Comedy Clinic Advanced Class at The Comedy Store Tonight

Comedy Store Tonight at 8pm in the Belly Room Stand Up Comedy Clinic’s Advanced class will be performing thier 5-7 minute sets. They’ve worked the past 8 weeks writing and honing, adding new material, testing and re-writing so they are ready for tonight. Come down and see the quality material these guys and gals put together.

It’s a great lineup with personalities that test the age-range threshold of comedy. We have 12-year-old, Justin Tinucci and our sassy senior Esther Hersh. I don’t know exactly how old she is, but she was there for the moon landing…and by that, I mean when it landed in the Earth’s orbit!

The show is always quality. The comments we receive back from industry support that statement too. So come by and check it out. We also have a couple of other special guests dropping in. In our last showcase, Sarah Silverman dropped by to do a set and Vargus Mason is usually there to light up the stage with his always funny and entertaining comedy.

Here are some comments we received from various personalities:
“These things are usually an embarassment, but this was really entertaining…”
“These are students? I can barely tell the difference between them and the regulars…!” (name withheld…former Manager of the Comedy Store)
“I can’t believe I’m dying in Santa Monica…!”  – George Carlin

So come down and check it out. If you’ve been interested in attending one of our classes or workshops, this is an excellent opportunity to see how it all culminates into an legitimate comedy act and you’ll understand why my students get work.

Here’s the lowdown:
WHERE: COMEDY STORE (BELLY ROOM) - 8433 SUNSET BLVD. HOLLYWOOD, CA
WHEN: TONIGHT 8PM , WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30TH, 2011
PRICE: $10 AT THE DOOR (with a 2-drink min.)

Comedy Clinic Students Produce a Comedy Show in Pamona

Fox Comedy Showcase in PamonaAttention all comics and comedy lovers in the 909: Fox Sports Bar and Lounge in Pamona is now doing a comedy show. Stand Up Comedy Clinic Students Christian Zaragoza and Ernie Ordonez, put their money where their mouth is (what money? the show is FREE!) and they organized and are producing a comedy show in Pamona. The Inland Empire needs a good room where comedians can work and they followed through by getting this started. One of the things I encourage my students to do is to perform whenever and wherever possible. Walt Whitman said: “Actors must act. Writers must write. Painters must paint.” Well comedians have double duty in that they must write and perform as much as possible. Christian and Ernie saw this as an opportunity to start a show.

What a great idea! As a comedian, you begin to understand the importance of networking, meeting as many other comedians as possible, because it’s not only your continued work ethic that will help you succeed, but it is in your relationships where your career thrives. Starting a successful comedy room is a great way to meet other comedians and help to nurture those relationships.

For more information or to get in touch with Chris or Ernie about future comedy shows in Pamona, Click the show flyer and ”friend” Chris on Facebook. If you develop that relationship, maybe you can make an appearance at the next comedy showcase in Pamona. Eventually, it may turn into a paid gig. And while you’re at it Tweet this article or post on your Facebook page and help these guys really develop this gig into something successful! 

Good Luck you guys! I hope you have me on the next  show, because I couldn’t do it this round.

Even Pros Get Hecklers

It never fails when you’re doing comedy; you’re trying to get the audience warmed up and you get heckled. How do you handle them? First of all, most hecklers aren’t there to hurt your show. Believe it or not, they usually think they are trying to “help you.”

Each heckle is a new opportunity to hone your ad-lib skills and work in some formula so that a surprise appears in your response and results in a laugh from the audience. The last thing you want to do is spend too much time with a heckler this ensures that the heckler won that battle, because a main portion of your act was focused on giving him the attention that he was seeking in the first place.

I was at the M-Bar in Hollywood last night watching one of my students, Josh Weinstock, do a show. The M-Bar is a lovely lounge with great lighting and sound. The M.C. was working hard to get the audience warmed up. He was doing his set, not getting great laughs and at one point, got frustrated. He looked at a guy sitting in the front and said ”what are you doing here?”

The guy said,  ”Pretending to watch comedy.”

Well, the M.C. was stung, but he riffed it away the best he could in that moment. But you could tell that the comment wounded him. He spent too much time trying to respond to the heckle and didn’t get much laughter from it. The best way to respond to a heckler–well besides hitting them with a sledge hammer–is to give them the equivalent of that in a funny response. The more experience you have the better you master the art of heckle-responses. But there is a process that you can use too:

  1. Listen to what was said. In this case it was “I’m pretending to watch comedy…”
  2. Process the information. Repeat what the heckler said so you can be assured the audience heard it.
  3. Use your knowledge and skill in creating surprise to get laughs and respond.

I heard the heckler that night. “I’m pretending to watch comedy…” If I was the comedian I would’ve said, “You’re pretending to watch comedy? (Look at him.) That’s ironic, because at that exact same time I was pretending to watch an asshole…I’m just kidding, dude…I wasn’t pretending.”

That’s going to get a laugh from the audience. It’s simple. It’s a reverse so it creates surprise. And it reaffirms to the audience that you are in control.

STAND UP COMEDY CLINIC STUDENT WINS FUNNIEST COMIC IN L.A. CONTEST!

Funniest Comic in L.A.I am proud to announce that JC Morgan, who started comedy 18 months ago at the Stand Up Comedy Clinic has just won The Funniest Comic in L.A. (Under 2 years  category)!

It’s proof that the techniques taught by Jerry Corley in the clinic, work. JC is one of those students who studies hard, writes hard and works hard. His hard work and dedication to writing and getting up on stage as often as possible, paid off!  He still attends classes when he can and still writes like nobody’s business. He tore it up at Jon Lovitz’s club in Universal City, CA.

In Our classes and seminars we teach structure. That’s the key to laughter. Learning how to map our your routines so that you can utilize the techniques and formulas that trigger human laughter. Once you learn the techniques you can consistently write material that you know will get laughs. These are the same techniques that are used by all the greats.
 
The Stand Up Comedy Clinic will be hosting a Weekend Comedy Seminar in Las Vegas on April 9th & 10. It’s a 16 hour seminar packed with information; the same information that helped JC Morgan earn the title: FUNNIEST COMIC IN L.A.

Think Like a Comedian and Start Your Day with Observations

One of the most common comments I get from students and other comedians is, “I just can’t think of new stuff, ” “I’m blocked.” That’s a common ailment for writers and comedians alike. Even the greatest writers had blocks for new ideas. The thing to remember for comedians is that ANYTHING can be FUNNY! It’s just how you  perceive it. We’ve spent our lives being taught how to think a certain way; to not “make waves, ” to maintain the status quo. As a result we encourage our minds to develop linear thought. The problem with that is most comedy is incongruous. So if we just go through life and accept things as they are we forget to think of things comedically or in other words, how they should be in our minds.

As a comedian or humor writer you must always think of the “what if?” It’s the ability to let the imagination dance. Allow your mind to put two things together that don’t usually go together. Allow yourself to think of someone behaving outside how a normal person would behave or allow yourself to put a person who behaves in a certain way into a situation where his normal behavior wouldn’t fit.

It makes waking up fun. You can think of things just to start your day. For example, I’m spending the weekend at my in-laws this weekend and I woke up with light streaming through the the paper blinds that are in the window and I thought:
”I think every in-law has these paper blinds in the guest room. You know, then kind that catch the sun diffuse it so it beams enough light to illuminate a stadium. You might not be able to sleep, but you could clearly see Derek Jeter pull a 5-4-3 double play! It’s their way of saying, “don’t worry, they won’t be staying long.”  And mother-in-laws love to start their day with laundry don’t they? What are they thinking? “If I don’t get these towels on before the sun comes up, there might be trouble.” I mean who washes towels every single day?! As it turns out, Mother-in-laws do! I love my in-laws, they are good people. They’re generous, compassionate, intelligent… Their problem is they believe that whole Benjamin Franklin “early-to-bed-early-to-rise, nonsense. If I’m at their place and I roll out of bed at 10 am. They’ve already gotten in a trip to the bank,   a run to the grocery store and they have enough clean towels to last a week and that just pisses me off!”

It’s a rough draft, but it came out of simply allowing myself to make an observation on the first thing I thought of this morning, think incongruously by fitting two ideas (stadium and bedroom light) together to form another thought and then remembering to write them down before I forget them because new ideas came into my head about other observations like, “Why do in-laws always have old dressers with locks on them? Did they have problems with disappearing socks back in the day, before dryers? Is that how they kept them from getting away?”

Remember to observe, ask “what if?” and write it down!