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How To Write Jokes

5-minutesBefore I jump into what it will take to develop or “write” a 5 minute stand-up comedy routine (there is a big difference)

Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of a stand-up comedy routine is to generate an average of 18+ seconds of laughter for every performing minute (PAR Score 30+).

That is headliner level laughter no matter what spot in the line up of comedians you are in.

Now, let’s get down to the brass tacks when it comes to developing and delivering headliner level stand-up comedy material…

Hint: You DO NOT have to hold the “title” of headliner in order to generate headliner laughter…

What You Need To Know

For 5 minutes of stand-up comedy material, the “joke writing/joke telling” comedians will need to have 20-30+ “jokes” or punchlines for every 5 minutes on stage.

Using the more natural topic based approach, comedians will hit 1-3 topics, with 4-6+ punchlines every performing minute.

No matter what style or system a comedian uses to write or produce a stand-up comedy routine, a 5 minute, headline level act will consist of 400 words or less. Remember, you need to account for the time an audience should be laughing.

One very important thing to remember is that your first 5 minutes of stand-up comedy material is the foundation for the rest of your stand-up comedy act.

It will be during the development of this first 5 minutes that you will find your “stage voice” — that comfort zone that allows you to be who you really are on stage and not doing your “impression” of what you think a comedian should be.

It will be your confidence in your first 5 minutes of stand-up comedy material that will lead to the development of new stand-up comedy material.

Your first 5 minutes of stand-up comedy material should be as tight and as effective as humanly possible. Every performance should be videoed and reviewed for performance improvement until your first 5 minutes is a smoking hot 5 minutes.

Related Article: How Many Jokes Are In A Minute Of Stand-up Comedy Material?

Like a broken record, you will hear me say this over and over again:

1. A person CANNOT “write” their way to headline level stand-up comedy routine, focusing solely on the words/sentences as written on paper. Why?

Because most of the laughter power a comedian has lies in their delivery, not the “writing” part.

2. There is an easy way and a hard way to learn how to develop a stand-up comedy routine.

I am obviously biased when I say my system is the easy way. But I will also say that I am the only stand-up comedy educator who can seem to display real and measurable results demonstrated by folks just like you in a short time or with minimal performances.

3. If you don’t have a video camera for performance review, you are not serious about doing well quickly as a stand-up comedian. End of story.

Your Start-up Expenses

In the beginning of your stand-up comedy adventures, you only have 2 major business expenses:

  • A video camera for performance review (these have gotten very affordable).
  • Your stand-up comedy education. Don’t blow this off! There are a TON of things to know about becoming a professional comedian and developing a headline level act.

But I would budget between $150-$300 for education the first year of your stand-up comedy career.

That’s a pretty darn small investment in order to develop a headline level act that could potentially turn into a very lucrative part-time or full time income.

Based on what I have presented, here’s what I will tell you:

If you cannot get measurable results in 6 months or less using the Killer Stand-up Online Course, then I would say that stand-up comedy is probably not for you.

The Bottom Line

You don’t have to waste months and years of your life trying to “figure out” what you need to do to develop your first 5 minutes of headline level stand-up comedy material.

The tools, techniques, strategies and knowledge you need to be able to produce mounds of stand-up comedy material easily and quickly are available to you now.

But if you are still convinced that old school “joke writing” techniques and formulas from the Middle Ages are the way to go, get ready for a long and painful ride.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Come back in a year and let me know how you are doing “writing jokes”.

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About 

Leading stand-up comedy educator and trainer, providing proven 21st century strategies and techniques for individuals who wish to become comedians on a professional level. For a detailed stand-up comedy resume go to: Steve Roye's Stand-up Resume.