Let me start with this…
When you are looking for stand-up comedy tips online – no matter where you find them, you should consume them with this in mind:
Stand-up comedy tips should be provided with the goal of helping someone understand various aspects of stand-up comedy in a way that is beneficial and not detrimental.
But they should not be depended upon as some sort of “sole source” information resource when it comes to getting detailed, step-by-step methods for creating, developing and delivering stand-up comedy material that will get you the laughter results you want on stage.
Related Article: Stand-up Comedy Tips Are NOT Enough
However while not all stand-up comedy tips are same, I’m not going to tell you that the tips you get here are any better than those elsewhere.
You really need to be able to determine that for yourself in order to reap the greatest benefit in your journey of discovery about becoming a comedian.
What I will do in this article is this:
- Explain the difference between my approach to the stand-up comedy tips I provide here in contrast to what you will get almost anywhere else.
- Provide you some specific examples of stand-up comedy tips from other sources that I consider largely valueless, inaccurate or misleading and why I consider them to be that way.
- Provide some questions you can ask that may help you determine the value of the stand-up comedy tips you are reviewing, whether they are on this website or elsewhere.
The Differences Lie In The Approach
My approach to providing the tips you will find on this blog can be summed up in a single sentence:
I take an inside out approach instead of an outside in approach.
Here’s what I mean by that…
With an inside out approach, the foundation of the information I provide works like this:
- You already have all the comedy talent you will ever have. That’s the foundation for anything involving the creation and delivery of a stand-up comedy act that will actually get laughs on stage.
- Writing and talking are two very different forms of communication. There is no talker’s block, only writer’s block.
- Writing down talking and your expression of that talking (because words are invisible until you do) is different than “writing” jokes from thin air and hoping they will magically work on stage.
- The methodology you choose to use to develop your stand-up comedy act should capture, distill, concentrate and enhance your existing and already developed sense of humor and comedy talent.
An outside in approach works like this:
- A better or special comedy talent is learned from an outside source and/or from performance trial and error. Whatever comedy talent you have now doesn’t have much bearing when it comes to developing or delivering a stand-up comedy routine that works.
- There is no discernible difference between writing and talking. Both forms of communication involve the use of words and the primary mechanism for getting laugh lies primarily on the use and structure of the words being used.
- Writing jokes from a blank piece of paper using fabricated premises that are supposed to be original and funny is critical to success as a comedian.
- A different persona or “character” is needed for success as a comedian.
What I have presented is not intended as an all-inclusive list of differences but as a mere sample for illustrative purposes.
Now let me give you some examples of just a few of the stand-up comedy tips you will find online and why I don’t particularly care for them.
Stand-up Comedy Tips I Don’t Care For
Here is a sampling of stand-up comedy tips you can find online that I don’t find of much value from a professional stand point.
Study the acts of professional stand-up comedians. Record their shows, and watch them over and over. Get a feel for their techniques and how they deliver their material.
Here’s my question regarding what appears to be a “solid” stand-up comedy tip:
What EXACTLY would you be looking for when you are studying the acts of professional comedians?
I ask that question from this context:
When you are reviewing an online video of a pro comedian’s stand-up comedy act, you are viewing the finished product — NOT the process the comedian used to produce that finished product.
There was no mention of that in the information supporting that tip.
A pro comedian’s act is created, developed, honed and refined specifically relative to THEM — their unique sense of humor, points of view, attitude, delivery style, and on and on.
How does that even begin to relate to you and what you need to do when it comes to developing your own big laugh comedy material?
Well, it doesn’t in any way.
As a matter of fact, reviewing pro comedian videos to somehow magically learn the secrets of producing a killer act is much like reviewing only the outside of houses and somehow learning how to build one yourself from the ground up.
Don’t get me wrong — there certain very specific things that can be learned from watching and studying pro comedians perform. For example, I learned how to format and deliver stories by observing the late comedian Ron Shock.
However, here’s why I could do that…
I already knew how to develop a stand-up comedy act for me that worked — from the idea stage to the final delivery. That’s how I could recognize what Ron Shock did when he told stories on stage would work for me and my material.
So I will submit to you that if you really don’t know what you are looking for when you study the stand-up comedy acts of other comedians, it can be a HUGE waste of time.