While the question asked in the title of this article may seem seriously stupid at first glance, you may be surprised to find out that most new comedians unknowingly opt for having a crippling disadvantage when they enter the world of stand-up comedy.
If you don’t believe that, I will give you a means to accurately verify this for yourself a bit later.
But for now, let’s look at the contrast between having a serious advantage versus a crippling disadvantage in stand-up comedy — starting with the disadvantage approach first.
The Disadvantage Approach
Here’s all you need to do to have a crippling disadvantage in stand-up comedy as a new comedian:
- Assume that laughter is only the result of word/sentence usage alone.
- Assume that there is no difference between talking and writing. In other words, assume they are the same as far as laughter generation goes in a live and in-person performing environment.
- Assume that paper written “jokes” manufactured from guessed or otherwise pontificated “original” premises are the sole means of producing big laugh stand-up comedy material.
- Assume that the comedy talent you have already developed, honed and effectively used in everyday conversations has little or no relevance or value for stand-up comedy audiences and that you need to develop some sort of “special” comedy talent to get laughs from the stage.
- Assume that you have to be the “class clown” or use your comedy talent every minute of every day to have a chance at becoming a successful comedian.
- Assume that the frequent use of profanity is the essential “key” to generating audience laughter.
- Assume that little, if any preparation in advance is needed to deliver a powerful and funny stand-up comedy routine.
- Assume that audiences are stupid and can’t tell that you are unprepared to entertain them.
- Assume that all you really need are a few quality stand-up comedy “tips” in order to get the big laughs on stage.
- Assume that painfully unfunny comedy material will magically become funny if simply performed enough times.
- Blame the audience for not “getting” or otherwise understanding or embracing your stand-up comedy material.
- Assume that there is valuable advice to be had about getting big laughs on stage from comedians or comedy teachers who can’t generate big laughs on stage themselves.
But don’t take my word it. Not at all. Here’s all you have to do to verify if any of what I have just presented is accurate for yourself.
Verification Is Super Easy
Go to any stand-up comedy open mic as an audience member, armed with a piece of paper and a writing utensil.
At the top of the paper, title two columns with these words:
Killing | Not Killing
As each open mic comedian performs, put a tick mark in the appropriate column. The results will overwhelmingly speak for themselves no matter where on the planet the comedy open mic is taking place.
Now if you want to go further, ask those comedians that made it into the “Killing” column how long it took them to kill on stage. It won’t take you long — there will be few who make it into the the “killing” column.
In most instances you will find that it literally took them years to overcome the disadvantages I have described above – mostly through shear persistence coupled with massive amounts of trial and error.
This is one of the reasons that I have the utmost respect for any comedian who can generate the big audience laughs when they hit the stage. I fully understand what they have endured to get to that level.
Now, let’s take a look at the flip side…
The Advantage Approach
Here’s how to have a serious advantage in stand-up comedy as a new comedian right from the very beginning:
- Embrace the fact that the comedy talent you have right now is the single most valuable asset you have at your disposal as a comedian, whether you use it every day, once a week or once a month.
- Embrace the comedy talent you have right now with confidence. Think about this way – it has taken every year of your life and countless live and in-person communication exchanges for you to develop the sense of humor and comedy talent that you have.
- Understand that the comedy talent you have did not materialize as a result of exchanging “written” materials designed to be read among others you have interacted with over the course of your life.
- Know that what makes you funny in everyday life is far more than just mere words alone – it is a combination of how you effectively express those words using ALL aspects of your sense of humor and your already developed comedy talent.
- Understand that your comedy material should be written down for the purposes of refining, editing, deleting or restructuring your stand-up comedy act. This is necessary as words/sentences are invisible until you do.
- Realize that unless an audience is going to “read” your comedy material, exceptional “writing” skill is simply not required to get big laughs on stage as a comedian.
- Know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you already have MOUNDS of stand-up comedy material to work with. While much of it may only be applicable to friends, family and co-workers specifically, much of it is more than suitable for an audience who doesn’t even know you yet.
- Know that because of the large amount of potential comedy material at your disposal now (from the past and every day you use your sense of humor and comedy talent to cause others laugh), there is ZERO need to try to “make” any specific comedy material magically become funny with countless failed performances.
- Understand that extensive preparation is critical to generating big laughs on stage. It is this preparation (along with the process that you use to create and develop your comedy material) that helps you deliver a condensed and focused version of your already developed comedy talent.
- Know that audiences are not stupid. As a matter of fact, as a collective entity audiences are smarter than any comedian. Subsequently your stand-up comedy MUST be tight in order to keep an audience at bay and thoroughly entertained.
- Realize that your ability to generate big laughs on stage is a direct result of the process you use — from determining what you want to say and express to an audience to the delivery of your finished comedy material. Crappy process equals crappy results. Great process equals great results.
- Know that you can easily and objectively determine just how funny your stand-up comedy material is using free apps on your smartphone.
Right about now you are probably expecting some sort of sales pitch for my Killer Stand-up Online Course. Nope, sorry to disappoint.
But what I will say is this…
There is a ton of free information available on this blog to support anything I have presented in this article. Check it out for yourself if you so desire.
In other words, there’s no need to spend a single penny to find out if what I have to offer in the way of advanced training materials will resonate with you or not and help you reach your stand-up comedy goals.
The real bottom line when all is said and done is this beyond all else:
What I have presented in this article are things YOU have to explore and realize for yourself on your terms – not mine or anyone else’s for that matter.
Whether you realize it or not…
You are truly the one and only master of how you approach and execute the grand and exciting adventure known as stand-up comedy.
And know this – I respect your approach to stand-up no matter how you choose to tackle it.