Q. My business
publishes a monthly employee newsletter. My boss asked me to write a funny quiz. Im not exactly a stand-up comic. Help!
A. Ah, the funny quiz. Lucky you! Its not commonly that a company has an official sense of humor that they are willing to display for all to read. This is going to be a dazzling assignment for you!
A funny quiz is typically one where the questions and answers have no real purpose other than to build the quiz taker laugh. Although almost anything goes, there are some taboo subjects. Off hand Id say that anything that pokes fun at a targeted person, or groups of people, as well as anything thats anti-semitic, racial, sexual, political, or religious should be off limits. Remember, what one person thinks is funny may offend someone else. Even seemingly innocuous subjects like "hillbilly" or "redneck" jokes might not be funny to someone who lives in the mountains or the deep South (like I do).
You can think of a funny quiz as a series of one-liners with multiple-choice punch lines. Because you are writing for a company publication you have a built-in "affinity group" as there is bound to be some common subjects that are business
related and could be made into something funny.
For example, if you work for a software development company then you might have a question that asks:
Whats longer: A CEOs week or a programmers week?
If youre not laughing then you have never had a programmer tell you that the project will be ready in a week.
You positive need
a fine line even when using subjects like this in your funny quiz. Say that your business
just posted a 4th quarter loss because a new software product missed its launch date by a "programmers week". It doesnt take a rocket scientist to determine that you are about to tick off a lot of people if you add that question to your funny quiz.
Try to avoid wornout jokes or cliches. A funny quiz should be funny, not lame. For example, still on the software train of thought, a question like...
Q. How many programmers does it take to change a lightbulb? A. None. They dont do hardware.