How do you make them laugh with a great Christmas cracker?

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1. Gaining giggles

'Tis the season to be jolly, but all too often holiday humour leaves us groaning. So how can you craft your own comic gold to get your friends and family laughing?

Darren Walsh, winner of the 2015 best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe, reveals how to guarantee a giggle and create some real Christmas crackers of your very own.

2. The secret to the perfect one-liner

Fed up with the same old chestnuts leaving a bad taste in the mouth? Discover the logic behind a good joke by joining our mighty punnoisseur as he hits the shops in search of the gift of comedy.

3. Five step formula for forming funnies

With over 3,000 jokes to his name, Darren Walsh knows a thing or two about generating jokes. Here’s his five-step plan for writing waggish one-liners.

  1. You’ll want to start with the punchline, so have a look around you for a subject. This could be an object, a person or just a broad topic.
  2. Think of as many associated words as you can that stem from your chosen subject.
  3. Pick one of the associated words and think of a double-meaning for it.
  4. Think of how this double meaning could be misunderstood. The sillier the better!
  5. Deliver the joke with confidence – if you think it’s funny there’s a good chance others will do too.

Don't try to be too clever

To ensure amusement, punchlines must reveal an unexpected twist. Remember not to make the joke so obscure that your audience just don't get it.

4. Family Christmas crackers

Click on a family member to reveal a classic yuletide joke!

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5. Finding your comic genius

There are many different genres of jokes, from puns to politics. Find out which style you’d be best suited to.

Puns

Like a good steak, a pun is a rare medium, well done. It's a comedic device of many comedians, notably the likes of Tommy Cooper and Milton Jones.

Punnyman

Tim Vine

Punster who’s twice won best gag at Edinburgh

"I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again!"

Observational

Have you ever noticed how observational comedy begins with 'have you ever noticed'? Used by comics like Michael McIntyre and often the basis for sitcoms.

Observational art

Robin Williams

Genial jester with on point observations

"Sometimes you've got to specifically go out of your way to get into trouble. It's called fun!"

Surreal

How many comics does it take to explain surreal humour? A fish. From Monty Python to The Mighty Boosh, it’s ultimately complete nonsense.

Surrealism studies

Mitch Hedberg

Surreal stand-up with offbeat observations

"I would imagine if you can understand morse code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy!"

Political

Spoonsful of sugar help the medicine go down but they also cause diabetes. Humour with meaning popularised by satirical shows like Spitting Image.

Patriarchal politics

Bridget Christie

Political with funny feminism

"Feminism is not a fad. It’s not like Angry Birds. Although it does involve a lot of angry birds. Bad example."