New To Stand-up Comedy? A Great Starting Point: ComedyUniversity.com
Every President Is The Butt Of Jokes
Because of the microscopic and relentless scrutiny involved, it doesn’t matter who holds the office of President of the United States — jokes can and will occur from every possible angle.
And every single President manages to contribute to the jokes made about them.
Here’s a video example of President Obama in action:
Former President George W. Bush in action:
The Mocking Response To Attack Watch
Most recently I have observed the overwhelming Twitter response to President Obama’s campaign website called Attack Watch, which has basically turned into a conservative “joke machine” of sorts.
Note: I would provide a link to a similar page with from an opposing perspective, but this particular Twitter phenomenon regarding the response to the Attack Watch website is a first-of-its-kind to my knowledge, the likes of which I have never seen before.
I was reminded of what I detailed in the Killer Stand-up Online Course when it comes to talking about anything on stage that can quickly and easily polarize an audience — which can also potentially crush a comedian’s ability to entertain.
Let me say this before you continue — I don’t get involved in political ideology when addressing political humor or stand-up comedy involving politics.
When I write about politics as it relates to stand-up comedy and humor, I do my very best to put my own political views aside and look at political humor from a comedian effectiveness and/or audience response perspective, regardless of political ideology, party affiliation or beliefs a comedian may have.
I am also acutely aware that while political humor can entertain in a big way, it can also cut deeply like a knife and easily offend, depending on the audience that a comedian’s political stand-up comedy material is being delivered to.
So, with that said — here are some very general, yet very important guidelines for those comedians who have the courage to tackle political humor in their stand-up comedy or who are considering taking on this difficult challenge:
Of Interest To Comedians Only:
Basic Political Humor Guidelines For Comedians
1. Political humor is usually not timeless. Unlike other comedy material, political issues, mistakes, processes etc. come and go with great frequency.
Translation: You must have the skill to constantly produce new comedy material relative to the current political environment.
2. If you don’t handle political humor smartly and with care, you run the risk of polarizing half or more of any given general audience at any given time.
Translation: If your political stand-up comedy material does not have fairly broad appeal that MOST of your audience can relate to (regardless of party affiliation or ideology), the effectiveness of your stand-up comedy material can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated altogether.
Exception: If you have a particular political ideology (ie: Liberal, Conservative) and you are performing for an audience that largely relates to that ideology, then you have more leeway in presenting your ideological viewpoint in your stand-up comedy material.
3. Know that stand-up comedy audiences are as smart or smarter than you are. They know the difference between entertainment and when a political or social viewpoint is simply being shoved upon them — regardless of their political party affiliations.
The Bottom Line
You must be smarter and more skilled than the average comedian to be able to tackle political or social issues in your stand-up comedy and still entertain an audience in the process.