Standup comedy

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Etingi, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Etingi

    Etingi Guest

    Nov 3, 2007
    I love watching standup. It's so entertaining, for one reason or another. Even if the guy isn't especially funny I'll watch just to analyze the performance in a way.

    I really want to try it sometime, but I would need to write more material first. It doesn't seem like it would be that hard. Some guys who get onto TV aren't even that good. I guess it's all subjective though. It seems like the hardest part of performing would be getting the right audience that gets and fully appreciates your jokes and style of humor.

    So has anyone tried it?
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, I've tried it several times. When I was in college I hung around the Punchline in San Francisco as often as I could, and talking to the comedians whenever I could. Most guys, even the bigger name guys would hang out after the shows and talk.

    After a while I talked my way into being the mc for a few nights. Basically I'd get to do five minutes of material, introduce the opener and then if the first five minutes went well, I'd get another few minutes before announcing the headliner.

    Being able to get up in front of a room full of strangers who are there to see someone else is the first step. After that you need to write good material and even though you rehearse it over and over it needs to feel fresh and natural, be able to read a room and shift things around to suit that particular crowd and/or deal with hecklers (which happens less than I thought it would but still happens), and make sure you don't run over your time.

    But most importantly you have to be willing to accept that you may absolutely die on stage. It will happen. And it is an incredibly painful experience. It happened to me twice. I had other nights that were mediocre or unmemorable but I will never forget those two nights.

    The flipside is when things click on all cylinders and the audience loves you. It's an incredible feeling.
  3. JQ1986


    Oct 30, 2008
    Rice Lake, WI
    I would love to try it too, but I'd end up sounding like a Doug Stanhope, Jackie Martling or George Carlin rip-off.
  4. sarcastro83

    sarcastro83 Guest

    Jul 27, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    I've done it once, and while things went okay, I watched a recording of my bit and didn't think I was very funny...
  5. Armacielli

    Armacielli Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    done it twice
    first time I was amazing
    second time crashed and burned
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Yep, done it many times. I get asked to emcee events, and that opens up chances to do some stand up. Sometimes I am asked to as part of the event, others I am looking for fill.

  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    The two compliments I most clearly remember. Mitch Hedberg said, "Nice set. If I had a pen I would have already stolen that first joke." I think he was just being nice because he saw how nervous I was. Tom Rhodes told me I had good timing and material, but he said that I was delivering it as if I was in front of a camera instead of a live audience. That was actually really helpful. We talked for a while about Bill Hicks.

    Dave Attell gave me my most memorable "compliment" on a night where I really had a rough go of it. He gave me some advice but I most remember him saying, "Look at it this way. Your job is to open up for the other comedians and make them look good, and you did that. How could we not look good compared to that?" :spit:

  8. you met both of them? ::jealous::

    i miss mitch..
  9. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, both were really cool in different ways. I was constantly at the Punch Line in SF and so I met and talked to a LOT of comedians, some of whom are pretty famous now. If anything I was surprised that there were so few a-holes among them, especially the headliners. Most comedians are odd in some way and there were some I didn't care for on a personal level but very rarely because they were jerks.

    As for Mitch Hedberg and Dave Attell, I don't want to make it seem like I was best friends with the guys but I did get to hang out with them for a while, Dave more than Mitch. And when they were performing at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento (Mitch opened for Lewis Black and Dave Attell) I got to go backstage and hangout. Mitch clearly remembered me, but I don't think Dave did.
  10. dave had a show where he wandered into bars talking to people and borrowing cigarettes. im pretty sure hes the type to just sit and BS with anyone who wants to chat.

    dave not remembering.. well.. i dont imagine that guy remembers a lot of things haha.
  11. Never tried it, but if any of you get a chance check out Bob Marley (the stand up comedian not the Rastafarian:D) He bases his acts around Maine and how we're all hicks. Pretty funny stuff.