Not all Advice is Good Advice

Conflicting Advice from George Carlin and Louis CK

During your early career as a comedian, you're going to have a lot of people giving you advice. Some of the advice is golden, but other pieces of advice wouldn't keep the shit off your shoes in a dog park. Take this advice that came from the great Louis CK. Now Louis is a great comedian--not so great in a hotel room--but a great comedian. One night, it is rumored that Jeff Foxworthy came off stage and CK said, "Jeff, you really need to lose that accent, nobody's going to understand you." Of course Jeff Foxworthy--because of his accent--went on to become ...
developing a comedy persona

When Do You Think it’s Too Late to Break Into This Business of Comedy?

I think most people have a this vision that getting into comedy means that you have to go to open mics, where you may or may not get on stage, but before you do get on stage, you have to wade through a sea of jokes about dicks, or jokes about smoking too much weed, or jokes about dicks who smoke too much weed.

If you're over 40, the thought of having to slog out to do that several nights a week is not pleasant.

But there's another way...

how to keep a horrible emcee from tanking your show

How to Keep an Emcee’s Horrible Introduction from Tanking your Show

There are a ton of ways an emcee can ruin the introduction for a comedian. They can bomb a joke then immediately bring you up. They can create an incident with someone in the audience and bring you up on a sour note. They can screw up your name or screw up your intro.

They can do a backwards intro. A backwards intro is where they mention your name first and the audience doesn't feel the impulse to applaud...

25 Ways to make money with comedy

25 Ways to Make Money with Your Comedy

When I started out as a comedian I wanted to learn all I could about the business. And watching my father go through his ups and downs financially as an actor, I looked at comedy, not as frivolity, but as a business. Once I did that, I saw all the possibilities and I focused on the ones that would give me the best return.

So I put together a quick list called 25 Ways to Make Money with Your Comedy.

Most don't even know these avenues of revenue exist.

why comedians think their way into being broke

How the ‘Broke Artist’ Mentality Keeps many Talented Comedians Broke

A large percentage of comedians today have that 'broke-artist' mentality. They actually think their way into staying broke. It's exactly that mentality that keeps them broke. I think part of the problem is reality vs. perception. Here's the reality: If you can get laughs consistently and work in almost any environment, you are a valuable commodity. Here's the perception: It's an art, so you shouldn't think about money. The problem with that approach is that if you're not thinking about making money, you ARE thinking about being broke.

“The Nightly Show” with Larry Wilmore Canceled by Comedy Central Provides New Opportunities

Where some people see failure, I see amazing opportunity!

I mean what a perfect time to self-produce a show that has that edge.

If I was new writer trying to break in, not only would I be writing and submitting packets every three to six months, I would be collaborating and self-producing a 5 min. edgy variety/talk show just like the Daily Show with the same type of enthusiasm and gusto that was ever-present at that show.

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...
apple_logo_nyc

What Does Apple Stock Teach Us about Writing for Late Night TV?

The same thing that happens at Apple happens in Late Night TV all the time!

A writer interested in writing for Late Night TV, should be paying close attention to the movements that happen behind the scenes just like a market investor eyes the NYSE or the NASDAQ.

Because turning $11k into $200k over a period of 11 years is a sweet investment, but a job writing in Late Night TV can turn $0 into $200k in a year, because that's the minimum salary for a staff writer working in Late Night.

So a writer should be paying close attention to the Late Night TV market, because drama is happening big time over at CBS.