Funny Sounds: No, Not Those Funny Sounds
There's no doubt about it, k is the funniest letter of the alphabet. Whenever you have a choice to use a word with a hard k sound over one that doesn't, go with the k. The letter p is also funny, but not as funny as k. What's funnier: vomit, throw-up, or puke? (Up-chuck would be a close second.) What's funnier: “Boy, am I in trouble!” or “Boy, am I in a pickle!”? What's funnier: “A robin walks into a bar.” or “A duck walks into a bar.”? (Ducks are always funny.) Killjoy, kumquat, kiwi, hockey puck, Krusty the Klown, hiccup — they all work. You can't go wrong with k.
Another sound that works is a double consonant sound: Pepperoni, wobble, tummy, bossy, bratty. What's funnier: Oreo or Nutter Butter? “Does this tuna fish smell bad?” or “Does this tuna fish smell funny?”? Apple pie or apple cobbler? Again, if you have a choice, choose the word with the double consonant.
A single word can make the difference in whether a joke works or fails. Good comedians are always searching for that perfect word that sells the joke. Sometimes it takes a while to find it, but you'll know the perfect word when you see it.
Words that have a k sound and a double consonant — Catskills, cuddle, commune, clapper — are comedy gold. And don't forget “cowbell.” This staple in our pop culture lexicon came from Christopher Walken's now classic Saturday Night Live sketch about the Blue Oyster Cult in which he demanded “more cowbell.” Phrases with alliteration can also work: pepperoni pizza, wobbly wheel, dead duck.