My Reply To A Comment About Dick Joke Comedians Vs. Corporate Comedians

I received this comment in an email from a subscriber that I absolutely must comment on:


Been reading your blog and you seem to imply that comedians who do “dick” jokes or “edgy” comedy material don’t have the same level of talent as corporate or “clean” comedians.

I really take offense to that. Jack

Whoa there hoss!

Let’s get something perfectly clear Jack, and I will try to write this real slow so you can get it…

If you are actually reading this blog with any reading comprehension skill at all, you will notice that I talk primarily about delivering headliner level performances (generating a minimum average of 18 seconds of laughter for each performing minute).

That milestone is NOT arbitrary and is evidenced by simply measuring the headliner comedian performance levels in ANY widely distributed stand-up comedy CD, DVD, cassette tape, 8 track tape or LP produced since 1955 – no matter what kind of comedy the comedian is delivering.

I speak of this milestone usually WITHOUT regard to the “type” or style of stand-up comedy that a comedian chooses to deliver. End of story.

Now when it comes to income generation as a comedian…

Corporate comedians DO make much more money. If you don’t believe that, just ask ANY headlining comedian. Verify that information—don’t just take my word for it.

Check out this Wall Street Journal Article called “At Stand-up Comedy School, Students Clean Up Their Acts“.

But because a corporate comedian makes more money than a typical comedy club comedian DOES NOT make them any more talented than any other comedian who has the ability to slay an audience.

To say so would be foolish, not to mention grossly inaccurate.

Have you checked out Comedy Central lately, Jack? There still seems to be a comedian there for every possible audience, with the exception of extraterrestrials (coming soon, I’m sure).

And my system for developing comedy material was NOT developed for any specific “type” of comedian.

I am a firm believer that the “type” or style of stand-up comedy any comedian wants to deliver is very much a personal and professional choice and should always be treated as such.

And for those who do want to capitalize on their comedy talent with a clean act outside the comedy club market, check out

Hopefully Jack, that clears things up without you having to make an investment in a “Hooked on Phonics” course. 🙂

Related Video:


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.

5 Replies to “My Reply To A Comment About Dick Joke Comedians Vs. Corporate Comedians”

  1. No, not all comedians start out as dick joke comedians. Ironically, the only nationwide organization that I know of for comedians is the Christian Comedy Association. As a matter of fact, there is a huge world of stand-up comedy beyond the comedy club/cable channel comedy special scene — one that most comedians are completely unaware of.

    But as I mentioned in the article, getting recognized for one’s comedy talent is about laughter generation, no matter what type an act a comedian chooses to offer. And until a comedian can generate an average of 18+ seconds of laughter per minute on stage (or pretty darn close), they are on the slow path to progress as a comedian.

  2. This is an interesting debate and, when I think about it, most of the successful comedians I admire have a clean act. Certainly something for me to consider as I progress….

  3. I am ambitious enough to try both arenas. Most of my acts are blue, so i’m slowly shifting gears. Is it bad to try to be Bill Cosby one night or act and Chris Rock the next? And what are the top corporate performers paid compared to a Chris Rock, who doesn’t seem to have ever had a show like Chappelle or big movie parts like Eddie Murphy. I’m sure people on TV do better than corporate, but how about a major show headliner at the top of the A list on corporate compared to top line non-corporate acts?

    • You might want to look at to get a taste of the type of pay possible in the corporate type markets. Only the top comedy club type of comedians who have been in movies and on TV shows command really good money as a comedian. As a general rule, comedians who can deliver a killer corporate act can command 5-10+ times the money for a single performance that a headlining (but not famous) comedian can command per show in the comedy club market.

      And if you have a clean act that kills, you can work in ALL markets.