How to Be a Comedian – Tip 9: When the Audience is Laughing – Part 1

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 8: Be Playful, Not Funny, I discussed how trying to be funny never works, so instead be playful. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 9: When the Audience is Laughing – Part 1, I’ll examine the reasons comedians talk through their laughs.

How to Be a Comedian – Tip 9: When the Audience is Laughing – Part 1

A great deal of attention is paid to what comedians can do when the audience doesn’t laugh, but, knowing what to do when getting laughs is just as important for beginner comedians. If comedians don’t have any ideas of what to do with the audience is laughing, they’ll talks over the top of them.

Here are several fears that cause comedian to talk through their laughs:

Fear of No Laugh

The point of the pause is to signal the audience you’ve delivered a joke and give them the opening to laugh. But if you’re too afraid of not getting a laugh, you’ll panic and babble to cover the potential silence.

If you think not getting a laugh means you’re a failure and aren’t funny, then you’re headed for the heap of wannabe comics who tried stand-up and quit. But, if you know the silence is just feedback about not effectively communicating your funny idea, then you’ll adjust your jokes and perform again.

Fear of Forgetting the Next Joke

When the comedian is connected to the audience, they’ll notice when they’re laughing and pause. But, if you believe the material is more important than the audience’s response, you’ll keep moving onto the next joke and drone through your show ignoring both laughter and silence. This is the result of memorizing the words of your jokes and then trying to repeat exactly what you practiced at home. A part of being a successful stand-up comedian is being flexible and adjusting the show to each individual audience. Do the show that’s in front of you not the one in your head.

In my next blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 10: When the Audience is Laughing – Part 2, I’ll suggest several things comedians can do when the audience is laughing.

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