How Should Comedians Deal With Critics?

Update: If you would like to put this article into a humorous perspective, please check out the movie Idiocracy (#ad) starring Luke Wilson first — then read this article.

The second an individual takes that big step into the public spotlight as a comedian, no matter who they are…

Critics will swarm in from every possible source, whether it be in stand-up comedy, or any other adventure that puts an individual or their talent into public view — just like a vultures on a carcass.

And should an individual’s effort as a comedian or entertainer gain any measure of success…

The critics will multiply exponentially. People love to criticize that which they don’t have the spine or capability to go for or achieve for themselves.

Comedians who are serious about success must have a thick skin and understand this about critics…

It takes no experience to be a critic. There’s relatively little risk in being a critic. There’s no real talent or effort involved in being a critic.

Virtually anyone with a brain, computer and a pie hole can poke holes in your act, your success, or anything else for that matter.

It doesn’t matter how talented you really are. It doesn’t matter how trustworthy you are. It doesn’t matter what credibility you have gained or results you may have earned.

Critics can and will attack the money you make, the accomplishments you achieve, the publicity you receive, the awards you get and any other tangible measure of success you may gain.


It’s really simple. Critics can’t actually do or attain that which they criticize. They are unwilling to devote the time, resources, or anything that requires any real effort to do what it really takes to really succeed, much less in a big and noteworthy way.

They are jealous of those who are able to swim through the muck required for real success and come out the victor.

And it’s very easy as a critic to gain a huge audience of those who also can’t do or will never do. There are many more of those lemmings than there will ever be people who are brave enough, talented enough and driven enough to succeed.

I dealt with critics when I was able to headline comedy clubs before others who had been doing it much longer. I deal with critics all the time now with my system for comedians and Comedy Evaluator Pro.

And the remarks can be ugly, mean, hurtful, lacking intelligence and unfounded. Those things don’t matter to critics.

Even comedians who do have experience can be quick to criticize other comedians. They are unwilling or unable to tell you what you need to know to develop an act, improve your performances or move forward in your career. You need to have suffered like they have and anything less is not only unacceptable, but subject to relentless criticism.

But here is what I will tell anyone who wants to be a successful comedian…

Until any critic is paying your bills, booking your gigs, or impacting your success as a comedian in ANY positive way…

These people are losers–serious losers.

Do not let these morons get to you. Realize that virtually anyone can be a critic. Neither intelligence nor experience is required. Needless to say, most everyone is qualified.

But the reality is — very few people really have what it takes become a successful comedian or entertainer. Everybody has what it takes to be a critic.

Don’t be dismayed. Not at all!

Embrace your successes — no matter how small or how big, not the useless crap the critics have to say because…

For every person that supports you, believes in you, and encourages you — just be acutely aware that:

There are 100 people standing in line waiting to try to tear you down, if for no other reason than because they can. These idiots are legends in their own minds and to the others who follow them.

I guess it somehow helps them compensate for their own lack of drive, talent and success.

Know in your heart who you are, what you can do, and surround yourself with people who believe in you and know beyond a shadow of a doubt…

Critics are here to stay — just like cockroaches. They aren’t going away.

So, how do you deal with critics?

You do what you do the best you can do it, be the very best you can be, continue moving forward no matter what anyone says and know that…

“People don’t boo nobodies”. Excellent quote from baseball great Reggie Jackson.

Like I said in the beginning — watch the movie Idiocracy (#ad) first, then read this article. Your understandment (not a real word – but close) about critics will grow humorously … 🙂

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One Reply to “How Should Comedians Deal With Critics?”

  1. Steve… you are so one with this. I have been a football coach and a school superintendent. Like a comic, when you are standing alone on the stage, it is easy for the least talented to be the most critical and the most vocal. Having a purpose and an “end in mind” can enable us to move past the critics. A great read on this is Carol Dweck’s Mindset. It is not a book about being on stage, but she explains concisely how to focus on continuous improvement in whatever you do. By focusing on getting better as a comic, what the critics say will have little effect on getting laughs and getting better at performing.