In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 33: Stop Using Comic’s Clichés – Part 3, I discussed those overused greeting comic’s clichés comedians use when they don’t think about their reasons for doing what they do on stage. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 34: Never Make Fun of Someone’s Laugh, I’ll explain how not to kill the laughter in the room.
How to Be a Comedian –
Tip 34: Never Make Fun of Someone’s Laugh
This is an unwritten cardinal rule. When you make fun of someone’s laugh, not only will that person stop laughing, but the rest of the audience will too because they don’t want you to make fun of them.
A person develops a loud or unusual laugh to get attention, so he or she often becomes the lead laugher for a crowd. If you squelch that person, you’re likely to stifle the entire audience. You’re on stage to make people laugh, so let them laugh. The one exception is when the person’s laugh overtakes your show. This is almost a form of inadvertent heckling. Here again, unfortunately, trying to shut this person up will often shut the crowd up as well. The only trick I’ve discovered for dealing with these laughers is to give them more attention than they really want until they laugh themselves out. I’ve gone so far as to keep encouraging a person to laugh until it’s no longer fun because it’s not interrupting the show. Then again, there are times when all you can do is work around an annoying laugh. Whatever the situation, never put someone down for their laugh.
In my next blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 35: Some Performing Advice, I’ll offer a few tips to improve a comedy show.