Experience some kind of tragedy early on in your life. Maybe you were a sick baby, maybe your dad hit your mom, maybe you’re just a minority. Whatever it was, it aged you and set you apart from your peers.
Tell jokes to make yourself and others feel good. Discover that you’re very good at it. Wonder if this could be your “thing”.
See humor in the bleakest of situations. Life is so unfair and sad that it’s almost hysterical, isn’t it? People are so creepy, so narcissistic, and so oblivious. Their behavior boggles your mind but it also acts as a source for great material. Discover that the funniest things in life also have the ability to make you cry.
Be perceptive. Start to understand people in a way that surprises you and makes you feel like you “get it.” Some people are in on the joke and some aren’t. You think you always are.
Be popular in a weird unpopular way. Your humor makes people want to be around you but it also creates an imposed distance. Find yourself with a small group of good friends and a lot of acquaintances.
Get off on making people laugh. It makes you feel like a contributor, like you have some semblance of worth. Have people come up to you and ask to retell a story or a joke. At first, do it gladly but then slowly start to resent their requests. You’re not hired entertainment and you don’t want to be “on” all the time. When you’re in a mellow mood, people will ask you if you’re upset about something. Assure them that you’re fine, you’re just off-duty tonight.
Be a very sensitive person who’s prone to bouts of depression. These are the times when you can no longer find the humor in the bleakest of situations. Understand why comedians like John Candy, John Belushi and Chris Farley are all dead (but not really because, wow, that would be scary!)
Struggle with finding somebody to love. Once you finally do, try not to let your insecurities infect the relationship. They’ll be very funny, perhaps even funnier than you, and you’ll be challenged. Don’t screw it up. Oh my god, you might screw it up.
Look at your family and realize you’re the only one with a sense of humor. This confuses you. How can some people not have a sense of humor?
Watch TV shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and Two And A Half Men and be sincerely puzzled as to how people could think they’re funny. They’re not, right?
Wonder how you come up with 80% of your jokes. Listen to someone talking at a party and blurt out a hysterical retort. Be taken aback by how clever it was and seriously question how you did it. These moments can make you feel euphoric.
Try to surround yourself with brilliant jokers. Learn from them, strive to always be better.
Write a how-to about being funny in an effort to better understand it all. Fail miserably.