How to Be a Class Clown

Three Parts:Learning the Art of ComedyBuilding ConfidenceStaying Out of Trouble

A class clown is a student who is always ready with a funny comment or quip. Some cause serious disruptions in the classroom, while others actually help to engage other students in learning.[1] The latter type of class clown is often popular with both students and teachers alike. While a class clown typically doesn't set out to be one, there are steps you can take if you would like to fill this role.

Part 1
Learning the Art of Comedy

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    Take in as much comedy as possible. Listen to comedy albums and watch stand-up specials. Read joke books and other humorous publications. Watch funny movies and television shows.
    • You do not want to repeat jokes that you've heard word-for-word. Instead, use these references as a guide for figuring out what's funny. Observe how your favorite comedians phrase their bits and how they say them. Incorporate aspects of that into your own style.
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    Have a good knowledge of pop culture in general. A lot of the quick jokes you can make in class will be references to some movie, television show, or song that most of your classmates know. If your references are too obscure, your jokes will probably fall flat.[2]
    • Use catchphrases sparingly. A well-timed catchphrase can be funny, but repeating the same stale line too often will get annoying.
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    Perfect your timing. Try to be as spontaneous and quick-witted as possible. Delivery and timing are some of the most important elements of comedy. You will need to think quickly in class in order to come up with the right funny comment at the perfect time. If you come up with the perfect response to something that was said a few minutes earlier, don't say it out loud. Wait until the quip becomes relevant again.[3]
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    Avoid trying to be funny all the time. If you joke around too much, your teacher is more likely to see you as a disruption. Likewise, your classmates may get tired of your shtick and think you're doing it for attention. Save your "on" time for when you think you have a really good joke to say.[4]

Part 2
Building Confidence

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    Stay relaxed in class. An important part of being the class clown is to take on a laidback, confident persona. If you are relaxed, your jokes will come easier and confidence will improve your delivery. The best thing you can do to both calm down and speak with clarity is to practice breathing. If you're feeling nervous, take deep (but not so exaggerated as to attract attention) breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.[5]
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    Smile more often. Making yourself smile will help you to be funnier in two ways: First, smiling is infectious. If you're smiling, your classmates and teacher are more likely to laugh at your jokes.[6] Second, smiling will reduce stress and make you feel less nervous.[7]
    • Don't wear a huge, obviously-forced grin or smile at inappropriate times. Doing either might make people think you're weird.
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    Practice speaking. This may seem to clash with the need to be spontaneous. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. Instead of practicing jokes to say line for line, simply work on how you talk. Use your phone, computer, or tape recorder so you can listen to how you sound to others.
    • Make sure your voice is clear and loud without yelling. You want everyone in the room to be able to hear your jokes clearly. Class clowns won't get laughs with a half-hearted mumble.
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    Work on your tone of voice. Although tone of voice is an extremely important part of social communication, most people are not consciously aware of choosing one.[8] While listening to comedians, you may have noticed that few sound like someone having a normal conversation. Instead, they talk in a way that both adds to the humor and makes it clear that they are joking. Try to develop your own way of doing this without totally copying another comedian.

Part 3
Staying Out of Trouble

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    Be careful and don't clown with every teacher. Some teachers are very strict when it comes to talking out of turn, while others may encourage it. If you know a teacher is strict or quick to anger, save your jokes for a different class. Try to develop a rapport with instructors who do appreciate your humor.
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    Know when to stop. An important part of avoiding detention while being a class clown is to keep things toned down. Don't talk too much and keep your comments brief. Even if your teacher is normally tolerant of your jokes, if you notice him or her becoming upset or angry, it's best to cut your "act" short.
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    Avoid practical jokes or comments that can hurt people. Even the most harmless practical joke can backfire if you go to a school with a "zero-tolerance" policy. Don't do any pranks that involve touching another student or making a mess.[9][10] Additionally, always remember to watch your words and don't tease your classmates. You can be funny without being mean.[11]


  • Don't laugh at your own jokes.
  • Start at the beginning of the year or after switching schools. That way, people won't think it's weird when you suddenly start being funny.
  • Don't get carried away. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in your jokes, but try not to overdo it. This could land you in the principal's office or make you seem obnoxious or desperate for attention to your classmates.
  • Ask legitimate questions from time to time and try to be involved in class. Your teacher will be more likely to think your clowning enhances the lesson rather than distracts from it.
  • Appreciate your classmates' humor, too. Don't be a humor snob. When other people make jokes, or there is another class clown, try to work with them to make it even funnier.
  • Do your schoolwork and study hard. Try to challenge the stereotype of class clowns being poor students.
  • Make sure you don't make mean-spirited jokes, especially about your classmates or teacher. Your jokes shouldn't hurt others' feelings.
  • If nobody laughed then just go with it keep going until the laugh.
  • Remember that laughter is contagious. If you find something funny, so might others around you.
  • If you have dark humour, judge whether it is appropriate or not and be careful not to offend others.

Article Info

Categories: Class Distractions