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A ‘Broad City’ Writer’s 3 Tips For Teaching Toddlers Comedy

Anthony Kingdoes all the time. The 36-year-old improv comic performs regularly with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and writes for Comedy Central’sBroad City and USA Network’s Playing House. But he’s fascinated with teaching kids comedy because he has two daughters, 3 and 1, and he needs to hand the family business off to somebody one day. Here’s what he’s learned in process …

• “Kids understand structure more than references or punchlines. When I try to teach my 3-year-old knock knock jokes, it’s always the ‘knock, knock; who’s there?’ part that she finds the most funny, because the repetition is absurd to her. Kids like absurd.”

• “Don’t overlook the basics, like pratfalls. One day I was pushing my 3-year-old on the swing, and every time I pushed her, I’d flop down on the ground. She loved it, and later while I was making dinner I watched her start falling down all over the place to make her little sister laugh – and it worked! Slapstick always works.”

• “The word ‘butt’ also always works. This is actually kind of a problem in our house because my 3-year-old thinks it’s so funny and my wife really wants her to stop saying it. But if she’s using it for a punchline? I feel like she should go for the laugh. So, that’s an on-going conversation with the wife.”