"What is Comedic Timing?" is the title of an instructional video in The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe. It is shown to Stanley during the Comedic Timing Ending, which is triggered by carrying The Bucket to the Phone Room and unplugging the phone.
"What Is Comedic Timing?" guides the viewer in the process of telling a joke. The video details the optimal conditions for telling a joke with good comedic timing, outlines the process of telling the joke, and stresses the importance of surveying your audience afterwards. Abruptly, the video then shifts to a final appeal to the audience to fight against an invasion force of twelve-legged aliens.
What is comedic timing? What is... comedic... timing? How does it work? How long should it last? How can it be used to effectively silence your political enemies? And more importantly, can it be taught in its entirety within 90 seconds? Thankfully, the answer to all of these questions is - yes. Let's dive deeper.
If you've ever told a joke or made someone laugh, in all likelihood, you did it while standing 50-80 centimetres from them, in a room of no more than 76 degrees Fahrenheit, with one of your arms raised straight upward at a fifteen degree angle from your body. These are the optimal conditions for good comedic timing.
To begin the joke, start by stating and spelling your name. Next, provide a brief synopsis of the joke, including the specific times at which the recipient of the joke will laugh. And then spell out your name a second time. With these steps complete, it's time to begin the humor.
Speak the entire joke in no more than eighteen seconds, and no less than thirteen and a half, pausing only for bathroom breaks when necessary. When the joke has concluded, it is customary to inform your listener that the joke is over by declaring in your loudest possible voice, "I'm doney with the funny!"
Let's practice screaming: "I'm doney with the funny!" now.
[A practice screen appears for a few seconds.]
Good. This saying is a perfect example of expectations management which is the cornerstone of good comedy.
Finally, it's time to hand out surveys. Collecting hard data from your audience on how rapt they were throughout the joke is the only way to grow or learn as a comedian. An effective survey should be no less than ten pages long, and should include the same question reprinted several times, just to ensure the survey taker is actually paying attention and not simply filling in answers at random.
And that's all there is. With these strategies at your disposal you'll have audiences doubled over in laughter, and even tripled over in laughter, in no time at all. Just remember to let them stop laughing at some point, you gut-busting little scamp!
After all, we're each of us needed on the front lines of the war to fight the twelve-legged invaders who threaten our very existence, and are very likely to die in a hailstorm of bullets and mandibles. All of us must be prepared to give our lives to this noble cause, just as our children must do after us, and their children after them. God speed, and may Earth reign supreme!
- Before the real outro card at the end, an alternate version appears for a few frames, depicting a crosshair, several UFOs, and some alien text superimposed on a black-and-white image of the Earth. This text is actually written in the Klingon alphabet from Star Trek, and transliterates to "propety ong invaDer" (sic).
- The full text of the joke synopsis is as follows:
A family of four and their pet dog go into a talent scout's office. "We have an act we want to show you," the father says. "OK," says the talent scout, "go ahead, then." The man clears his throat and explains that a long passage of text was needed for a part of the video game in which a voice outlines the perfect conditions for telling a joke. "Man", says the talent agent, "haven't heard that one before." "No, no, says the man, that's not part of the joke. It's more of a synopsis you see. I may look like a man, but I'm not really that man and you're not really a talent agent and this isn't even in the ballpark of the aristocrats joke that the intro to this text bit made it look to be. For all I know, we're just stand-ins in some diabolical parable. A means to an end. We are being created, used, and discarded later. For the purpose of filling a text box. Come to think of it, this does strikes me as a bit of a placeholder text situation, don't you think?
The agent is visibly confused. "What the heck are you on about? Placeholder text? What is this, Photoshop? I don't think that's funny, not at all. In fact, I'd rather go and install and update or two in my Creative Cloud app. They keep popping up and I'm seriously overwhelmed."
Sure, says the man. He too knows the struggles of for-rent software licensing. It's real convenient, sure, but ever since he started subscribing to Adobe's cloud services, the software itself has been more unstable. Actually, okay, this is Dom speaking now, as I'm typing this filler stuff did the Photoshop engine sort of get worse a while back? Selections and fills started to be more aliased, jagged pixels everywhere. I've been wanting to check out Krita or other alternatives for a while now, but you know how it is. Anyway, that's the end of the first bit.
WHEN TO LAUGH
Now, dear listener, I have prepared several exciting laugh moments for you that I can't wait for you to experience. Let me list them here:
1. I'm going to pull the classic one-two-three, you go baba
2. A bit towards the end that you mistake for a punchline
3. The actual punchline, but it'll be more of a simile
And that'll conclude my short synopsis. I hope you enjoyed it and could take something from it. I obviously had to keep it short and to the point, but as you and I both know, the real deal is going to be the joke I'm about to tell. Spoilers: I'm going to have to go pee at least once during it.
Looking forward to it! All the best,
Your friend and joke teller