Stand Up Comedy Clinic

What Do Comedy Bookers Mean When They Say They Want it ‘Clean?’

There is no absolute definition for clean. Here's something you should never do...

I was on the road with this comedian from Salt Lake City and we got a call from a booker in the middle of the week to do a corporate show for a bunch of gold miners. It was a dinner and everyone was well dressed. The pay was $1000 for the headliner and $500 for the feature act.

When we got to the event this huge dude in a tuxedo comes up to us--There's something scary about a huge dude in a tuxedo. Like, first of all, what tuxedo company rents shirts with a 22-inch neck?

Anyway, he says to us, "We need this show to be clean because the wives are here." The comedian I was working with was told by some other comedian that when they want it clean all you have to do is ask the audience, "Do you want the clean stuff or the dirty stuff?"

So He got up onstage and said...

phone firing my manager

3 Reasons Why Firing My Manager is the Best Thing I Did for My Comedy Career!

That's good news, my manager's calling. Maybe he's got some work for me... "Hey Harry. Tell me some good news." "I just wanted to let you know that I get 20% of whatever work you're doing, regardless of if I book it." So I said, "I'm sorry, Harry. I don't think I heard you right. Can you repeat that?" "I just wanted to let you know that I get 20% of whatever work you're doing, regardless of if I book it." I straightened up, took a breath and said...
what's your comedic persona

20 Comic Masks – Which One are You?

How important is having a strong comedic point of view? It's the difference between winning and losing, working or being unemployed. That's pretty important. Who are you? Why do we care?

Don’t Suck! The 9-minute Comedy Mastermind Session

This could be the most important 9-minute comedy lesson of your life.

In the next 9 minutes you're going to learn a lot! I mean a ton! I'm calling this article my 9-minute Comedy Mastermind Session.

When it comes to comedy writing and theory, my argument always focuses on structure.

"Structure is king!" I'll usually say.

Getting to the point and getting the laugh with a strong point of view while saying something that actually means something is crucial but structure is where the laugh occurs, not just...

political correctness

Why Are These College Kids So Damn PC?

Got an email from a student today. It said...

"The lesson I learned tonight is that university students are PC to the point that it is unnatural. These are the people posting PC crap all over Facebook! At first I was confused about my inability to connect with the crowd. I felt it from my first joke (about marriage/children).

So how do we make this work?"

nat-margolis-comedian

The Best Way to Write a Comedy Act if You’re an Absolute Newbie

There are three primary techniques I use when creating a comedy routine. The first way is to always write down things that are funny. Usually when I'm with a group of friends and something occurs that makes me and them laugh, I will write it down to possibly use later.

The other technique is to sit down and write jokes. I prefer this technique because I don't have to wait for the coincidence of the moment with friends or a funny situation to just happen to 'occur' to me. I can just sit down and generate material.

I do this by utilizing about 23 different approaches, but for the sake of this blog post, I will just write about two approaches. Here they are...

Conan O’Brien Just Could be a Stand-up’s Best Friend

Doing your stand up on Late Night T.V. can be your big break as a comedian. Well, unless you're Madonna doing stand-up on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I won't get into that face-plant into a steamy pile of dog food by-product. I think that gimmick--at least for me--dropped my opinion of Fallon's show; certainly with regard to it's appeal for comedians. When Johnny Carson was still on the air. The Tonight Show was the pinnacle. If a comedian could get on the Tonight Show and get that nod from Johnny to sit on the couch, then you could almost write your own ticket. Currently, for comedians and their futures, it seems that Late Night has lost that sizzle... Or has it?