Aspiring comedy writers undoubtedly look at Twitter stars like Rob Delaney, Kelly Oxford, and Alec Sulkin and think, Screw dues-paying — I’ll just make some 140-character ha-has over lunch and then sit back and wait for Hollywood to come a-calling! Not so fast! Garnering a following as a Twitter humorist is not easy — but it is doable! To help you wannabe Twitter stars develop an approach that will amuse thousands, multiply your followers, have you hobnobbing via hashtag with some of Twitter’s most elite humorists, and then get a high-paying comedy-writing job that will allow you to buy a solid-gold iPad with which to construct more tweets (thus keeping the cycle going even more glamorously), we solicited some advice from someone who would know: Megan Amram (followers: more than 350,000), whose concisely hilarious tweets quickly found her unemployment as a writer for the Oscars and then Parks and Recreation. Here are her dos and don’ts of being funny on Twitter.
DO: Make jokes! About almost anything! People like laughing, and if you’re unique and surprisingly funny, you might just rise to the top. As my adult cousin Greg has always said, “Funny is money.” Wow, he’s probably gay, right?
DON’T: Tweet about sports. They’re boring! You can tweet about your day, but don’t tweet about sports! For star athletes, this is important to remember, because your day is sports. For athletes who aren’t stars, maybe get better at sports?
DO: Google before you tweet. There are a billion funny people on Twitter (rough estimate, rounded to the nearest billion), and they may have done your joke first.
DON’T: Tweet about rape or stillbirth. FDR wheelchair jokes are more than okay.
DO: Tweet about FDR and his wheelchair! I mean, what kind of Clown-town Julie Brown has a chair with WHEELS attached? It’s not a wagon, for crissake! You’re just askin’ for it, ya lazybones!
DON’T: Be a jerk. Don’t attack people over Twitter. Don’t indulge haters. Like my adult cousin Greg says, “Haters are worse than skaters … in terms of their butts! Male skaters have got the cutest damn li’l butts! I’d slurp that butt like a hot summer soup!”
DO: Make your profile picture cRaZy! It’s a great conversation starter, and if you hide behind a funny picture, maybe you don’t have to confront your real-life insecurities about your body and personality that led you to take that picture in the first place because obviously there has to be some sort of subconscious reason you made that decision even if you thought it was just a joke, Megan Amram.
DON’T: Confront your real-life insecurities about your body and personality that led you to take that picture in the first place because obviously there has to be some sort of subconscious reason you made that decision even if you thought it was just a joke, Megan Amram.
DO: Tweet a select one to ten times a day. I don’t want my Twitter timeline overpowered by a single person, unless that person is a celebrity. And if you’re a celeb, why are you reading Vulture?! You should be reading Celeb, where you can learn how to keep the public’s fickle support and stay trim as a li’l bean curd! Furthermore, doesn’t tweeting that much hurt your hands?! My weak anemic Jew-hands flop and sting with the pain of a baker’s-dozen razor slashes at even the lightest brush of the wind.
DON’T: Tweet zero times a day. Because then you’re no better than the animals!
DO: Be respectful with subject matter. Just because you can tweet about a beloved public figure right after they’ve died doesn’t mean you should. Instead of tweeting about Roger Ebert’s death, write ten really edgy, subversive jokes about it, print them out, throw them away, and buy yourself a Coke float, because you’ve just earned it!
DON’T: Try to start a brilliant hashtag game to garner fame. No one’s going to want to play something like #ReplaceCatWithDogInNamesOfFamousMovies. Wait, holy shit, of course they will. The Truth About Dogs & Cats? That’s so, so amazing, ha-ha! Brb.
DO: Keep your tweets as short as possible. 140 characters might be short, but my favorite tweets are even shorter. Better yet — a tweet with no characters! Twitter’s stupid!
DON’T: Tweet disgustingly dirty things. Topics include: crud, trash, doodoo pie.
DO: Tweet about FDR and his roly-poly Rolio-Polio chair — how many times do I hafta tell ya! PoliO-M-G!
DON’T: Listen to Twitter dos and don’ts. You know what? You do whatever you damn well please with Twitter.