Comedy is such an easy business; I’m surprised that not every youthful person working a dead end job in a big city wants to try it.
I mean, the comedy scene is not over saturated at all with wanna be comedians.
Who wouldn’t want to be a comedian, being a comedian always means there’s a steady paycheck.
And there’s no drama, jealousy, hatred or back stabbing. Only kind words and hugs for each other.
So I decided to make a list of facts you need to know if you’re going to try and do stand up.
How am I remotely qualified to tell you this?
I get this all the time, people will come up to me and say, “You’re comedy sucks” and as rewarding as that may be to hear. One can never let your ego get too inflated with such nice words.
So as you can clearly see, I’m completely qualified to tell you how to do stand up comedy.
Here are my (10) Comedy 101 pieces of information you need to know.
1. The rumors aren't true. Comedy open mics have a nice balanced ratio of comedians to audience members. There's never too many comedians and they are surely not pretending to pay attention to your act just so they can get to theirs quicker.
2. Comedians love another comedian that uses props and panders to the audience. If you've got stuff laying around the house. Use them in your act. It will show your comedy friends that you can't be original without props.....classic comedy gold right there.
3. Ride that high horse and befriend every comedian you meet. This way it ups your chances that when they make it big, they'll remember you.
4. When a fellow comedian congratulates you on a good set. Always respond back with "I can't say the same for yours". This way you acknowledge he's a comedian but at the same time. You're letting him know his hours of work wasn't worth it....classic comedy love.
5. When you get your first heckler. Take his advice seriously. He's been heckling for years. He knows true talent. His advice could just save your comedy career.
6. Every comedian should do a 10 min set when only allotted 5 mins. This shows the open mic host that you never want to come back. A classic comedy move.
7. Watch your friend’s sets and go to a competition and use their best material in your set. Its shows your comedy friends that you really liked there jokes and you want respect.
8. Never memorize your sets and when you bomb on stage. Blame it on the fact that it was because you didn’t memorize your act. This way, you’ll know the root of a failed act but do nothing about it. Also, it’s easier to recover from depression when you know the answer to a failed set versus being prepared and still bombing.
9. Invite all your family and friends to see you when starting out. This will give you a great opportunity for them to realize why sometimes chasing down a dream is a bad idea and that letter of resignation document on their computer is now replaced with thoughts of you for why it’s good to keep your day job.
10. Always perform and just leave. Everyone came to see you anyways. By doing this, you’ll keep them wanting more and you will open up on a scale of 1 to 10 about zero opportunities to be invited onto someone’s paid show.
Take this advice literally.
On a serious note, do not take any of this advice.
Being a stand up comic, writer or improv performer is not something everyone can do or has the patience to work hard at it.
Yes, for some people it comes easy to and other’s it takes a lot of life lessons and tough moments to be a better comic and that’s if you don’t bow out of the comic ring before getting there.
My real advice would be to read a lot of books on the topic, read bio books about comedians you like, familiarize yourself with lots of comedians, watch a lot of TV shows, movies and listen to podcasts that are about comedy or have some comedy influence in them.
Basically, immerse yourself in it and then take the dive to try out stand up.
To anyone reading this that does actually want to try, don’t do it. There are too many of us at the moment. Comics need to start dropping likes flies so I can get noticed.
Side note – I’m not bitter, I’m just sour.
Author - Scott Kelley
Need to laugh at life's audacities? You've come to the right place here at "The Town Crier". No topic is safe and everything will be mocked.