How to respond to FUNNIER: GOLD’s daily prompts

Hi! If you’re here, you’ve probably signed up for FUNNIER: GOLD Comedy’s new daily humor-writing prompts. Thank you, and welcome! This means you are going to get FUNNIER every day! (See how we did that? Also, it’s TRUE.)

  • Oops, haven’t signed up yet? NP. Click here.
  • What’s GOLD Comedy? Find out here.

So what are these prompts?

      1. We text you a prompt, like “Ruin prom in 5 words” or “I wish my pet could…”, and you respond with something funny! (Tip: UNDERthink this. Start with the first thing that pops into your head. More below.) Send in your response(s) by 5 PM EST. Reply once OR as many times as you like!
      2. Our team of GOLD judges (made up of people* just like you!) will announce their favorite responses at the end of the day. You can check it out here.
      3. Next day: Do it all over again! We’ll be running FUNNIER for a month to get a clear picture of the kinds of prompts you do and don’t like. Then we’ll head back into GOLD Comedy labs (#girlsinstem) and, based on your responses, create more fun/funny stuff for you to do. 

MEANWHILE: Browse through our big library of comedy-related info and #inspo.

Still have Qs? We have As!

Why should I do this?

It’s a mini comedy workout! No matter what your other life goals and interests, making a little bit of funny every day helps you:

    • get your head in the game
    • write better
    • think sharper
    • stop overthinking
    • let go of perfectionism
    • get snappier with comebacks
    • understand what makes YOU laugh
    • find and hone YOUR authentic voice and unique lens on the world

What if I don’t want to be a comedian?

NO PROBLEM. Getting funnier is a good thing in so many ways. There are a ton of reasons to find and hone your funny that serve you no matter what your #goalsMaybe you want to be funnier on Instagram, funnier anywhere BUT on stage, funnier at the lunch table, funnier in writing, funnier at protests, funnier in your OWN MIND. Maybe you want to be an ad or TV writer, a journalist/novelist, a talk show host, an INFLUENCER. Funny helps with all that, and more:

What if I’m not funny?

There are a million ways to be funny. Replying to this prompts will help you tap into what makes you laugh, which is part of finding your own unique voice. Being reliably funny takes PRACTICE. If a joke doesn’t land, that is PART of comedy. It doesn’t mean you’re not funny. It means you’re writing comedy. Just give it a whirl and see what happens. You got this, Travis. 

How long am I supposed to spend writing a response?

Not so long! Everyone’s got time for this! Go with your first thought, and if that doesn’t pan out, try your second. Take 30 seconds, maybe a minute. Stare at it for a few seconds before you send it in, and tinker if you like. (Comedy IS tinkering.) Then go ahead and send that bad boy in! If you see “mistake” in your response, you can always send in an updated version—and you can always send in more.

Can I send in more than one response?

Yes! Comedy REQUIRES banishing perfectionism: you toss so many ideas and variations out there that eventually you’re no longer worried about whether one joke is funny or not, because you’re already thinking three jokes ahead. By sending in a bunch of responses at a time, you learn about what feels funny to YOU—and you can improve on your own jokes without feeling the pressure to be “perfect.” 

SERIOUSLY, I’M NOT FUNNY!

Now you’re cracking us up. This is funny! Why? Because you just did a CALLBACK! No, but seriously, we hear you. But you’re still here! So just come and give it a whirl. We are all very nice. This is a place where even people who are already secure in their funny will write jokes that don’t land. Also, to be clear, no one ever died from not getting a laugh.

Are any jokes off-limits?

Good question. We don’t have rules about specific jokes or topics so much as we have a basic code of conduct. That said, MOST good comedy, especially when you’re learning, punches up, not down. This is true from an ethical standpoint (pick on someone your own size, or bigger), and it’s true simply at the level of craft. Writing jokes about people less powerful than you—punching down—is less funny than the opposite because it’s usually predictable, not surprising. Punch lines, by definition, require surpriseSo: joke unto others as you would have them joke unto you.

I think my friend might like this. Can they sign up?

YES! The more, the funnier!

What if my friend is a dude? Can he sign up?

Yep. GOLD Comedy puts girls (and other folks outside the norm) first because comedy doesn’t—but that’s the point: we’re here to include*, not exclude. Plus, never hurts for dudes to be in the minority and kinda sit back and watch what happens when girls are in charge. 

What if there’s a day I can’t think of a good answer?

All of these prompts are great practice to help you learn to be ok with not being “perfect.” So if there’s a day or two where you feel like you can’t think of an answer, no big. There will be another prompt the next day, and the next, and the next. There is always another chance to be funny. 

Bottom line: whether you’re a massive comedy nerd, comedy-curious, or just think this could be fun, LET’S DO THIS.

 

P.S. Ready to dive in deeper right now? Check out our one-of-a-kind online class! Bonus for you for reading this far: $5 off (reg. $19) with code goldfiveoff.

*femme/female-identifying/genderqueer-non-binary/GNC/girl-adjacent/your own description…if being part of a community of funnymakers sounds interesting to you, come on in. 

Mini Q+A with Veronica Dang

Veronica Dang is an award-winning director/actor/writer and comedian. You may have seen her on TV or teaching people about Yellow Fever at comedy clubs around NYC. Check out her webseries Subway: The Series, which is on Marie Claire’s list of “Webseries You’ll Want to Ditch Netflix for.” She also started NYC’s 1st Asian American sketch comedy team Model Majority. Their live shows have been on Timeout NY’s list of “Best Comedy Shows in NYC.” 


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

When I do standup comedy, most people feel sorry for me so they don’t heckle. But if they did, I would just say “Mom and Dad, I’m so glad you finally came to see me!”

Describe your worst gig.

I was a costumed mascot for a famous children’s cartoon character at a public park event in 90+ degree weather. I couldn’t see, had trouble breathing and moving in a large, heavy costume with big head and feet. I wasn’t allowed to talk but had to do photo ops (where adults can be a bit handsy), play tennis with two thumbs, and dance battle while baking in my own sweat all day.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Eat whatever you want and keep doing comedy no matter what other people say. Comedy world doesn’t need more privileged mediocre white heterosexual males with mommy issues.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny?”

Walk away. I don’t need that kind of stupidity in my life.

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

The world is messed up and I need comedy to help me deal with it. It also really helps to create your own work, that’s why I make my own films which have won awards 😉 and started NYC’s first all Asian-American sketch comedy team, Model Majority.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Always be doing comedy and you won’t actually die on stage.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Replace all minorities and women in your script with white men.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy?”

I don’t know. What is it like to be a man in comedy? It seems like a lot of dick and pedophilia “jokes.”

Feelings about the word “comedienne?”

I prefer comedian but will accept any label that indicates I’m funny and doesn’t use racial slurs or insults.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

Helped me avoid being bullied and beat up.

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Produce your own shows/work and make friends with people who know bookers or have own shows.

What single word always cracks you up?

manamana

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

Not one person, but one entity. My family inspired me to be a comedian because I needed a way to complain about them without them knowing.

 

Photo via: Leslie Hassler


Veronica Dang is an award-winning director/actor/writer and comedian. You may have seen her on TV or teaching people about Yellow Fever at comedy clubs around NYC. Check out her webseries Subway: The Series, which is on Marie Claire’s list of “Webseries You’ll Want to Ditch Netflix for.” She also started NYC’s 1st Asian American sketch comedy team Model Majority. Their live shows have been on Timeout NY’s list of “Best Comedy Shows in NYC.” 

Mini Q+A with Adrianne Chalepah

Adrianne Chalepah is a standup comedian, writer, and mother of four. Raised in Kiowa/Comanche/Apache territory in Oklahoma, she began her career in entertainment at age 20. She has been honored to open for First Lady Michelle Obama and share the stage with comedy legends such as Margaret Cho, Dane Cook, and Jarrod Carmichael. She is author of Funny Girl, an anthology of women comics and writers, and founder of the all-female indigenous comedy troupe Ladies of Native Comedy. In 2019, she was featured in the Netflix series Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy. She is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.


Describe your worst gig.

Laughlin, Nevada. Old rich retirees apparently aren’t into my jokes.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Be unapologetically yourself.

What’s your first impulse when someone says, “women aren’t funny”?

Your mom is funny.

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

I needed it for sanity.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Do your thang.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Wear a tutu on stage.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”? 

I don’t know. I’m not convinced I’m a “real” woman.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Meh.

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Network. It don’t matter how funny you are if you don’t know the right people. Unfortunately, being an introvert, this is hard to do… Good luck!

What single word always cracks you up?

Fuddruckers

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian? If so, who, why, how?

My dad. He’s a funny guy and he schooled me in film and comedy.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life?

Humor is therapeutic. I come from inter-generational trauma as an indigenous person whose ancestors survived genocide. Comedy is ingrained in us. We survived because we never forgot to laugh.

 

Photo via: Ceylon Grey


Adrianne Chalepah is a standup comedian, writer, and mother of four. Raised in Kiowa/Comanche/Apache territory in Oklahoma, she began her career in entertainment at age 20. She has been honored to open for First Lady Michelle Obama and share the stage with comedy legends such as Margaret Cho, Dane Cook, and Jarrod Carmichael. She is author of Funny Girl, an anthology of women comics and writers, and founder of the all-female indigenous comedy troupe Ladies of Native Comedy. In 2019, she was featured in the Netflix series Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy. She is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.