In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 25: Acknowledge Idiosyncrasies, I discuss why comedians need to talk about things the audience may fixate on in order to get their attention back on the show. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 26: Opening Line, I’ll show the importance of getting that first laugh quickly.
How to Be a Comedian – Tip 26: Opening Line
After you greet the audience, it’ll help you to relax if your first shot at being funny gets a big laugh. What most comics don’t know is it also helps the audience to relax. They have anxiety about having to sit through a comedian who isn’t funny. So getting that first laugh right out of the gate helps everyone to relax.
A great opening line can also help establish who you are. For instance, a student, Mel McKee, was a cantankerous and crazy old man performing in a club filled with mostly young people. So to establish his character, Mel began his show with:
“I wake up almost every morning.”
With this first big laugh, Mel continued to build his unpredictable old man character.
Opening lines can also help bring up the topic of a routine. For instance, a black student, Carol McGrath, started her show by standing at the mic and giving the audience time to check her out, and then said:
“As you can tell by looking at me, I’m Canadian.”
From this first big laugh, Carol followed it with an entire routine about begin black in Canada.
In my next blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 27: Closing Line, I’ll discuss the importance of having a closing line which helps you get off stage with a final big laugh.
How to Be a Comedian – Take Comedy Classes
Greg Dean’s Stand-Up Comedy Workshop