Length of Program
Nothing brings people together like comedy! Comedy offers humor, color, and creativity for teens. This program provides opportunities for teens to test their comedic talents or simply to enjoy the talents of others. Invite comedy performers to help teens focus on jokes, riddles, and comedy routines.
Contact local theater, community colleges, or clubs for recommendations for comedians, mimes, improvisation artists, and other humorous performers who would be willing to discuss humor and performance with teens. Ask the guest to discuss their talent and how it works for them as a hobby or career. Alternatively, library staff can explore classic comedians, like W. C. Fields, Lucille Ball, and The Three Stooges, and discuss why they are funny and why their humor has lasted over decades. Display books about comedy performance and, if desired, hold a “Comedy Club” performance at the library after the teens have time to prepare routines.
Books to Display
- Be a Mime by Mark Stolzenberg.
- The Play of Words by Richard Lederer.
- The Three Stooges by Mark Scordato.
- The Ultimate Improv Book: A Complete Guide to Comedy Improvisation by Edward Nevraumont.
Books to Booktalk
- Blood on the Microphone by Ian Bone.
- Maxx Comedy, The Funniest Kid in America by Gordon Korman.
- The Secret Life of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend.
- Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl.
- Virtually Perfect by Dan Gutman.
Comedy Film Fest
Hold a comedy film fest by showing films featuring The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, The Keystone Cops, and other classic comedians. All of these films are in the public domain so can be shown in the library without violating copyright.
Encourage the teens to write some of their own jokes or find jokes in books and create a comedy act. Have the kids use a computer word processing program or pencil and paper to write out their jokes. Let them add drawings if they would like to. Hole-punch the sheets of paper or insert them into sheet protectors and put in a 3-ring notebook. Display in the library for all to enjoy.
Who’s on First?
Distribute copies of “Who’s on First?,” the comedy routine made famous by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. It’s available in From Sea to Shining Sea compiled by Amy L. Cohn. Let the teens practice in pairs and then present the sketch. Ask library staff or other teens to judge the funniest presentation.
Tell the scary, but humorous, story, "Ruby Red Lips." There are several versions of this story about a mysterious stranger who keeps asking "Do you want to see what I do with my long red fingernails and my ruby red lips?" Tell it with props, such as fake nails and red candy lips, and use a witchy voice. Practice so that you can tell this story with a straight face. One version is available in Crazy Gibberish and Other Story Hour Stretches by Naomi Baltuck.
- Daily Humor
- Owl Kids Online Last Laugh
- So You Wanna Do Stand-Up Comedy?
Serve “coffee house” foods, such as cold coffee drinks, pretzels, popcorn, and soft drinks.
Video to View
Legends of Comedy: The Golden Age of Comedy. (60 minutes)
- Funny Bones: Comedy Games and Activities by Lisa Bany-Winters.
- Sensational Scenes for Teens: The Scene Studyguide for Teen Actors! by Chambers Stevens.