Monday, May 10, 2010

These are the jokes

Stand up comedy is probably the most difficult form of performance, and nowhere was this more apparent than at an open mic night that Red and I attended last night. These “comics” were just painfully, piteously, awfully bad. So bad that it inspired me to come up with a list of subjects and pratfalls to avoid should any of our readers consider attempting stand up comedy in the future. Take this advice – please!

- The word “vagina” is not inherently funny. Not that there aren’t some good vagina jokes out there, but the word is not a joke unto itself. Now flugelhorn, that’s a funny word.

- When in doubt, don’t just swear. All it does is prove that you were in doubt.

-There is very little that can be said about Vegas without sounding like you’re ripping of Swingers or The Hangover. Unless you have a truly original Vegas story, leave that stuff at home.

- Homer Simpson is never wrong: Things are funny because they’re true. If you’re making a joke out of a situation, it’ll only work if it’s real. So make sure the situation your portraying isn’t full of plot holes.

- Women aren’t the enemy. It’s disappointing that so many male comedians still think tearing down the fairer sex makes for good material. Look to guys like Louis C.K. for more interesting (and funnier) takes on male/female relationships.

- If you’re bombing, exit gracefully. Every (and I mean every) comedian has bombed at some point in his or her career. You learn from it and move on. But while it’s happening, don’t insult the audience, and get your unfunny ass off the stage ASAP. The odds of the situation improving are about as good as your odds of scoring with any ladies in attendance after your whole act revolved around them being simpering morons.


BeckEye said...

What about pointing out the differences between the way white people and black people dance? That's gold!

red said...

The worst thing about that guy telling Vegas jokes was

1) He did was Vegas jokes last time we saw him

and 2) His main thing was "You know how EVERY girl is Vegas is smokin' hot? Well, they all hit on me all the time!"


Del-V said...

I want to do stand-up because I think I have what it takes. I also want to be a male stripper for the same reason.

That's going to be my new facebook update. Thanks for the idea!

words...words...words... said...

I love this. It should be posted backstage at every comedy club. The swearing thing and the Vegas thing are especially true. Mostly because Vegas "jokes" usually have the intent of making the comedian look cool. And looking cool is never funny.

I've always wanted to try standup, but I've never had the stones.

Snidely Whiplash said...

Vagina is not inherently funny...
cooter is

Sex organs are complimentary pairs and so are their names
Penis and vagina= Clinical not funny
Phallus and vulva= scholarly, least funny
Cock and cunt= too jarring to be funny
Pokey and Gumby= cartoon characters, lets get back to the topic
Dick and pussy= neutral can be funny in context
Cooter and (blank)= poor lonely cooter, the awkward wallflower of genitalia

Anonymous said...

Vagina = not funny. Muffin= Golden.

Thank you Betty White. Not as good as Baldwin's Schweddy Balls, but it was still hilarious.

I'm in the mood for a tasty muffin right about now. Hopefully they aren't too dry and crumbly.

Jon said...

And seriously, what's the deal with airplane food?

Anonymous said...

"Your muffin smells great. Yes, I put some lemon in it." That's right up there with "This is the best thing I have ever put in my mouth!" Now those are funny jokes.

Dr Zibbs said...

Tis true.

Malcolm said...

Good points. I was watching a special recently about the history of black stand-up comedians and someone made a comment about many of the comics who copied Richard Pryor. What he basically said was that the comics copied the profanity, but forgot to include the wit and storytelling capabilities that made Richard a genius.