How to Be a Comedian – Tip 19: Have an Introduction – Part 3

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 18: Have an Introduction – Part 2, I offered several pointers for writing a good introduction. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 19: Have an Introduction – Part 3, I’ll give a couple more approaches to writing introductions.

How to Be a Comedian – Tip 19: Have an Introduction – Part 3

Use Credits

If you have some legitimate credits, put them in your introduction. But don’t give the audience your resume. One or two good credits are enough. Any more than that and it’ll seem as if you’re trying too hard to impress the audience.

If you don’t have any credits, then make fun of that with a standard like this:

If you’ve seen The Tonight Show or David Letterman, well, this gentleman has also seen those shows. Here’s Greg Dean.”

Of course, use your own name. It’ll confuse the audience if you always introduce yourself as Greg Dean.

Incorporate Your Subject Matter

You’ll be ahead of the game if you’re brought up with an introduction that mentions your first bit or the central theme of your show. If you’re starting your show with some television material, then write an intro about being a “couch potato.” If you just broke up with your lover, be introduced as someone “easy to get along with.” If you’re a sports fan and your first bit is about sports, then try something like:

Ladies and Gentlemen, our sports fanatic for the night, Joe Blow.”

It’s better to have an unfunny introduction that sets you up to get into your material than to have a funny one that puts you in the wrong light.

Design It to Present Your Personality or Attributes

Not everyone will have an identity in the beginning, so this may not apply. But if you have some overt characteristic like being really fat, cranky, tall, you wear thick glasses or are of a particular ethnic group, use it to your advantage.

For one of my short students, we wrote an intro that had the M.C. put the microphone stand all the way up, then say,

Welcome a big man in his field, Jim Ridgley.”

Jim would walk out and the mike would be about a foot over his head. He’d get his first laugh just by standing and looking at the mic.

Remember, a good introduction can set the proper tone for your entire show. Just as a bad one can dig a hole that may take you some time to get out of. Introductions are important, so take the time to create one that’s right for you.

In my next blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 20: Arranging Routines – Part 1, I’ll discuss the techniques to organize a series of jokes into a coherent routine.

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