Have you ever wanted to write a character so funny that the readers can’t help but chuckle? A character that is a riot, one who can make even the gloomiest reader burst out laughing?
Here’s how to describe a funny person in writing:
Describe a funny person in writing by emphasizing their comedic style, unique quirks, and interactions. Types include the Witty Commentator, the Prankster, and the Deadpan Deliverer. Use vivid descriptors, anecdotes, and situational contexts to capture their humorous essence.
In this article, you’ll learn the best 21 tips and examples for how to describe a funny person in writing.
1. The Humor of Appearance
First impressions matter, and how you describe your character’s physical appearance can be the first step in setting up their comedic persona.
Go beyond standard descriptors.
Try to find funny or unusual aspects about your character’s look that could make someone giggle.
For example, a character with an ever-present, toothy grin could be amusing.
Especially if it contrasts with the seriousness of the situations in which they find themselves.
Hair that behaves as if it has a mind of its own or a comical fashion sense can also make your character stand out in a humorously memorable way.
Example: “Henry was a sight to behold with his haphazard hair looking like a family of squirrels had made it their playground. His shirt, which appeared to be a collage of the world’s loudest patterns, clashed fantastically with his polka-dot tie.”
2. Chuckle-Inducing Chatter
Dialogue is an excellent tool for creating funny characters.
Think of it as a platform where your characters can perform their comedy act.
Clever banter, unexpected responses, and playful sarcasm can all make your character amusing.
It’s not only about what they say, but how they say it.
Characters who deliver lines with a deadpan demeanor or those who are always dramatically expressive can both be hilarious in their own ways.
Example: “‘Is the sky blue?’ Marjorie asked, squinting at the heavens above. ‘Depends on what shade of blue you’re referring to, darling,’ replied Gerald, his voice as dry as the Sahara.”
3. Timing is Everything
The timing of a joke can either make it hilarious or fall flat.
In writing, you can control this timing by creating build-up or delivering punchlines at unexpected moments.
Surprising your reader is key.
You could have a character make a light-hearted comment in a serious situation or a sarcastic quip when everything is going well.
The contrast and unexpectedness will amplify the humor.
Example: “As the enemy spacecraft hovered ominously above them, Jane turned to Bob and said, ‘Well, isn’t this a fine time to realize I left my space-umbrella at home?'”
4. Exaggeration Express
Exaggeration is a humorous tool as old as time.
Whether it’s exaggerating your character’s reactions to situations, their behaviors, or even the situations themselves, this technique can be a gold mine for comedy.
But beware, the key is not to overdo it to the point where it becomes unbelievable or absurd (unless that’s what you’re aiming for).
Stretching reality can be the secret sauce that tickles your reader’s funny bone.
Make your character overly enthusiastic about something mundane or dramatically terrified of something trivial.
Example: “Upon hearing the ping of the microwave, Paul leaped out of his chair, cheering as if he’d just won the lottery. ‘The hot pockets are ready!’ he exclaimed, parading around the room with a triumphant air.”
5. Quirky Quips
Give your character a signature style of speaking, one that is distinct and humorous.
This can be in the form of quirky quips or unusual expressions.
Perhaps your character likes to speak in riddles, or maybe they have a habit of using metaphors that don’t quite make sense.
Remember, the dialogue is where your character’s personality shines.
Make sure that these quips and expressions are a reflection of who your character is and what makes them funny.
Example: “As the door creaked open, Bella looked at it and said, ‘Well, that’s as welcoming as a porcupine at a balloon party.’ Her unusual expressions never failed to make me laugh.”
6. Fun with Metaphors
Metaphors can be a playground for humor if you know how to use them right.
Instead of the standard metaphors, think of unusual or absurd comparisons that can make your readers chuckle.
These metaphors could be related to your character’s unique experiences or views of the world.
To keep them fresh and funny, the aim is to surprise and amuse your readers, not to confuse them.
Example: “Sam was as subtle as a kangaroo in a porcelain shop. Whenever he tried to be sneaky, it ended up being a spectacular, noisy affair.”
7. Awkward Antics
Embrace the beauty of awkwardness.
Sometimes, the most comical moments come from characters fumbling, stuttering, or just being downright socially awkward.
This is especially effective if the surrounding characters are smooth operators, creating a stark, funny contrast.
Your funny character doesn’t always need to get it right.
In fact, it’s their mistakes and blunders that will endear them to your readers.
Let them trip over their own feet, misunderstand common phrases, or have them wave back at someone who wasn’t actually waving at them.
Example: “In the middle of the elegant ball, where everyone moved with practiced grace, there was Peter — dancing with the vigor of a malfunctioning robot, somehow managing to be off-beat in a waltz.”
8. Lovable Loony
Give your character an endearing madness.
This doesn’t mean they’re out of touch with reality, but perhaps they see the world in a unique, eccentric way.
They could be obsessed with conspiracy theories, believe in fairytale creatures, or think the postman is a secret spy.
It’s all about balancing their loony side with moments of clarity, making them both hilarious and relatable.
Example: “Every time a plane passed overhead, Clara would tip her hat and whisper, ‘Safe travels, alien overlords.’ No one knew if she was joking, but it always got a laugh.”
9. Droll Demeanor
While some characters wear their humor on their sleeves, others have a more subdued, dry sense of humor.
The droll character’s comedy comes from their calm, unemotional delivery of jokes, often when least expected.
Their humor can be so understated that it takes a moment for it to register, making the subsequent laughter even more rewarding.
Example: “When the vase shattered into a thousand pieces, Lynn didn’t bat an eyelid. ‘Well, I always thought that corner of the room could use some sparkle,’ she commented.”
10. Jokester Jargon
Language is a mighty tool.
Play with words, make up jargons, or give your character a penchant for puns.
Maybe they love alliteration or enjoy speaking in rhymes.
The way your character expresses themselves can be a never-ending source of giggles.
By crafting unique phrases or sayings that only this character uses, you give your readers something to look forward to every time that character speaks.
Example: “‘I’m not tardy; I’m time-challenged,’ quipped Jake every time he strolled into a meeting at least ten minutes late.”
11. Comedy of Context
A joke in the wrong place or time can be cringe-worthy, but a joke in just the right context?
That’s comedy gold.
Use the settings, situations, and background to frame your character’s humor.
An absurd comment might not be funny in itself, but when said at the right time or in the right situation, it can become hilarious.
Example: “As the knights sat around the Round Table, discussing matters of great import, Sir Bumble said, ‘Do you think this table would look better as a rectangle?’ The question was so out of place, it was hard not to laugh.”
12. Laughable Lingo
Creating a language style unique to your character can make them stand out and provide a source of humor.
Perhaps they mangle common phrases, or maybe they mix metaphors hilariously.
This distinct language style not only helps your readers identify the character but also gives them a reason to smile.
Example: “John had a knack for mixing metaphors. ‘It’s not rocket surgery,’ he’d say, completely oblivious to the chuckles around him.”
13. Ironic Insights
The use of irony can be a great tool for humor.
Characters who make insightful yet ironic comments about their surroundings, situations, or other characters can bring a smile to your reader’s face.
Example: “In the midst of the grand gala, where everyone was dressed to the nines, Bella looked at her ripped jeans and said, ‘Well, I always did say I was a trendsetter.'”
14. Giggly Gestures
Non-verbal cues can be a source of humor too.
Maybe your character has a funny walk or a habit of dramatically rolling their eyes.
Perhaps they use overly expressive hand gestures when they talk.
These small details can add up to make your character amusing and memorable.
Example: “Every time Sally disagreed with something, she’d make a show of it — throwing her hands in the air and rolling her eyes so dramatically it was a wonder she didn’t see her own brain.”
15. Eccentric Elements
Weirdness can be funny.
Perhaps your character has an eccentric hobby or an unusual pet.
Maybe they wear mismatched socks on purpose or always carry a rubber duck in their pocket.
These elements add depth to your character and provide opportunities for humor.
Example: “Mike’s fascination with spoon collecting was more than a little eccentric, but it was also amusing. Who knew there were so many spoons in the world?”
16. Quaint Quandaries
Creating amusing problems or dilemmas for your character can be a great source of humor.
Let’s say they’re a vampire with a garlic addiction or a dog lover who’s allergic to dogs.
The more peculiar the problem, the more opportunities for laughter.
Example: “Being a pastry chef with a sugar allergy, Jane’s life was full of sweet ironies, pun intended.”
17. Silly Situations
The world your character inhabits can serve as a vibrant canvas for comedy.
Placing your humorous character in situations that amplify their quirks can lead to outright hilarity.
Think of it as setting the stage for their comedic traits to shine.
Whether it’s making the calmest character handle a chaotic situation or letting the clumsiest one teach ballet, the contrast is often the key to comedy.
However, remember that balance is vital.
While it’s hilarious to see a fish out of water, it’s equally important to occasionally give your character situations where they can shine.
You want to ensure that they remain relatable and not just a laughing stock.
Example: “Ned, the village’s most notorious sleepwalker, was somehow put in charge of the night watch. Every morning, the townspeople would find him snoozing in the most unexpected places — atop roofs, in barns, or once, hilariously, snuggled beside the mayor’s prized pig.”
18. Hijinks and Humor
Pranks, antics, and playful misbehavior can be a bottomless pit of comedy.
A character who’s a prankster or one who’s often the victim of pranks can be endlessly entertaining.
But it’s essential to ensure the humor doesn’t come off as mean-spirited.
The antics should be light-hearted, with the intention of making others laugh, not causing genuine harm or distress.
Additionally, the reactions of surrounding characters to these hijinks can be just as funny, if not funnier, than the antics themselves.
Playing with different characters’ thresholds for tolerance can lead to a rich comedy tapestry.
Example: “Every April Fool’s Day, the entire office would be on edge, waiting for Daisy’s next big prank. Last year, she turned the water cooler into a giant bubble bath. This year? Let’s just say the boss wasn’t too thrilled about his new ‘voice-activated’ computer.”
19. Pratfalls and Punchlines
Physical comedy is a time-honored tradition.
A character who is prone to tripping, bumping into things, or having slapstick moments can be a delight to read about.
These aren’t just random accidents; they’re well-timed comedic events that add a dash of humor to the narrative.
However, it’s not about making the character look foolish but rather embracing the light-hearted and often unpredictable nature of life.
Combine these pratfalls with well-timed verbal punchlines, and you’ve got a recipe for comedy that appeals to all senses.
Example: “Every time Liam tried to impress Lisa, something would go hilariously wrong. Once, trying to serenade her beneath her window, he not only got the wrong house but also got chased by a rather angry cat. ‘Well,’ he quipped, panting and covered in scratches, ‘at least someone was moved by my singing.'”
20. Witty Wisdom
Underneath the goofiness and gags, having a character spout unexpected wisdom can be a great source of humor.
This juxtaposition of humor and insight makes the character multi-dimensional.
The unexpectedness of the wisdom, especially if it’s wrapped in a funny package, adds an element of surprise for the reader.
The key is to ensure the wisdom isn’t preachy.
It should come off as a natural extension of the character’s experiences, often hidden beneath layers of humor but shining through when needed.
Example: “Amidst one of his typical rambles, where topics ranged from alien invasions to the best type of pie, Uncle Bob suddenly said, ‘You know, life’s a lot like pie. Sometimes it’s sweet, sometimes tart, but it’s always best when shared.’ We all paused, pie slices in hand, struck by the unexpected profundity.”
21. Rib-Tickling Ridiculousness
Sometimes, the funniest things are those that make no sense at all.
Embrace the absurd, the surreal, and the downright bizarre.
Characters who say or do things that are off-the-wall can catch a reader off guard, making them laugh out loud.
This style of humor isn’t about setting up a punchline but instead finding humor in the unexpected and the inexplicable.
For this type of humor to work, the world-building must support it.
The surrounding characters and setting should play along with the absurdity.
Or, on the other hand, provide a contrasting backdrop that amplifies the humor.
Example: “In the middle of the town’s serious debate about zoning laws, Mrs. Higgles stood up and passionately argued for the rights of imaginary friends. ‘Just because you can’t see them,’ she declared, ‘doesn’t mean they don’t need parking spaces!’ The room erupted in laughter, yet Mrs. Higgles sat down, satisfied she’d made her point.”
Types of Funny Characters in Writing (And Life)
There are many different types of funny characters.
Here is a list of the most common humorous archetypes for you to write about in your stories.
- The Prankster: Always armed with a mischievous plan, making you watch your back.
- The Witty Commentator: Has a clever retort for everything, never missing a beat.
- The Slapstick Lover: Finds humor in physical comedy, often at their own expense.
- The Sarcasm Specialist: Masters the art of saying one thing but meaning another, dripping with irony.
- The Absurd Humorist: Sees the world in a unique, offbeat way, making the ordinary seem bizarre.
- The Self-Deprecator: Finds humor in their own flaws and isn’t afraid to laugh at themselves.
- The Pun King/Queen: Can’t resist turning words around for comedic effect.
- The Deadpan Deliverer: Maintains a serious face, making their humor even more unexpected.
- The Exaggerator: Turns every story into an epic, blown-out-of-proportion tale.
- The Clown: Embraces silliness and can make any situation a spectacle.
- The Observational Joker: Notices the everyday quirks of life and highlights them humorously.
- The Comedy Nerd: Knows every comedy show, film, and stand-up act, and references them constantly.
- The Dark Humorist: Finds laughter in the bleak and morbid, navigating the line between edgy and offensive.
- The Literal Comedian: Takes things at face value, often leading to hilariously misunderstood situations.
- The Physical Comedian: Uses their body in exaggerated ways to get a chuckle, from facial expressions to over-the-top actions.
- The Giggler: Finds everything amusing and can’t help but laugh, making others laugh in the process.
- The Meme Lord: Always up-to-date with internet culture, sharing the latest viral jokes and references.
- The Impersonator: Mimics voices, mannerisms, and personalities to comedic perfection.
- The Naïve Humorist: Innocently comments on the world around them, often without realizing the humor in their words.
- The Anecdotalist: Has a funny story for every situation, drawing from their seemingly endless repertoire.
- The Catchphrase Comic: Has a signature line or phrase they’re known for, bringing it up whenever they can.
- The Understated Joker: Uses subtle humor, often requiring a second to realize they’ve just made a joke.
- The Hyperbolic Humorist: Everything is the “most” or the “worst” or the “funniest” — always on the extreme end of the scale.
- The Random Comedian: Their humor is unexpected, bizarre, and often leaves you thinking, “Where did that come from?”
- The Satirist: Critiques society and politics with sharp humor, making you laugh and think simultaneously.
- The Teaser: Playfully mocks friends but always in good spirits, strengthening bonds.
- The Situational Comic: Finds humor in the current situation, always in the present moment.
How to Describe a Comedian
Comedians are masters of humor and timing, often using personal experiences, observations, and societal issues to create laughs.
When describing a comedian:
- Focus on their stage presence: Are they animated, laid-back, or sarcastic?
- Delve into their style of humor: Do they lean towards slapstick, dark humor, observational, or satire?
- Mention their quirks: Every comedian has a unique trait, be it a catchphrase, a particular gesture, or a recurrent theme in their jokes.
Example: “Jake was a natural comedian, with a relaxed swagger on stage, making you chuckle even before he began. His humor, deeply rooted in daily absurdities, was delivered with a deadpan face, making it hard to tell if he was joking or just making an observation.”
How to Describe a Funny Kid
Kids often have an innocent and unfiltered way of seeing the world, which can be a rich source of humor.
When describing a funny kid:
- Highlight their innocence: Often, their comments come from a place of pure curiosity.
- Touch upon their lack of filter: Kids say the darnedest things because they don’t overthink.
- Describe their antics: Whether it’s playing pranks or just being goofy, their actions often speak louder than words.
Example: “Lucy was the kind of kid who’d wear rain boots on a sunny day ‘just in case.’ Her questions, often blurted out at the most inappropriate times, were a mix of startling wisdom and innocent naivety.”
How to Describe a Funny Older Person
Age brings wisdom, experience, and for some, a fantastic sense of humor.
When describing a funny older person:
- Emphasize their life experiences: They’ve seen it all and have hilarious anecdotes to share.
- Highlight their carefree attitude: With age, many people stop worrying about what others think, leading to unfiltered, often humorous comments.
- Describe their interaction with younger generations: The generational gap can be a rich source of comedy.
Example: “Grandma Elsie had a knack for mixing age-old wisdom with modern slang, often leaving us in splits. Her tales from ‘back in the day,’ punctuated with words like ‘lit’ and ‘YOLO,’ were a delightful blend of past and present.”
30 Words to Describe a Funny Person
Here is a list of words for describing a funny person in writing:
30 Phrases to Describe a Funny Person
Here are a list of phrases for writing about funny characters:
- “Has a way with words.”
- “Never a dull moment with them.”
- “Their humor is infectious.”
- “A real riot to be around.”
- “Master of dad jokes.”
- “They see the lighter side of things.”
- “Can turn any frown upside down.”
- “Their laughter is contagious.”
- “Always the life of the party.”
- “A knack for tickling your funny bone.”
- “Wit sharper than a blade.”
- “Has a quip for every occasion.”
- “Delivers punchlines with precision.”
- “They wear humor as a second skin.”
- “Their tales are always knee-slappers.”
- “Sees the world through a comical lens.”
- “Could make a statue crack a smile.”
- “Laughter follows them like a shadow.”
- “Has the rare gift of comedic timing.”
- “Even their silence speaks volumes of humor.”
- “Their anecdotes are the stuff of legends.”
- “Giggles are their second language.”
- “They find comedy in the mundane.”
- “A jestful spirit with a heart of gold.”
- “Makes humor look effortless.”
- “Their tales are peppered with chuckles.”
- “A magnetic pull towards all things funny.”
- “Even their mishaps are comical.”
- “Laughter is their preferred melody.”
- “Crafts humor out of thin air.”
Here is a video about how to describe a funny person in writing:
Final Thoughts: How to Describe a Funny Person in Writing
Embrace the funny within, for it’s the echo of our shared humanity in a world craving connection.
For even more guides for describing people, places, and things in writing, check out the list of articles below.