Chapter 13 – Making a Good Comedy Show Great

Chapter 13
Making a Good Comedy Show Great

Polishing a comedy show is a continual evolutionary loop of developing material, rehearsing, performing, and polishing which leads back to developing material, rehearsing, performing, and so on. The following guidelines can help you create your own working style.


Making a Good Comedy Show Great
Table of Contents

PLAY BACK THE SHOW

RATE SHOW JOKES

EDIT, REWRITE, AND REARRANGE SHOW
Editing the jokes
Rewriting the jokes
Make sure the joke was heard clearly
Refer to the guidelines in “From Funny to Funnier”
Put the joke on the Joke Diagram
Rearranging the comedy show routine
Learning your B, C, A’s
Graphing your show
Hammocking
End comedy show with the sex material
Place the more controversial bits near or at the end of your show

REHEARSE AND PERFORM YOUR SHOW AGAIN


Making a Good Comedy Show Great
Sample

LEARNING YOUR B, C, A’s
Having gone through the A, B, C’s of your show, you’re now going to learn the B, C, A’s. A comedy show rule of thumb is to open your comedy show with your second-strongest or B material, put your weakest stuff or C material in the middle of the comedy show, and close the comedy show with your best or A material. Hence, the routine or comedy show should be ordered B, C, A.

This makes a lot of sense, because if you open your comedy show with your C material you may lose the audience, but you don’t want to give them your A material first, either. Then you’d have nothing stronger to follow it with, and the comedy show would end with a thud. If you get the audience laughing with your B material, however, it’ll make the C material work even better. Then you can top yourself and close your comedy show with your A material.

END YOUR SHOW WITH THE SEX MATERIAL
Here’s something else worth considering when you’re structuring your comedy show: People tend to laugh harder at sexual material than they do at non-sexual material. Since that’s the case, it follows that you should end your comedy show with sex jokes. To test this theory out, rent any of Richard Pryor’s concert videos. He always ends his comedy show with dick jokes. Watch Jay Leno’s monologues on the Tonight show. Nine times out of ten he closes on a big laugh from a joke with sexual subject matter.

This doesn’t mean that you should end your show with raunchy material. Sex jokes can be playful without being crass. But whether it’s playful or raunchy—end your show with the sex jokes.


How Making a Good Comedy Show Great improves your comedy show: Buy Greg Dean’s book “Step By Step to Stand Up Comedy” to show you the techniques to make a good comedy show great.

 

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