How to Crush a Heckler Without Ruining the Show

One night I was doing a set and it wasn't going well. There were these three guys that noticed me failing miserably. I could hear one of them say, "Look, he's bombing! Let's get him."

They approached the stage and stood like four feet from the stage and started heckling me. When one of them ran out of breath, one of the other ones took over. It was like being verbally gang banged by hecklers.

After that miserable set I went to the bar and thought about getting drunk, but then...

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Joe Dungan - Winner, Clean Comedy Challenge 2017

Revenge may be Best Cold, but Success is Best Always.

Joe Dungan, one of my hardest working students and one of my master teachers just won The Clean Comedy Challenge 2017 at the Ice House in Pasadena, CA! 

Joe competed against a litany of other comedians. And he must've done great because at the end of the performances one of the other comedians said to him, "Get ready to collect your prize money," implying that it was clear who won the Clean Comedy Challenge.

So how did Joe do it?

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misconceptions on comedy writing

Another Common Misconception About Writing Your Comedy

In the vast horizon of possibilities of where comedy can come from, why would anyone who's taken any time to study this art make such a definitive and limiting statement about comedy?

Not only that, just look around! Jerry Seinfeld, "What is it with bugs?!" or "I don't know if horses really know they're racing. I think horses are sitting at the starting gate going, 'I know there's a bag of oats at the end of this and I wanna get there first.'"

Does that sound like it comes from the depths of Seinfeld's soul?

Or take Anthony Jeselnik: "The best way to break up with a girl is like I take off a band-aid, slowly and in the shower."

Depths of his soul? Or just a incongruous association joke about breaking up with a girl?

Of course there are pieces the "depths of the soul" comment that make sense. It's cathartic to talk about things that are deep and you have an emotional connection to. But how limiting is that statement?

It's missing something, like, where the laugh comes from!

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When You Do the Work…

Just wanted to post a quick shout-out to my boy Joshua Jackson. Joshua just won the Clairmont Comedy Competition in--of all places--Clairmont, California. I was humbled that Joshua thanked me in his celebratory post on Facebook. Josh attended the Stand Up Comedy Clinic for a while and busted his butt developing his act. Week after week Josh went from a guy who didn't do a lot of stand-up to really developing into someone who understood the fundamentals. Every week Josh showed up to class early, asked questions before class, was not afraid to disagree when something wasn't working, and applied the new lessons he learned to his material. Then what happened?

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