One of the questions that people who are considering taking a shot at stand-up comedy have is:
“Are there any signs you should be a comedian?”
Please allow me to point out the obvious and say that if you are searching online looking for signs that you should be a comedian, then you already have some sort of indication that stand-up comedy might just be something you could excel at.
But I can certainly provide you with some more concrete information that you might want to consider that could lead you to embark upon such a journey.
With that said, here are three of the most important signs that might very well indicate that you should be a comedian…
The first sign that you can have is that you have noticed over the course of your life that you have the ability to cause others to genuinely laugh when you are engaged in casual conversations.
Notice the word genuinely in that last statement. This is most important because there are people in this world who fancy themselves as funny but are not self aware enough to see that when they cause others to laugh in everyday conversations. In other words…
The laughter these folks generate when they talk is NOT genuine. Instead it is nervous or polite laughter that is being generated (usually from something inappropriate that was said).
However, this is construed as genuine laughter, giving the individual the impression that they are hilarious when they speak when in reality they are more of an irritant than anything else.
Side note: These same folks also can’t see that most others they speak with have a tendency to “need to do other things” or are “very busy and need to get to where they need to go” – this is because they don’t want to endure any more of the “funny” these folks have to offer than they have to.
Now, do let me say this – what I have described is NOT most people. But you were looking for signs that you should be a comedian so let me rephrase the first sentence in this segment:
The BEST sign that you can have is that you have noticed over the course of your life that you have the ability to cause others to genuinely laugh when you are engaged in casual conversations.
I should also mention that IT DOES NOT MATTER if you are shy or confident, an introvert or an extrovert when it comes to making the decision to take a shot at stand-up comedy.
Again what matters is that when you use your natural comedy talent, the laughs you get from others are GENUINE.
As a matter of fact, if you will do some research you will find that a number of famous comedians that identified as “shy” before they reached fame and fortune.
Personally, I have worked with a number of very talented, not-household-name comedians who could slay a room but really struggled talking with audience members after the show because of their shyness.
In other words, NEVER let shyness or being an introvert hold you back from considering becoming a comedian if you are a funny person in everyday life.
This leads right into the next sign which is…
When you do cause others to genuinely laugh in everyday conversations, you do it with little if any forethought.
In other words, the laughter just sort of happens automatically when you are talking with other people.
This is what I refer to as being naturally funny. But please note:
When I refer to someone being naturally funny, that DOES NOT mean that they are funny every waking moment. What that DOES mean is that when they are funny, they are genuinely funny.
The reason that I say this is because there is a hugely FALSE narrative that has circulated for years that you need to have been the “class clown” in order to have a decent chance at stand-up comedy. Again, this is false.
As I mentioned before, you can do some research yourself and find out that a number of famous comedians were “shy” (and may well still be offstage) before they decided to jump into stand-up comedy.
And “shy” doesn’t usually equate to being known as the “class clown” in any way.
It DOES NOT matter if you use your sense of humor and natural comedy talent daily, twice a week or whatever. What DOES matter is that when you do, the laughs you generate are GENUINE.
Another side note: My approach to stand-up comedy and becoming a comedian is about recognizing, understanding and using the EXACT SAME comedy talent that you use effortlessly in casual conversations in a more tightly structured way for the stage.
It is NOT about somehow “writing” your way to being funny as a comedian by bypassing your natural comedy talent.
Never forget that it was your natural comedy talent (unless you are that person identified in Sign #1) that lead you to this very article about “signs you should be a comedian” in the first place, right?
Which leads me right into the last sign that you are funny enough to tackle stand-up comedy which is:
With regular frequency, people that you interact with say things like:
“You should be a comedian!”
“Have you ever thought about becoming a comedian?”
“Don’t tell me – you’re a comedian, right?”
The reason that this particular sign is so telling is because people WILL NOT haphazardly make statements like that. It is truly indicative of being able to generate GENUINE laughter from others when you talk and express yourself to others.
Please keep in mind that this particular sign will happen more for those who use their sense of humor and natural comedy talent frequently. But it DOES NOT mean that just because people don’t say this to someone regularly that they don’t have a good chance at doing well as a comedian.
Please allow me to repeat this statement from Sign #2:
It DOES NOT matter if you use your sense of humor and comedy talent daily, twice a week or whatever. What DOES matter is that when you do, the laughs you generate are genuine and not a product of your imagination.
Most people who are considering taking a shot at stand-up comedy have more than enough natural comedy talent to excel as a comedian.
The real issues that new comedians encounter – fear, doubt, lack of confidence, etc. – happens when they try to make “writing jokes” that are designed for a reader and that bypasses most if not all of their natural comedy talent as the “core approach” for trying to get the laughs they want on stage.
And what I have described is what you will see at ANY stand-up comedy open mic ANYWHERE in the world. Take my word for it — it is not a lack of talent that is holding most of those folks back.
It’s the lack of a process that helps them tap into their natural comedy talent. I’m talking about the same comedy talent that lead them to this article in the first place.
You came looking for signs you should be a comedian. That is what I have to offer and I hope they help you to figure out your next steps.
I have tried almost everything on stage,..once. I’ve done dancing singing acting playing an instrument. I sucked at some and did ok at others. Doing stand up is the final hurdle on stage i want to conquer. It looks harder than everything I’ve done. Everything you said was helpful and telling as far as my experiences and hesitations, like writing and being able to perform publicly with the same spontaneity people complimented me on. I don’t have a lot of money to buy things so what would you say is the most important read or kit? Phyllis Diller, Moms Mabley, Lucy, Marx bros, looked and sounded funny. I just look funny..badump. Thanks for this. Have a great day.
You should check out the free stand-up course at https://www.realfirststeps.com/free-stand-up-course/. You might discover doing well quickly at stand-up might not involve what you envision stand-up to be…
Thank you so much. This was a very helpful article. My views are the same. Just makes me feel more confident. Thank you.