Monday, June 28, 2010

10 Stand-Up Comedy Home Runs

So you want to do stand up comedy? Hold it right there. You can't just dive in and expect to be hilarious. You’re going to have to learn a few things first, then you'll be hilarious and swatting balls out of the park rapid-fire like the best of them at your local comedy club. Once you know these simple stereotypes, you’ll be good to go with a solid twenty minutes of killer material guaranteed to make audiences fall out of their chairs.

1. Indian people are typically the ones you will speak to when seeking help over the phone for a problem with your computer.
2. The parents of Asian-Americans have shrill, grating voices, and are traditionally hard working and try to push their children against their will into the math, science, or engineering trades. (Note: While an impression of the voice is an 80% guaranteed laugh, if you are not Asian-American you run the risk of being perceived as a racist.)
3. Black people are treated poorly by the police. Generally, the black people/law enforcement relationship is a tense one.
4. Married people despise their spouses. If you are married, start over-analyzing everything your significant other does and says until you magnify every flaw to billboard-size, until you hate her or him. Then let the jokes roll.
5. Parents hate their children. If you have children and enjoy them, start deliberately doing things you know they will interrupt, so you can become pissed off and, eventually, hilarious.
6. If you are overweight, disabled, or a member of a minority group, make fun of yourself as much as possible. Vicious, hurtful, racist things that had someone who is not a member of that minority group said would be considered incredibly offensive. Sure, the people are laughing at you because you’re different, but a laugh’s a laugh, am I right?
7. Facebook and text messaging are currently the only things audience members under the age of twenty-five can relate to. Try to focus on these topics. Popular subjects include accidentally text messaging the wrong a person and obsessively reading an ex-lover’s Facebook page.
8. If none of the above tips apply to anything that happens in your life, feel free to completely make up the things you claim happened to you. If the waitstaff has done their job, the audience will be too drunk to notice or care about your lies.
9. When it comes to stories, they always happened to you no more than 24 hours ago. Either last night, this morning, or on the way to the club. Be aware that these stories never actually happened at those times. It’s a safety concern, because the drunk audiences will likely revolt if you reveal to them that you’ve been telling the same jokes at every performance for the last five years.
10. Funny names are always in. If you’re on stage and in a bind for a big laugh, look around the room, pick an object, and do a bit about how funny it would be if you named your child that. For example, shoelace. Then you can do a whole thing about celebrities naming their children strange things, because that’s a topic that has worked for decades, so why wouldn’t it work tonight?

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