I love to receive funny greeting cards, even when the humor is at my expense. But as anyone can attest, a browse through your local gift shop's humor section often yields few greeting cards that you find truly funny. Everyone's tastes are different, but fortunately you can design your own funny greeting cards to get a laugh from your special target audience. Writing comedy is perhaps the most difficult art form, so here are my top 5 funny greeting card tips.
1. Set up, then misdirect The front of your greeting card serves as the setup. This is where you set the tone and lead your recipient to believe you're taking a particular path. The inside fold of your greeting card is where you surprise your recipient by going in a totally unexpected direction that leaves them laughing louder than a howler monkey in heat. For example, a card from a wife to her husband might read on the front: “You do so many wonderful things for me ...” and on the inside panel “... that I thought you'd like a few more chores. Here's your list.” 2. Carry a pocket notebook Humor inspiration comes at the oddest times from the most unlikely places. You should always have a way to quickly jot down any ideas that come to mind, even if they're incomplete ideas that you'll have to refine later. Cell phones and PDAs have made this task easier, since you can simply type in your ideas to keep in a file rather than lug around a notebook and pen. 3. Write ... a lot You might have to write 100 jokes or more to get 10 worthy of printing on your greeting cards, so constantly write and rework your humor to elicit laughs from your greeting card recipients. 4. Focus on a theme Not many people buy humorous greeting cards for the sake of being funny. They're usually tied to an event such as graduation, birthdays, weddings and other occasions. Your funny greeting card should focus on a theme and seek unique and humorous angles that surprise the recipient. 5. Go out and laugh it up One of the best places to get inspiration for your funny greeting cards is to visit comedy clubs and watch professional comedy routines. You should never steal material; but watching how the professionals deliver punchlines and the audience reaction to different themes can spark inspiration for your own funny greeting cards. Image use Creative Commons via Flickr.