October 01, 2009


How to Make a Girl Laugh

Big Business is a comedian and Love Systems instructor based in New York City. Because of his career, he sometimes keeps a lower profile but you can read about some of his exploits here, here, and here. He specializes in quick seductions in day and night-time scenarios.  

Women will always tell you that they’re looking for a man with a good sense of humor.

Of course, what women SAY they want isn’t usually what they actually respond to in the real world. You guys probably already know this (if not, get Magic Bullets to understand why), but it’s worth repeating anyway.  

Sense of humor is one of the big exceptions. Women know they want it, and we know they want it.  Everyone has at least some sense of humor. This article is meant to be simple and practical, with quick tips that anyone can use – whether you’re advanced or new – to get even better. If you’re interested in more depth and theory on this, I’ll list some great links at the end.  


Heightening means raising the value of what you are talking about. For example: 

  • If you are talking about expensive things, you could start with a watch, then heighten to a diamond, then a Picasso. Each one is more expensive than the last.

  • If we were making a joke about physical injury, we’d start with a splinter, then heighten to a broken leg, then death. Each one is more damaging than the last.

  • If we were making a joke about inappropriate things to say on a first date, we’d start with “You have lovely breasts” then heighten to “I usually date men, so this is new,” then finally “How much for anal?” Each one was progressively worse to say on a first date than the one before it.

A great time to use heightening is if she says something a bit silly. Let’s say she comes up with: “My bike is really cool. It has a bell.”  

What are we trying to heighten here? It’s usually the element that makes the statement silly in the first place. In this case, it’s the childish bike attachments. So heighten that.   (Yes, really, take a second before reading on and do that. This is an interactive exercise.)  

What I’d do here is think of immature things I could put on a bicycle. A baseball card in the spokes? A pink basket with frills? Training wheels? Or:   “Not as cool as my bike. It has a picture of Spiderman on the front.”  

Another great way to use heightening is with role plays.  

For example, let’s say you start with something simple like, “You’re cool. You’re going to be my new best friend.”  

What can we heighten here? You have a couple of choices; I’d go with just having met this person and now we’re best friends.  

What’s even more of a commitment than being best friends? Meeting someone’s parents? Moving in together? Getting married? Or:  “In a few minutes, if you keep being cool, we can upgrade you to ‘friend with benefits’ or ‘potential life mate’ depending on how you play your cards.”  

Role plays often lead into situations where you can heighten, and are really valuable as humor building blocks themselves.  

You can practice heightening even when you’re not in the middle of a conversation with a beautiful woman. Just think of categories, and practice quickly coming up with heightening ideas. Here are a few you can try right now: 

  • Cars (go from lame to sexy)
  • Office Conduct (go from mildly inappropriate to wildly inappropriate)
  • Juggling (go from normal difficulty to insane difficulty)    

Call Back Humor  

Another great technique – and one that can be combined with heightening – is call back humor. At its most basic, call back humor is referencing something that happened earlier.

Inside jokes are callback humor. Comedians who reference a joke they told earlier in their act are using callback humor.  

One of the cool things about call back humor is that the thing you’re referencing doesn’t, in and of itself, have to be funny.  

One of the easiest ways to use call back humor is with nicknames.

The other day I met a woman who told me she was a doctor. “Wow, a doctor!” I said. “Well, I’m still in residency,” she replied. “Oh, so you’re not actually a doctor yet. You’re a half-doctor.”  She laughed, and so anytime I texted or called her I referred to her as “half-doctor” and it reminded her of the funny moment we shared together.  

(We don’t have time to get into this here, but if you are planning on getting a phone number and calling or texting her later - as opposed to continuing on that night - establishing call back humor for the first call is crucial. It can literally mean the difference between a phone call that leads to a date and a phone call that leads to “I have to go finish re-organizing my sock drawer.”   This is explained in Chapter 20 Phone Game of Magic Bullets.)  

Another great technique is to combine heightening and call back humor together. Remember the woman who became my new best friend a few paragraphs ago? Using this as call back humor as well, I could text her with: 

  • Hey new best friend. I’ve decided to promote you to friend with benefits. Keep up the good work!”

  • May make a new best-ie before I see you again. Don’t get jealous.”

You can also combine call backs. E.g.:   “Hey new best friend. I told my parents you were a real doctor, so remember to lie when you meet them.”  

Call backs are easy to use, but they are also easy to misuse. You don’t want to call back too early, and you definitely don’t want to call back the same thing too often. It’s easy to look like you’re trying too hard if you go to call back humor as a life raft every time the conversation stalls, especially if it’s the same thing you keep calling back to. Which brings me to the third concept...    

The Rule of Threes  

Comedy happens in threes. I don’t know why, it just does. A priest, a minister and a rabbi. A Mexican, a Russian, and an American. Three really is the magic number for comedy. If you have ever been accused of killing a joke, it’s probably because you tried to heighten it more than three times. The first time is when the funny thing happens, the second time you establish the pattern and heighten, then the third time follow the pattern and heighten to the top.


Learning more about refining your sense of humor:

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Nick Savoy
Nick Savoy


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