Your First 5 Minutes Of Stand-up Comedy Material

I would say that the first tight 5 minutes of a new comedian’s stand-up comedy act is without a doubt the most important stand-up comedy material that they will “write” or develop for a number of reasons…

It will be during the development of this first tight 5 minutes that the new comedian begins to effectively tap into their “stage voice” — that comfort zone that allows them to be who they really are on stage and not doing their “impression” of what they think a comedian should be.

It will be the confidence a comedian has in their first tight 5 minutes of stand-up comedy material that gets the big laughs that will lead to the development of new stand-up comedy material.

I guess I should explain what I mean by a tight 5 minutes of stand-up comedy material which NOT getting 1-2 small laughs per minute. That is known as bombing in the world of stand-up comedy.

What Tight Means

,A tight 5 minutes of stand-up comedy material generates an average 4-6+ collective audience laughs each performing minute.



While on the surface that may seem like it should be a fairly easy milestone to reach, it is important to note that many new comedians are never able to write or develop a tight 5 minutes of stand-up material that gets noteworthy laughs when performed.

One need only hang out at comedy open mic nights for a year to see exactly why I can say that.

I remember vividly saying this to myself after just a few of first stand-up comedy performances:

“How on earth does someone develop just 5 great minutes of stand-up comedy material?”

It seemed like a daunting task at the time especially given all the work I had put in to get the crappy “jokes” I ended up with.

Like most new comedians I was writing my stand-up comedy in a literary sense without regard to one obvious and very important fact:

Writing and talking are two very different and distinct forms of communication.

Trying to write stand-up comedy material in a literary fashion is much like trying to thinly slice meat with a butter knife. A different kind of knife is needed to perform that task effectively.

Before I jump into the characteristics of a tight 5 minute stand-up comedy routine, here’s what you need to know:


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