All Blogs

How to Write Jokes – Joke Premise Part 2

In my previous article, How to Write Jokes – Joke Premise Part 1, I defined the joke premise for its specific use in stand-up comedy as a negative opinion about a subject.  In this article, How to Write Jokes – Joke Premise Part 2, I’ll explore the difference between a premise and the jokes, and how to change from one premise to the next. The Difference between the Premise and the Jokes First, let me give you a dictionary definition of premise: a statement used to develop a further argument. This definition affirms how the joke premise is used in stand-up comedy. The premise is the statement of the negative opinion about a subject; and the argument is expressed through the jokes that follow. For instance, Chris Rock’s joke premise: women cannot go backwards in lifestyle. Rock states this premise several times at the top of the bit, and then proceeds to do a series of jokes to develop his argument. Here’s one:



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 7: Make a Show List

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 6: Proper Microphone Technique, I discussed how to use a microphone so it doesn’t distract from the show. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 7: Make a Show List, I’ll show how having a list of your material makes getting on stage easier. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 7: Make a Show List One of the top fears of fledgling comedians getting on stage is, “I’m afraid I’ll forget my material.” It’s ironic the number one reason comics go blank is their fear of going blank. You will go blank during shows and the sooner you go blank and handle it, the sooner you’ll get over this fear. Make a Show List Many comedians use show lists. A show list is a bullet point outline of the material for that show. It’s not a verbatim transcript of your jokes. It’s a series of key words or phrases to remind you of the order of your jokes. Here’s an example:



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 6: Proper Microphone Technique

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 5: Avoid All Comics’ Clichés, I showed how hacky phrases get in the way of being an original comedian. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 6: Proper Microphone Technique, I’ll explain how to use a microphone to the best advantage. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 6: Proper Microphone Technique Bad microphone technique is another of my pet peeves which has easy fixes. Too many beginner and intermediate comics don’t understand how a mic works so they hold it in an ineffective manner. When a mic intrudes on the show then it isn’t being used properly. How a Mic Works The mics used in stand-up comedy are omni-directional, which means there’s a bubble around the mouth piece about four inches in diameter. When the comic’s mouth is inside that bubble, it’ll pick up the voice perfectly. Bad Technique When the comics



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 5: Avoid All Comics’ Clichés

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 4: Greet the Audience, I discussed how to open your show by honestly greeting your audience, instead of using the same old comics’ cliché as everyone else. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 5: Avoid All Comics’ Clichés, I’ll take it even further and suggest that you resist using any comics’ clichés in your show. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 5: Avoid All Comics’ Clichés Comics’ clichés are all those mindless phrases comics use because they heard other comics use them. These clichés are the fast track to becoming a hack. Identify them and eliminate them completely from your show. These clichés have a function, mostly as greetings and segues. Instead of using an old hacky cliché, think up some original way of greeting an audience and transitioning from one subject to another. Here are some of the most abused comics’ clichés:

How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 4: Greet the Audience

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 3: Mic and Stand, I showed how knowing how to use the microphone and stand will make your show more fun. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 4: Greet the Audience, I’ll explain the importance of opening your show by greeting the audience honestly. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 4: Greet the Audience It’s very awkward when a nervous comic runs right to the microphone and goes right into, “I hate bumper sticker.” It lacks social grace. I’m not saying you must have a conversation with the audience at the top of the show, but merely say, “Hello,” before going into material. Even worse is when comics all say exactly the same thing as a greeting, “Hi. How you all doin’ this evening?” Or some slight variations. Please, please, please don’t do this. This kind of greeting is what I call a Comic’s Cliché. Comic’s Clichés are all the commonly u



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 3: Mic and Stand

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip2: The Entrance , I discussed the importance of getting on stage smoothly . In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 3: Mic and Stand, I’ll explain the proper and improper uses of the microphone and stand. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 3: Mic and Stand For beginners and mic and stand can be intimidating. When you use the mic and stand properly, they’ll disappear for you and the audience. If done improperly, they can become a hindrance to your performance. Advice and Technique: Get to the venue early, get on stage and take the mic out of the holder and grab the stand below the fastener and move it behind you out of the way. Why grab it below the fastener? Because if you lift on the top section it may come out of the bottom section and it’ll become a problem. Next, bring the stand back to the front of the stage and place the mic back in the stand



How to Be a Comedian – Tip 2: Open Mics – The Entrance

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian - Tip 1: Sit and Watch, I suggested when you go to an open mic for the first time, well, sit and watch. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian - Tip 2: Open Mics – The Entrance, I’ll explain the importance of getting on stage smoothly. How to Be a Comedian Tip 2: Open Mics – The Entrance Jerry Seinfeld said, and I paraphrase, “A smooth entrance makes for a smooth show.” Getting from your seat to the stage may sound easy, but with nerves, fear, and your head reeling with the ideas you want to talk about, it can be a real challenge. This simple task, done badly, can ruin your time on stage. On my way to the stage, I’ve knocked over tables and spilled drinks, tripped on the steps getting onto the stage, pulled the top half of the mic stand out, hit myself in the mouth when I pulled the mic out of the stand… And those were the only laughs that I got. Advice: Get to the club or room early. P



How to Be a Comedian Tip 1: Open Mics – Sit and Watch

In this blog series, I’ll offer some advice and techniques to help beginners deal with the challenges of becoming a comedian. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian Tip 1: Open Mics – Sit and Watch, I’ll explain how one way of dealing with the fear of getting up in front of other performers as the first step to becoming a comedian. How to Be a Comedian Tip 1: Open Mics Sit and Watch They say most people would rather die than speak in front of people. Comedians run the risk of doing both at the same time. There are few things in life more terrifying than learning to be a comedian. The open mics are sometimes brutal with critical comics sitting in the dark in the back of the room. Or even worse, visible and disinterested in what the comedian on stage is doing. But even with all these negatives, doing the open mics is a necessary part of the process for learning how to handle any situation when you’re on stage. But there ar



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 13: Speak for Objects

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 12: Purposely Misunderstand, I explained how misunderstanding can lead to funny comments. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 13: Speak for Objects, I’ll explain how saying what objects could say if they could talk. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 13: Speak for Objects Have you ever looked at an object and thought, “If it could speak, it would say ‘this.’?” It may not be able to speak, but you can. Richard Pryor was a master at this. His routine about his crack pipe talking to him is one of the most profound routines in stand-up comedy history. Eddie Izzard speaks for object in his shows in very funny ways. These are the kind of jokes that help comedians express their truth by anthropomorphizing objects. Comedy Classes in Your Mind Game: Look for an attribute in an object that you and others recognize as a human expression,



Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 12: Purposely Misunderstand

In my previous blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson11: Sit and Pay Attention, I showed how being quiet and noticing your environment can lead to unseen ideas for material. In this blog, Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson12: Purposely Misunderstand, I’ll demonstrate how easy it is to find jokes through misunderstanding what others are saying. Comedy Classes in Your Mind – Lesson 12: Purposely Misunderstand In life we all strive to understand and to be understood. This assumption makes it easy to turn the tables and purposely misunderstand to find jokes. The trick is to convince the other person that you’re really did misunderstand. When the person tries to straighten out the misunderstanding, this will give you more information to misunderstand. Comedy Classes in Your Mind Game: sort for ambiguities and accept the meaning that was not meant, and then continue the conversation as if that wrong meanin



Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed