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How to Tell a Joke Better

Are you the type to forget the punchline or have you been telling the same knock-knock joke for 20 years? Do you ever forgotten your audience and repeat a raunchy limerick to a stunned roomful of people? It probably means you haven't honed your inner comedian. In honor of National Tell a Joke Day on August 16, get to know the signature comedy style of your astrological element (Fire, Earth, Air, Water). And to help you become the funniest person in the room, we've got joke-telling tips and even a few ready-to-go wisecracks you can use. Cue the laughs!

Fire Signs: Go for shock value
But remember that a little goes a long way. Signs that share this element (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) like to take center stage in social situations. How better to capture everyone's attention than with some enthusiastic and daring jokes? While confident and edgy, these signs have a tendency to speak without thinking and lean towards humor that may ruffle a few feathers or even offend. No topic, from infidelity to politics, is off limits, which is fine at the right time and in the right place. This shouldn't surprise your audience when it's your friends—they've likely noticed that you're anything but subtle—yet think it over when you're around co-workers, family members or any kids.

Tell These Jokes:
After the Easter Sunday egg hunt, a farm boy played a prank by going to the chicken coop and replacing every egg with a brightly colored one. A few minutes later, the rooster strutted in, saw the brightly colored eggs, stormed outside and beat the heck out of the peacock.

Q: What's the worst thing a woman can get on her thirtieth wedding anniversary?
A: Morning sickness.

Q: Did you hear that Playboy is coming out with a new magazine for married men?
A: Every month the centerfold is the same woman.

A guy comes home from work, walks into his bedroom and finds a stranger in bed with his wife. He says, "What are you two doing?" His wife turns to the stranger and says, "I told you he was stupid."

Earth Signs: Observe the absurd
As the less spontaneous, more reserved signs of the zodiac, Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) often have a dry, sarcastic sense of humor that not everyone appreciates. But you can turn that love of irony into jokes that comment on the reality of life. In fact, Jerry Seinfeld, a Taurus—quoted below—gives us some of the best examples of this type of humor. Your quips should reveal the absurdity in universal situations that most people can relate to—and laugh about. Remember: Laugh with 'em, not at 'em.

Tell These Jokes:
Surveys show that the No. 1 fear of Americans is public speaking. Death is No. 2. That means that at a funeral, the average American would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.

You can measure distance by time. "How far away is it?" "Oh about 20 minutes." But it doesn't work the other way. "When do you get off work?" "Around 3 miles."

You know what I never get with limos? The tinted windows. Is that so people don't see you? Yeah, what a better way not to have people notice you than taking a thirty-foot Cadillac with a TV antenna and a uniformed driver. How discreet.

Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can't do it in one push. You've gotta rock it back and forth a few times, and then it goes over.

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Air Signs: Be clever and to the point
Typically deft communicators, Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) have a way with words, but you also love to hear yourself speak. Your brand of humor leans heavily on word play and puns, but sometimes motormouth gets the best of you, leading you astray before you hit the punchline. Instead of long, meandering stories, tell quick, witty jokes that others have to think about for a second or two to understand. Hey, the extra mental effort pays off as far as an Air sign is concerned.

Tell These Jokes:
Q: What do expensive muesli and a 13-amp socket have in common?

A: Alternating currants.

Q: How do you make antifreeze?
A: Hide her cardigan.

Comic Sans walks into a bar. Bartender says, "We don't serve your type here."

My puns may be cheesy, but I still think they're pretty gouda.

Water Signs: Go out on a limb
Empathetic Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) are always on high alert about hurting others' feelings—it's one of your most endearing qualities—but it can rob you of a sense of humor. Loosen up a little! You don't have to analyze everything. But to make sure nothing you say could be misconstrued negatively (since you'd only beat yourself up about it later), turn to non-offensive, lighthearted jokes. Though your punchlines may be corny, at least you know everyone is truly laughing along.

Tell These Jokes:
Q: What does a nosey pepper do?
A: Gets jalapeno business!

Q: Why are pirates called pirates?
A: Cause they arrrrrgh.

Q: What did the zero say to the eight?

A: Nice belt!

Q. What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?

A. A thesaurus.

Learn more about how to make the most of your unique talents and traits with your Personal Profile & Birth Chart.

Image via Notorious91/Thinkstock

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