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I find it amusing when aspiring comedians want to get into a spirited discussion with me about stand-up comedy “styles” — joke telling vs. story telling or topic based stand-up comedy and how that somehow makes a comedian funny or not.
The Cold, Hard Truth
“Style” doesn’t matter. Whether a comedian uses props, music, PowerPoint presentations, magic tricks or whatever — doesn’t matter. What a comedian talks about doesn’t matter (unless it is for work outside the comedy club market).
Here’s what does matter:
It matters that audiences are entertained at the highest level possible. In the world of comedy, the level an audience is entertained is directly related to the frequency and duration of laughter a comedy performer can generate during their show.
In other words…
The longer and louder an audience laughs, the more they are entertained.
Down To The Brass Tacks
Let me break it down even further:
1. If a comedian — regardless of “style” — can’t produce a minimum of 18 seconds (average) of laughter, cheering or applause during their show, no matter how long that show may be, they ARE NOT performing at headliner level.
Related article: Setting Standards For Stand-up Comedians
2. An individual may or may not subjectively “like” a comedian’s comedy material/content from the examination of an online video or other recorded performance. But live audience response is always objectively measurable and undeniable.
Related Offsite Article: Getting Hired As A Comedian: How “Funny” Is Determined In Online Stand-up Comedy Videos
3. A comedian cannot go minutes without getting laughs. Well, they can but it’s called bombing or giving a lecture.
In my eyes, the funniest comedians are those who can generate the most laughs in a live environment. Audiences will agree. Talent agents and bookers will agree.
I have a system that helps determine objectively — on performances that have already occurred — just how funny a comedian was or was not. It’s called Comedy Evaluator Pro.
By having a performance benchmark to shoot for and using Comedy Evaluator Pro to pinpoint weak areas in stand-up comedy material, Killer Stand-up comedians are able to make wise decisions on exactly what material to keep, which to edit and which to throw out.
I should also mention that individuals who are able to consistently deliver 18+ seconds of laughter each performing minute (PAR Score 30+) are in the top 5% of ALL comedy performers, regardless of fame, notoriety or TV credits accumulated.
And most comedy stars are able to achieve and average of 24+ seconds of laughter per minute (PAR Score 40+).
Funny can’t hide. Well, guess what? Unfunny can’t hide either. 🙂