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Comedy Lessons | Never say Never

I was wrong!

Many students have come up to me and asked, “Can I just put together a tape in my living room?” I’ve always said, “Absolutely not. You should never do that. Make sure shoot a tape that is in front of a live audience.”

Well comedian Jesse Popp proved me wrong. In this little quick interview, Jesse talks about doing comedy only three times before he shot a video of himself in his friend’s basement with three of his friends. “We set up a karaoke machine and a sheet against the wall, and one of my friends was holding a light up and at one point the lamp caught the sheet on fire and we had to do another take: I sent the tape into Comedy Central and it worked out I guess”

Jesse started in 2000 and since then, Jesse has appeared on several comedy shows including Conan, and Comedy Central’s “Half-Hour.”

The point is this: Even though it’s not recommended to send a tape out that you shot in your basement, never say “never.”

Sometimes the best choice is just to get it out there!

Comedy is Truth

One of my favorite lines from any comedian is not a joke. It’s a statement. George Carlin said, “A comedian shouldn’t just make them laugh, he should also make them think.

Stand up comedy is the ultimate forum to say whatever you want; to express yourself and talk about things that drive you mad. Comedy also comes from the truth.

That is why I always tell my students when they sit down to write comedy don’t sit down to write something funny, but sit down and try to write something true, then turn it funny. The truth, the truth, the truth.

I’m posting this interesting and profound video clip of my comedy colleague Chris Bliss. To me he has been a mentor and has inspired me. Still does. If you want to write comedy that is profound and makes a point or gives you an opportunity to change the world’s view, then take a moment and watch the clip. It’s fifteen minutes of your time, but it will be well worth it. Then leave a comment down there to tell me what you would like to say with your comedy.

Then go write and make them think!

Louis C.K. | Simple Comedy Structure

I’m a big fan of Louis C.K. Just wanted to share some of his work.
Louis C.K., a comedian Rolling Stone magazine calls “The funniest comedian alive.”
Watch what he does. Listen how he uses analogy to introduce new incongruous elements, impose the characteristics of one element on another and then, how he acts them out creating the comedy.

It’s all about the structure, baby. It’s all about the structure!