In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 26: Opening Line, I discussed the importance of having an opening line to get a laugh right away. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 27: Closing Line, I’ll cover the importance of having a joke to get off stage with a laugh.
How to Be a Comedian – Tip 27: Closing Line
One of the more awkward parts of a show is getting off stage. If you don’t have a designed exit, then you get whatever you get. Or if you want a smooth exit the technique to use is call Closing Line. By its name, it’s self evident what it is… have a great joke for your exit.
There are several ways to use a Closing Line:
Always Ending with a Big Laugh.
If you are doing some new material, you have no idea how it’s going to go. If it ends with a thud, you’ll feel the need to stay and try to finish with a laugh. This can cause you to run over your allotted stage time, which may have consequences to your club relationships. Or, you can use a Closing Line you know gets a great laugh to get off stage with your dignity.
Getting the Light and Getting Off.
There are many times when you’ll be doing a show and get the light right in the middle of a bit. Again, if you decide to finish the bit anyway, you’re guaranteed to go over time. Or, you can just stop where you are and let the audience know you’ve gotten the light and do a Closing Line. Then you’ll end your show on time and with a big laugh. That’s being a professional.
Putting the Mic Back in the Stand.
If you perform holding the mic, then at the end of your show you’ll need to put it back into the stand and place it near the front of the stage for the emcee or next comic. If you just end your show and then do these tasks in silence, it makes for a sluggish exit. Or you can use a Closing Line to cover this task and walk off stage with laughter.
In my next blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 28: No Questions as Segues, I’ll talk about the comic’s cliché of using a useless question as a means of bringing up a topic or premise.
How to Be a Comedian – Take Comedy Classes
Greg Dean’s Stand-Up Comedy Workshop