Comic Wonder Strives to Reduce Prank-Related Injuries this April Fools’ Day

Comic Wonder of the Year offers simple tips for delivering laughs without the groans

MILWAUKEE, March 28 /PRNewswire/ — With all that is weighing on the mind of the average American — from the war to an unstable economy, few could argue that what we need is a good laugh. Unfortunately, the one day each year dedicated to humor — April Fools’ Day — has become such a theatrical production that most ignore it altogether. Thankfully, one Web site offers just what we need to get back to what April Fools is really about.


Instead of figuring out how to reassemble a car inside your boss’ office or mock-up divorce papers in Photoshop, Comic Wonder (, the Web site dedicated to evolving the art of joke telling, is delivering all that is needed to get people laughing this April Fools’ Day and it doesn’t require elaborate schemes or plots. Comic Wonder suggests we get back to the roots of April Fools’ Day and simply tell a good joke.

“The magic behind good humor, whether a complicated prank or just a good joke, is the element of surprise,” said Mark Metcalf, spokesperson for Comic Wonder. “When it comes to joke telling, there’s an art to ensuring you hook your audience enough to surprise them at the end.” Metcalf is best known for his roles as Neidermeyer in Animal House and as “The Maestro” on Seinfeld.

Launched in December of 2007, Comic Wonder features hundreds of jokes, each of which has been critiqued and features commentary. But the real magic of the Web site is how these jokes are delivered. Unlike the seemingly endless supply of text jokes, which have proven to be a sad surrogate for the real thing, Comic Wonder features an innovative yet simple, audio-based system that allows humorous bits to be phoned in and then played via the Web site. Since the secret to great joke telling is in the delivery, April Fools’ Day revelers can bone-up on their joke telling by visiting the site to hear how some of the best do it.

Chris “Captainhilariousness” Cashman, agrees that one of the most important elements of good joke telling is the art of “fooling” people. “The best way to catch someone off guard is to turn a joke into a believable story,” said Cashman, a Seattle native who was voted the 2007 Comic Wonder of the Year. “I often take a joke I’ve read or heard and turn it into a personal anecdote. That way when you get to the punch line, it hits them right between the eyes. That’s the surprise I’m looking for. It’s more effective than a tired whoopee cushion or the painful ‘A guy walks into a bar’ routine.”

Cashman suggests inserting yourself, a friend, or relative into the narrative, as he did with his award-winning joke titled “Puzzled Sister.” The personalized story recounts one fateful evening when Cashman’s ditzy sister suggested an alternative activity — assembling a puzzle — to replace their weekly movie night.

To help those desperately seeking funny and surprising jokes, Cashman offers five tips to make this April Fools’ Day a success.

1. Choose Your Material Carefully

There are plenty of text jokes waiting to be brought to life by a joke-teller. Visit your inbox, Google or check out Comic Wonder’s “Joke Limbo” area to find material to work with. If you really want to fool someone, create a story that they can start to believe. If you don’t have a boat, don’t start with “I was hanging out on my yacht with the Pope … ” as this will immediately tip off the victim. And, finally, does the material have a good opportunity for a great surprise twist at the end?

2. Personalize/Localize

Instead of the obvious, “A guy walks into a bar … ” customize it to, “Last weekend, my buddies and I stopped by Chasers for a drink after the game … ” If the joke is about the debacle or debauchery of one of our fine elected public servants, localize it by using the name of a well-known local politician.

3. Transform the “Joke” into a Believable Story

Details can transform a funny “joke” into a memorable story. Use situations and details that people know. Get them nodding their head in agreement while the story unfolds. Elaborate. Instead of, “I was in an accident recently.” Try, “You’re not going to believe this. I had a car accident the other day — on the corner of Fifth St. and Main — you know that really busy intersection ….”

4. Develop Characters

Elevate your joke-telling performance by becoming the characters. Avoid the “he said, she said, and they replied” type dialogue. That won’t cut it. Develop a character voice that fits each person in the story. Now you’re acting out the dialogue instead of reading it like a newspaper story. Instead of saying “my wife was really angry with me,” act out exactly how angry your wife was using a caricature of her voice. (You may not want to use this method if you are telling the joke to your wife.)

5. Learn from Listening

Build your joke-telling skills by listening to good joke performances. This allows you to fine-tune the performance and the material. Comic Wonder has tons of categorized audio joke performances to learn from and laugh at. You don’t have to copy someone else’s style, but you can learn from, improve it and build your own joke-telling repertoire.

Comic Wonder of the Year

With its motto being “A joke is not a joke until it’s told,” Comic Wonder is scouring the earth to discover the one hero who could be a beacon of light for its cause — the Luke Skywalker of Laughter, the Frodo of Funny — the Comic Wonder of the Year. Jokes are submitted to the Web site with finalists selected each week throughout the year. Weekly finalists are further narrowed to monthly finalists who eventually face off for the coveted title of 2008 Comic Wonder of the Year. For contest details, visit

About Comic Wonder

Comic Wonder was established in 2007 to be the first online joke telling forum and Web site dedicated to evolving the art of joke telling. This innovative audio-based site allows people to just type in their phone number and the site automatically calls them so they can record their joke — similar to leaving a voice mail message. Once the joke is on the site, the world listens to it, votes on it, shares it with others and ultimately decides who are the best joke tellers. For more information, visit

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Comic Wonder

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