How To Be Funny On The Radio (Or At Least Not Force It)


(By Randy Lane) Funny always scores at the top of why people listen to radio morning shows. Humor leads your brain away from information to an emotional response and gives your show the important surprise factor – and it’s never been more critical than it is today.

We are bombarded with bad news, hateful posts, and crime videos. Local television news still operates on the premise that “if it bleeds, it leads.” Even though crime is sharply down, this Gallup Poll reports the majority of Americans perceive crime to be skyrocketing.

Research proves humor wins in morning radio

Not only does humor increase your endorphins and make you feel good, but according to the Mayo Clinic, it relieves stress, decreases your heart rate and blood pressure, and aids muscle relaxation. The long-term effects of laughter improve your immune system, help ease pain, and improve your mood.

Harvard Education’s research found laughter to be contagious and mirror neurons in the brain. It’s one of the reasons television sitcoms use laugh tracks.

Can laughter cure disease?

Norman Cousins was a professor at the UCLA Medical School in 1979. Cousins was diagnosed with a painful and debilitating disorder called collagen disease. Experts told him he had one chance in 500 of recovery.

In his best-selling book Anatomy of an Illness, Cousins watched Marx Brothers films and reruns of TV’s Candid Camera, among other movies and shows daily. His doctors were skeptical, but he laughed his way to a full recovery!

Finding the funny in morning radio shows

You are fortunate if you have a funny morning show. Not every talent is naturally funny, and you can’t force it. However, there are steps you can take to increase humor on your morning show:

  • First, have fun. Having fun is also contagious. Listeners want to be uplifted and feel good in the morning.
  • Look for talent outside of radio. Many radio stations find naturally funny people in their community and put them on radio shows. Scan online talent, comedy clubs, improv groups, and entertaining people you run into. It’s much easier to teach people the fundamentals of radio than to teach funny.
  • Yes, you can improve your sense of humor. Like everything, the first step is to be aware of humor and put it on your radar. Where you put your attention expands. Like Norman Cousins, watch comedy movies, TV shows, videos, and funny TikTok posters, go to comedy clubs, and listen to funny morning shows and podcasts. Additionally:

Randy Lane is the owner of the Randy Lane Company, which coaches and brands radio and television personalities, business professionals, sports personalities, entrepreneurs, and pop culture artists, helping them master communication skills to have an impact on their audiences. Read Randy’s Radio Ink archives here.


  1. The point about the surprise factor is interesting. Humor that’s predictable can get old fast. Shows that can keep the jokes fresh and surprising are more likely to hold onto listeners.


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