based on me, and I think that being portrayed in a movie by Nicolas Cage would be mortifying. I have much more hair than he does, anyway.

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  44. sannekurz

    Very funny post. I loved the Pamela Anderson bit…hilarious!! Love the double offff in eHow “that guys can’t take their eye’ s off of” [sic!!] and the magic: “I will also add a tip to look like any super model or actor that you want” – just hilarious. – Got to stop commenting now – coz: gotta spend the next hours on eHow!

  45. Aligaeta

    RE: Step #4
    This sexy male vocalist, Cameron would drink shots of Southern Comfort and sing Janice Joplin’s “Summertime” with a raspy voice that would knock your socks off and perhaps other articles of clothing too! Go Cameron!

  46. Sunflowerdiva

    eHow has the weirdest and funniest topics! I loved this post–you’re so funny! Really. ;-) It’s amazing what sort of weird stuff you can find on the internet these days. Getting your cat a diploma? I snorted at that one. (Yes, snorted. Not a pretty sound, but the thought of that was so ridiculous I couldn’t help myself.) Haha, keep on being funny! The world needs laughter, any sort. :)

    • zephyrliving

      Where can I buy a thought screen helmet? I’ve just been reading how to avoid an alien abduction. But I suppose there’s an article on that as well…blast, girl! You’ve got me hooked. I suppose there’s an eHow Anonymous now as well, thanks to you! : )

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    • Stephanie

      I’m happy it worked! I’m so scared of jump starting cars. I make other people do it and stand as far away as possible just in case it blows up. I don’t even know if that’s possible, but I’m not taking any chances.

  48. joshuachollis

    I was a bit confused at first, but after I looked up eHow’s article on How to Process and Laugh at Hilarious Blog Postings, everything clicked and I really enjoyed myself (which I learned from eHow’s How to Enjoy Yourself).

  49. warriorprophet

    Genuine humor is rare. I found you genuninely funny.

    Sometimes people accuse me of “lacking a ‘sense’ of ‘humor'” when I don’t giggle at the “appropriate times of laughter.” (In case you didn’t “catch this,” I find the over use of quotes hilarious.)

    When this occurs, I make it clear to them that I do not lack this sense, but that I sense their failed attempt at humor.

    They usually find that funny.

    This proves my theory that being funny may be more an issue of honesty than creativity.

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  52. oliviaandstuff

    My cat got his diploma a while ago. So now he just takes advantage of it and sits on his but, and now he’s fat. Whenever I tell him to do something, he yells at me and says “At least I got a diploma!”

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