Street Jokes: A Powerful Tool For Comedians

Virtually everyone has told a street joke (which is the stand-up comedy term for jokes told on the street).

However most comedians discount the value of having a cache of carefully selected, edited and well-rehearsed street jokes at their disposal.

Let me say this – street jokes as a general rule are NOT considered stand-up comedy material.

But here’s what I can tell you about street jokes…

I have seen experienced comedians skillfully use street jokes as opening and closing bits in the comedy club environment.



But the street jokes they used were either carefully expanded to add punchlines and personalized or…

They were skillfully edited and adjusted in such a way that you simply could not tell they were delivering a street joke (unless you had actually heard the joke before).

Where the value of street jokes can really be of benefit to comedians is in stand-up comedy performances outside the comedy club arena.

As an example, a street joke can be used to break the ice when performing as a solo act in a corporate environment and allow a comedian to much more easily transition into their stand-up comedy material.

Another benefit of having a number of street jokes at the ready comes into play when you tell someone that you are a comedian and they ask you to tell them a joke. The immediate difficulty you will have is this:

Stand-up comedy material is developed based on a group dynamic as opposed to an individual dynamic like when telling a street joke.

So if you try to express your stand-up comedy material designed for a group dynamic to an individual, it will not only fail to generate a laugh, but will cause the person to wonder if you were lying about actually being a comedian.

So having some tested street jokes ready to go allows you get a laugh on an individual level that you simply can’t get from trying to deliver stand-up comedy material to a single person.

Plus, you are not sharing any of valuable stand-up material with a potential audience member.

And I should also mention that just like with stand-up comedy material, it will be the tight delivery of any street joke that will be responsible for most if it’s laughter generation – not just the “words” that are used.

One of the reasons that I have a complete lesson on using street jokes in the Killer Stand-up Online Course is because depending upon the performing environment, street jokes can be extremely valuable tools – especially for comedians who are performing outside the comedy club environment.



And for those who are primarily focusing on performing in the comedy club arena…

There is one particular type of street joke that can be easily transformed into an opening or closing bit if you know how to edit and restructure it in a way that even the experienced comedians would not know is a street joke.

That information is included in the course as well.

Bottom line:

Street jokes can very powerful tools to augment your stand-up comedy material depending upon the performing environment and that you know what you are doing when it comes to selecting, editing and delivering them for audiences.


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9 Replies to “Street Jokes: A Powerful Tool For Comedians”

    • As stated in the article, street jokes as a general rule are NOT considered stand-up comedy material. That is more true in the comedy club market more than any other.

      However, there are exceptions even in that market depending on a number of factors (type of street joke, editing, customizing or otherwise adapting, use frequency which should be rare, etc.)

      Outside the comedy club market (which is where most of the good paying work is) properly selected and edited street jokes can absolutely be a most valuable tool for comedians.

      But you would really need to have experience in those markets to understand why.

  1. sorry, I’m not exactly sure what a street joke is. I’m sure I must have used them, though. Can you please give me a definition?

    • A street joke is nothing more than a common joke “told on the street”. Commonly referred to as a joke joke, like — “Two guys walk into a bar” or “There’s a priest, a plumber and and airline pilot” sort of jokes.

      These are public domain jokes that are told by almost anyone, usually in more personal situations but can be of great value to the comedian who knows how and when to use them. Hope that helps.

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