Because this method of gag-creation is so powerful, I've decided to give you another example. NOTE: You need a full English Dictionary, I use the Chambers Dictionary with thumb indexing. It has 2,000 pages or so. If you try this with a pocket dictionary your options will be correspondingly limited.
So here's the first step:
I randomly open the dictionary. It opens in the p's, and the first word to catch my eye is 'pom', which the dictionary defines as an abbreviation of the Aussie word for Englishmen (and women), 'pommy'.
I quickly glance up and down the column to see if there are any very similar words, i.e. similar in length, spelling etc. I'll call these 'near-pure' puns. There will be times using this approach when you'll find the same spelling of a word but with two or more different meanings. I'll just illustrate this point by looking up the word 'con'. There are six different meanings, all listed as separate words. These are 'pure puns' and for our purposes they're the nugget in our goldmine.
OK, there are no pure puns for 'pom' or 'pommy'. So I'll look up and down the column a bit more minutely. Are there any words which relate to 'pom' or 'pommy'?
I see 'pomegranate'.
This is a great find, because it is a two-part word and each part makes a usable word:
Part 1: 'pome' sounds exactly the same as 'pommy'
Part 2; 'granate' sounds exactly like 'granite'.
To make something of this seed, we need to link / connect pommies, granite and the overarching theme of Austrailia.
Pommie = a type of person
Granite = a rock.
My initial linking thought is that granite is often used in statues of people, followed by 'What statues of English people are there in Aus?'
Google statues of famous 'pommies' in Australia. I see one particular interesting fact: there's a statue of Shakespeare in Sydney.
How do we generate a joke from these themes?
Well, my near-instant thought stems from 'Sydney' being a boy's name:
Might the statue be of Sydney Shakespeare, and might he be William's son?
There's always been a question as to who really wrote Shakespeare's plays. Moving on with that thought, might Sydney Shakespeare be the real playwright?
This, believe it or not is a joke. It's not one that on its own will have a Live at the Apollo audience howling with hysteria, but as part of a stand up routine it would help... particularly if it was in some way relevant - like if you were a UK comedian performing in Sydney, or an Aussie comic performing in the UK.
I've observed that the most important factor in comedy is often relevance.
Grab a big fat English dictionary and bang away at what I've suggested. It might well not come easy to you at first, but open-minded practice will speed you up.
Do remember that with wholesale joke-creation like this the important thing isn't quality, it's quantity. So don't rule an idea out because it isn't funny - carve it into a gag and decide if it's funny later.
I hope you can see what I'm driving at. If you're mystified or would like to discuss what I've been saying, the best email address to get me on is currently email@example.com.