You Already Have MOST Of What You Need To Produce A Powerful Stand-up Comedy Act

writing a stand-up actIf you are trying to discover the techniques to somehow “write” a stand-up comedy act that actually works to generate big laughs…

Please allow me to offer an alternative perspective that may be of immense value to you — especially if you want to have a significant advantage over other new comedians when you enter the world of stand-up comedy.

And that perspective is this:

You already have MOST of what you need to develop a powerful stand-up comedy act very quickly if you will use and apply all of your comedy talent — right from the start of the process.

But if you are like most new comics, you will be compelled to disregard most of what makes you a funny person in everyday life when you make the decision to step into becoming a comedian — giving you no advantage at all.

Before I continue, know this:

How you decide to approach stand-up comedy is 100% your call. However if you will sit through any stand-up comedy open mic night, you will surely see for yourself what happens when a comedian does not use and apply their comedy talent effectively — if at all.

Factors That Prevent One From Utilizing Their Comedic Talent

Here are three conditions that directly impact why new comedians don’t really tap into their comedy talent when they hit the stage as a comedian:

1. New comedians do not realize that “writing” and verbal communication (talking) are NOT the same communication medium.

Let me put this another way:

“Writing” as you have learned how to do it is not an interchangeable version of talking like most new comedians assume it to be.

Writing is a formal means of communication designed for consumption by an individual reader, not a live in-person audience.

Probably one of the biggest problems with trying to “write” jokes or stand-up comedy material is that HUGE elements of an individual’s comedy talent are missing because only words are involved.

Not only that, the mental process for “writing” is completely different than for talking. Hint: You never hear anyone talk about having “talker’s block”.

But don’t discard the need to have your talking in a “written” form based on what I have just presented. I discuss the important differences between “writing” and “writing down” your comedy material in this article.

Suffice it to say that “talking” is easy. “Writing down”, structuring, editing and revising that “written down” talking is pretty darn easy too once you know how to do it.

Trying to “write” that which is supposed to be “funny” by merely guessing and using a communication method designed for an individual READER, then expecting it to miraculously work on stage to get laughs (absent of all the critical attributes that make you funny when you talk)…

Now that is not only TOUGH, but also tends to be a very common foundation for bombing on stage.

There’s a very good reason why you don’t see people trying to change a flat tire on their car using a screwdriver (even though it is a hand tool, just like a lug wrench is a hand tool).

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2. New comedians assume that some sort of “special” comedy talent needs to be developed in order to generate the big laughs they want on stage.

Short of some sort of brain transplant or the futuristic “uploading” of a better sense of humor, you have got what you’ve when it comes to comedy talent.

Think about it: The sense of humor you have right now and the way you individually express that sense of humor is the result of many 100,000’s of personal conversations and interactions with others — starting from the time you started talking as a child. I’m referring specifically to talking interactions – not interactions where written notes were exchanged to generate laughs.

That aspect is NOT going to change because you make the decision to become a comedian.

Note: The comedy talent you have right now was NOT developed by passing 100,000’s of written notes between people you have communicated with in your life in person.

What you need to know is this:

When you cause others to laugh in everyday conversations, you are using 100% of your already acquired and developed comedy talent, not just the words you use.

As a comedian, you should strive to use ALL of your comedy talent in a more condensed and concentrated way (because you need to generate 4-6 laughs every performing minute.

Otherwise, you are going to end up flopping like most new comedians.

3. New comedians don’t realize that there is a lot to know about using, preparing and packaging their already developed comedy talent for consumption by a live audience — before they ever step on stage.

Think about this: More than likely you came to this blog thinking you simply needed a few “tips” that will help you get the big laughs on stage quickly.

What I will tell you is this:

As comedian you are tasked with creating, developing and delivering a solid comedy entertainment product that causes audiences to laugh out loud 4-6 times every minute you are on stage.

But don’t take my word for it — get on stage and suck for a year or two. Then you will fully understand why a few “tips” are simply not enough.

The Wrap Up

The last time you were in a casual conversation with a group of your friends, family or co-workers and you caused laughter to happen:

  • Did you stop to “write” the words you were going to use to make others laugh?
  • Was it just the words alone that you said that caused the people you were talking with to laugh?
  • Were you aware of the actual body language, facial expressions and voice tone qualities you used to make others laugh?
  • What exactly did you say to make others laugh?
  • Do you know how to structure, edit and refine what you said for the stand-up comedy stage?

Here’s a secret relatively few new comedians will ever take advantage of – one which will directly impact the speed at which an individual can progress as a comedian and that is:

Secret: What makes an individual funny in everyday life is a combination of attributes specific to you that occur spontaneously without much thought. It will be that exact same combination of attributes that will also cause audiences to laugh long and loud from the stand-up comedy stage.

I cover information that you need to know about your comedy talent in the first lesson (free) of the How To Find Your Best Stand-up Topic Course at

In other words, the comedy mechanics that you use to generate laughs in casual conversations are exactly the same as those used on the stand-up comedy stage.

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But a weird thing seems to happen when an individual makes the decision to become a comedian…

They discount or ignore those attributes that got them into stand-up comedy in the first place and seem to be compelled to attempt to “write” their way (in the literal sense) to being funny on stage – usually with less optimal results.

If you don’t believe that, again, sit through any stand-up comedy open mic night from beginning to end.

“Winging it” (aka blind trial and error) is also a less than optimal approach if a person wants to make measurable progress in any reasonable period of time (weeks vs. months or years).

If you want to know why the Killer Stand-up Online Course blows away every other stand-up comedy “writing” resource out there, here’s why:

  • It provides you with detailed insight on how to recognize what makes you funny in the first place.
  • It shows you how to apply your already developed comedy talent in a way that is natural you and your since of humor – right from the beginning of the comedy material development process.
  • It shows you how to professionally prepare to deliver stand-up comedy material in a way that, once again, capitalizes on all the attributes that make you a funny person in everyday life.

Common sense dictates that if you are aware of what makes you funny in everyday life and you know how to apply that knowledge when developing your stand-up comedy act…

You will progress much more quickly than those who are trying to “mechanically” produce “funny” from a blank piece of paper, focusing on mere words alone.

And again, you don’t hear anyone mention anything about “talker’s block”.

Plus talking is and always will be much easier than trying to “write” anything.

Like I said at the beginning of this article – you have much of what you need in the way of comedy talent to produce a powerful stand-up comedy act if you will learn how to use and apply it specifically for the stand-up comedy stage.

5 Stand-up Comedy Lessons - Killer Stand-up Online Course
This training module intro page provides comedy lessons on why conventional stand-up comedy writing methods don’t work.

3 Replies to “You Already Have MOST Of What You Need To Produce A Powerful Stand-up Comedy Act”

  1. I think the reason why funny people turn to “writing” comedy when they want to be a comedian is because they think that being a comedian now requires a focus effort on being funny. No longer can you just be funny when you want or let humor occur spontaneously. Now you NEED to make people laugh.

    It beings forth a completely different mindset for people. Now there is this added sense of pressure. Now I need to script everything so that I know that I will get the laughs. Then comedy starts to become a chore. I was about to head down that path.

    Now I just want to have fun again. I want to share my story and my observations. I want to have fun in the processes. Like you said Steve, this requires information that can be applicable to the comedian.

    • A very good point, Success! You say, “…now requires a focus effort on being funny. No longer can you just be funny when you want or let humour occur spontaneously.”

      Because a comedy act is so public and the comedian is now RESPONSIBLE to make the audience laugh, we try to write to get it right (no pun intended!) and to feel more secure in our material. That may be why we see so many who try to ‘wing it’ bomb — their material may sound fine in their heads, but there’s a big difference between IMAGINING how your act will go and VISUALIZING it as part of performance preparation; so, we try to “write it out” so we can be more confident — which, as you point out, adds pressure and becomes a chore. Then no one has fun because you are struggling to recall your script and the audience cannot feel the connection with the performer.

  2. I started my comedy writings with past events that were funny so it was easy to create my first couple sets. Then I embellished a few parts, added in a couple punchlines and vio’la! I had a set.

    I’m currently trying to shorten the wording in my sets without losing meaning or diminishing the joke. It’s all in how you say it, not what you say.

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