How to Get Started in Stand up Comedy

Опубликовал Admin
24-09-2016, 14:55
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"Making it" as a stand up comic is a goal desired by many, but enjoyed by few. However, with the right combination of determination, practice, and hustle, it's absolutely within the grasp of a talented amateur. The potential to be the next great stand up comic is yours - get on stage and start sharing your laughter with the world!


  1. Keep a notebook with you at all times. Take notes as funny thoughts come to you or write down strange occurrences that strike your funny bone.
  2. Buy some sort of book to learn how to write a joke (or read this article: Write a Good Joke).
  3. Understand your on-stage persona or attitude. Are you a deadpan comic? An angry comic? Brutally sarcastic and ironic? Goofy? Let your persona match your writing.
  4. Try your hand at writing jokes. Most good jokes come from the intersection of two seemingly unrelated ideas, or from a formerly unexplored observation about something most people overlook on a daily basis.
  5. Write a small routine and perform your "set" in front of a mirror. Note the things about the delivery of your jokes that you like, and also the things you don't. You can also try video-taping yourself.
    • Note verbal ticks like "Um," and "Uh..." and minimize, unless your persona is awkward and nervous.
  6. Work on your confidence and make memorized material seem spontaneous. If you use a different voice when you're reciting memorized speech try to transform it into something more conversational.
  7. Write more jokes. The more you write, the easier they come. Some days you'll have five or six jokes to record, and some days you'll have none. You should, however, be starting to create quite a backlog of material.
  8. Re-write your jokes. Rarely are perfect jokes written at 2AM. Make sure your jokes will be understood by the audience, and re-write if needed.
  9. Find an "Open Mic" venue nearby and sign up. If you can call ahead of time and secure yourself a spot, you will be unable to back out.
  10. Finalize your set. Run through it a few times; it should be anywhere from five to ten minutes long. For your first set don't worry so much about time. Five minutes is plenty, and when the microphone is in your hand, time slips away faster than normal.
    • Leave about thirty to forty-five seconds total of "laugh time"-time when the audience is laughing at your jokes.
  11. Organize a "social safety net." Call friends you know will be supportive, and have them come to watch. This way, even if you bomb, you'll have people to laugh at your jokes.
  12. Stand up. Leave the microphone in the stand if you'd like, or take it out. It's recommended you take it out if it's your first time; the feeling of a microphone in your hand and the freedom to move around while you speak puts you in quite a bit of control.
    • Take your time, making sure not to mumble or speed through your delivery. Enunciate. Speak loudly enough that even those in the back can hear. Maintain eye contact with the crowd. Smile, but don't laugh at your own jokes. Be prepared for shout-outs and heckles.
  13. Know when you're done. Either you've reached the end of your set or you've just gotten a large applause for a joke you know you can't top - now's the time to thank the audience for their attention and for the time they've taken to get to know your comedic styling. A simple "You guys have been great, thank you," should be more than sufficient.
  14. Stay for the other acts. You've done your thing, and now it's only polite to watch some of the other regulars. More importantly, there's a chance another stand up comic will...well, stand up. You'll either know you were better than him (or her), or you'll be able to learn something from him (or her).


  • Sometimes commenting on a joke you've just completed can get you more laughs than the joke itself. But use this sparingly!
  • Sometimes a joke that you think is mildly funny can work great on stage in a comedy club; remember, people are ready to laugh at you before you have even said anything.
  • Small mp3 players often have a voice recorder, and can be an inexpensive way to record joke ideas. Then you can play it back and write it down at your leisure.
  • Joke writing takes practice. The more jokes you write, the better you will become at timing, delivery, and at developing your own personal style.
  • Beware of telling shock jokes that are in poor taste, unless it truly is funny. Few comedians can actually pull off a rape joke, for example.
  • Don't be afraid to explore territory that may seem taboo to you. Areas that are off limits to politicians are blown wide open for comedians.
  • Consider taking an introductory acting class. This will help you get over stage fright, learn to project your voice, and give you some acting practice.
  • If you don't want to carry a notepad around, many modern phones have a notepad app built in.
  • Keep a "joke log" on your computer. Sometimes it's quicker to type a joke than it is to write it.
  • Post your set on YouTube or facebook..Then you can get honest feedback.
  • Present your jokes to your family or someone you trust.
  • Don't be afraid to practice jokes in front of strangers. Everyone has a different sense of humor. What may work for your friend, may not work for your mom.


  • Do not plagiarize!
  • Comedy is much more appreciated in an appropriate venue. "Open Mic" nights themed toward fiction and poetry usually don't take kindly to comics.
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