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Old 06-11-2015, 11:23 PM   #51
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Puddin, are you going to the open mic at the Arlington Improv? If so I have done that before, both to watch and perform, can give a bit of advice if desired.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:30 PM   #52
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

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Puddin, are you going to the open mic at the Arlington Improv? If so I have done that before, both to watch and perform, can give a bit of advice if desired.
I was planning on going to the Wednesday night open mic at Hyena's in Dallas. I didn't know about the open mic at the Arlington Improv. What is that like? Very open to any advice that you have.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:49 PM   #53
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Hey Puddin, you can post your material here and I can give you advice. You should check out YTF's open mic thread; he went through the same process you're going through.

Everyone, thanks for keeping it going with the (repeated) voting! I feel like we're gonna do this!
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:17 AM   #54
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Dr. Spaceman,

Ok great. Thank you very much. By the way, I just watched your set tonight, and I was very impressed. Especially with your quick-witted response about "She must be from Jersey." I'm guessing outbursts like that are the most difficult aspect of doing a set? Oh, and I skimmed through YTF's thread, but I should go back and read it all.

Okay, so here goes nothing. So my premise for this joke. I'll open by saying how nerve-racking it is to do your first open mic, especially when so many established comics try & mislead you. I've listened to a lot of comics talk about how badly they bombed their first time on stage, but I think they're just being modest. Like the way models always say they were the ugly duckling in school and no guys would talk to them. They want you to believe that men finding them attractive is something that just started last week. Like until last Friday, men saw them as the physical equivalent of Melissa McCarthy.

Now, that's a hard-luck dating story that I would believe. I could totally see Melissa McCarthy preparing for a date, alone in her apartment on a Friday night, the table set for two over candlelight. The doorbell rings, and she eagerly answers. "That's 2 large pepperonis and a 2-liter of Diet Coke, Ma'am." (McCarthy voice) "Why, yes it is. Aren't you observant? You know if you don't have any other deliveries, there's enough here for two."

From there I close the bit with even though I suspect I've been tricked, I've finally gotten to the point where I'm willing to give it a try because I basically don't give a F what other people think anymore. Then, I transition into a bit about how teenagers and early 20 somethings, millennials, always play up how they don't give a F what other people think. Yet, they post pictures with the hashtag "no filter" that clearly have come after several minutes of primping in front of the mirror, and how you've never heard anyone over the age of 60 ask you, "How do I look in this?" and delve into the ways the elderly are truly the ones who don't give a F what other people think of them.

Last edited by PuddinOnHatz; 06-12-2015 at 12:35 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:28 AM   #55
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

If you are going to do a bit about one of the biggest movie stars in the world, you should probably know her name.
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:34 AM   #56
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

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If you are going to do a bit about one of the biggest movie stars in the world, you should probably know her name.
Excellent point. However, I wasn't going to get up there and pronounce it like hockey great Darren "McCarty", so it wouldn't of been a problem in actuality.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:08 AM   #57
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

that is really hard to follow, instead of "first ill say xxx, then ill continue with yyy" just put down any final form that people can give feedback to
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:23 AM   #58
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

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that is really hard to follow, instead of "first ill say xxx, then ill continue with yyy" just put down any final form that people can give feedback to
Sorry, I was just trying to condense the intro to get into the payoff quicker. Also, I haven't worked out that part of the phrasing yet. The basic idea is comics lie about bombing on stage their first time. Sometimes they'll tell some of their material from their first time on stage, and I'll think "****! That's funny." Which is comparable to models lying about how no one found them attractive when they were younger.

I think this is going to be my biggest struggle (phrasing & transitions). But, I'm also prepared to suck my first several times on stage. Because I know that's the only way I'm going to really get my timing and rhythm down. Maybe I need to scrap the whole thing, and just open with a line like, "Have you ever thought about how difficult getting a date is for a woman of size?"
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:36 AM   #59
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Here's one of my other bits:

Women are so picky these days. Jesus Christ could literally walk up to a girl in a bar, and she would shoot him down. "What sign are you? A Capricorn. Oh no, I'm a Gemini. We just would never work together. And your beard is so 2013. Who wears Birkenstocks anymore?"

I think there's a joke to be had about his 12 disciples following him everywhere he goes, or that he still lives with his parents, but I haven't found the right phrasing for it yet.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:36 AM   #60
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:43 AM   #61
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

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Dr. Spaceman,

Ok great. Thank you very much. By the way, I just watched your set tonight, and I was very impressed. Especially with your quick-witted response about "She must be from Jersey." I'm guessing outbursts like that are the most difficult aspect of doing a set? Oh, and I skimmed through YTF's thread, but I should go back and read it all.

Okay, so here goes nothing. So my premise for this joke. I'll open by saying how nerve-racking it is to do your first open mic, especially when so many established comics try & mislead you. I've listened to a lot of comics talk about how badly they bombed their first time on stage, but I think they're just being modest. Like the way models always say they were the ugly duckling in school and no guys would talk to them. They want you to believe that men finding them attractive is something that just started last week. Like until last Friday, men saw them as the physical equivalent of Melissa McCarthy.

Now, that's a hard-luck dating story that I would believe. I could totally see Melissa McCarthy preparing for a date, alone in her apartment on a Friday night, the table set for two over candlelight. The doorbell rings, and she eagerly answers. "That's 2 large pepperonis and a 2-liter of Diet Coke, Ma'am." (McCarthy voice) "Why, yes it is. Aren't you observant? You know if you don't have any other deliveries, there's enough here for two."

From there I close the bit with even though I suspect I've been tricked, I've finally gotten to the point where I'm willing to give it a try because I basically don't give a F what other people think anymore. Then, I transition into a bit about how teenagers and early 20 somethings, millennials, always play up how they don't give a F what other people think. Yet, they post pictures with the hashtag "no filter" that clearly have come after several minutes of primping in front of the mirror, and how you've never heard anyone over the age of 60 ask you, "How do I look in this?" and delve into the ways the elderly are truly the ones who don't give a F what other people think of them.
The premise is good, and I like the example of the models talking about being ugly, but I think you should cut out the act out with Melissa McCarthy ordering dinner. Instead just do a couple examples of the things models say ("I was so ugly in high school. My hair was 2 inches shorter and I wore glasses"). It's a little risky to do this joke because it'll be awkward if you're talking about how comics don't always bomb their first time while you are bombing your first time. Have a line that you can use if this material falls flat to call attention to that. So if you're getting crickets, then pause for a few moments, soak in the silence, and say "or maybe those comics were telling the truth."

Quote:
Here's one of my other bits:

Women are so picky these days. Jesus Christ could literally walk up to a girl in a bar, and she would shoot him down. "What sign are you? A Capricorn. Oh no, I'm a Gemini. We just would never work together. And your beard is so 2013. Who wears Birkenstocks anymore?"

I think there's a joke to be had about his 12 disciples following him everywhere he goes, or that he still lives with his parents, but I haven't found the right phrasing for it yet.
Another good premise, but the examples aren't strong enough. Try something where the girl is like "I'm just looking for a man who is humble, and giving, and would sacrifice himself for the ones he loves." And he's like, "I'm Jesus." And she's like "Yeah, and also someone who is rich, well dressed and good looking."

12 disciples cock blocking him is another good angle to take.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:57 AM   #62
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

voted a bunch more
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:07 AM   #63
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Spaceman,

You're amazing. That was really good feedback. The direction you took the Jesus trying to ask out girls joke went from a half-hearted chuckle to a full belly laugh. Do you mind if I use that?

Models exaggerating their dating struggles might get a couple of chuckles/laughs, but it's not what's funny to me about that bit. I think it'd be like "So, these peanuts they give you on airplanes..." What had me cracking up when I thought of that joke was the idea of an overweight woman who's so desperate for a date that she intentionally orders delivery just so a guy will come to her front door, and she tries to lure him in with food. Like if an overweight female comedian were to do the joke, do you think it would be funny from her perspective? Maybe it just comes off as mean & cruel if I'm the one calling her fat & desperate.

Seems like there's a lot of us here who either are doing stand up, want to try stand up, or really enjoy stand up. Maybe we should do a thread about the other aspects of comedy. For example, I was watching Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee last night and Steve Harvey was the guest. He and Jerry both said that comedy isn't something you can work on and get better. They were just born with an eye for comedy. I've heard other comics say different, and by & large, I disagree with that too. I think there's a lot of topics along those lines we all could discuss. Is anyone interested?

Thanks again for your insights Spaceman! Just voted again for you, btw.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:08 AM   #64
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Just voted for you Leonid. Gl!
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:12 AM   #65
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Spaceman,

Oh yeah, I meant to ask you about this. Also, Noodle if you see this, I'd like your opinion too. You guys have seen a lot of first timers get up for open mics. What you said about my 2 examples is about what I expected (or at least hoped for). Which is that they were funny premises, but the phrasing or other structural elements weren't there and would cause the bit to fall flat.

Is that a lot of what you see from first timers, or do you see a lot of first timers that go into more insane ramblings that leave you asking yourself, "What did they ever think was funny about this?"?

Thanks again.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:34 AM   #66
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

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voted a bunch more
Thanks!

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Spaceman,

You're amazing. That was really good feedback. The direction you took the Jesus trying to ask out girls joke went from a half-hearted chuckle to a full belly laugh. Do you mind if I use that?

Models exaggerating their dating struggles might get a couple of chuckles/laughs, but it's not what's funny to me about that bit. I think it'd be like "So, these peanuts they give you on airplanes..." What had me cracking up when I thought of that joke was the idea of an overweight woman who's so desperate for a date that she intentionally orders delivery just so a guy will come to her front door, and she tries to lure him in with food. Like if an overweight female comedian were to do the joke, do you think it would be funny from her perspective? Maybe it just comes off as mean & cruel if I'm the one calling her fat & desperate.

Seems like there's a lot of us here who either are doing stand up, want to try stand up, or really enjoy stand up. Maybe we should do a thread about the other aspects of comedy. For example, I was watching Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee last night and Steve Harvey was the guest. He and Jerry both said that comedy isn't something you can work on and get better. They were just born with an eye for comedy. I've heard other comics say different, and by & large, I disagree with that too. I think there's a lot of topics along those lines we all could discuss. Is anyone interested?

Thanks again for your insights Spaceman! Just voted again for you, btw.
Sure, you can use those suggestions. I think the fat woman ordering delivery to meet a man maybe has a chance to work if it's formulated as a joke. As an acted out dialogue, I just don't see that working. But then again, I don't know your style and maybe you can pull it off.

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Just voted for you Leonid. Gl!
Spasibo!

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Spaceman,

Oh yeah, I meant to ask you about this. Also, Noodle if you see this, I'd like your opinion too. You guys have seen a lot of first timers get up for open mics. What you said about my 2 examples is about what I expected (or at least hoped for). Which is that they were funny premises, but the phrasing or other structural elements weren't there and would cause the bit to fall flat.

Is that a lot of what you see from first timers, or do you see a lot of first timers that go into more insane ramblings that leave you asking yourself, "What did they ever think was funny about this?"?

Thanks again.
I'd say most first timers have problems with joke structure and coming up with interesting punchlines. A lot of them are way too vulgar, which is also a problem. I don't know how many are insane ramblers -- those are usually more seasoned open mic guys, rather than first timers, although I guess they had to start somewhere.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:36 AM   #67
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

I just voted a bunch of times for you. Good luck Ryan!

Last edited by niss; 06-12-2015 at 11:36 AM. Reason: LOL ... maybe I should go to open mic night with the Pudding guy
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:51 AM   #68
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

niss,

I'm going to give it a shot the week after next Wednesday. I live in Dallas, and the Hyena's at Mockingbird Station hosts open mic nights on Wednesdays. It would be awesome if you came along too. Not sure what area of the country you live in, though.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:01 PM   #69
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Voted at least 20 times today.

I showed the link to a few friends and they thought you were clearly the best. You'll prob be getting several votes from them too if they can remember. Damn stoners.
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:26 PM   #70
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Puddin, Hyena's open mic is a good choice for your first time, I actually like the crowds better there as they are less "urban" than at the Improv. They will give you the light at 4 minutes and as a first timer that can be distracting, so I suggest trying to time your set to maybe 3 1/2 minutes if you think the light might interrupt your train of thought. But since you are going one week to watch before performing you can decide if that is good advice or not.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:21 PM   #71
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

In ten years we're all going to be bragging that we shared a small sub-forum with Elon Altman.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:56 AM   #72
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

I watched your entire video and skimmed through the other nine. Didn't laugh once but you were probably the best of the bunch. They were all pretty terrible.
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:47 AM   #73
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PuddinOnHatz View Post
Spaceman,

Oh yeah, I meant to ask you about this. Also, Noodle if you see this, I'd like your opinion too. You guys have seen a lot of first timers get up for open mics. What you said about my 2 examples is about what I expected (or at least hoped for). Which is that they were funny premises, but the phrasing or other structural elements weren't there and would cause the bit to fall flat.

Is that a lot of what you see from first timers, or do you see a lot of first timers that go into more insane ramblings that leave you asking yourself, "What did they ever think was funny about this?"?

Thanks again.
First timers tend to not realize that a funny premise does not make a bit. So many open mic'ers just talk about funny things that happened to them recently, but they don't really do anything with it. Sure, a funny idea will get your first laugh, but then what? You need to explore the idea. Find something to compare it to. Do an act out. What other areas in life would this funny thing that happened not work? Hypotheticals.

A lot of people go up there with an idea of what they want to talk about and hope that by riffing on stage in front of an audience that they'll find the funny things to say. And sometimes they do. But the majority of the time they don't. It takes special individuals who are performance level witty off the cuff to be able to consistently find the gold in this manner.

When I find a new bit, I work it at home. I'll talk about it out loud and see what other thoughts come out of it. Once I do it at a mic, I'll break it down and find new ways to completely rephrase jokes or ideas. Figuring out when to move onto a new beat, when to sacrifice a joke for the sake of the flow of a bit, when an idea has been fully fleshed out and any more would be repeating yourself, etc. etc. It takes a lot of time to develop this skill (and obviously it's never perfected).

I have so many bits that I've struggled with to get just right, and sometimes I need to try something completely different. I've had 3 minute bits that I suddenly woke up one day and had an epiphany that I just need to turn it into a one liner. And vice versa, I've had one liners that just don't hit that hard that I then had an idea to try it as an act out bit, and it killed.

Seinfeld is both right and wrong when it comes to getting better. It's just like anything. Talent plus practice makes it a skill. Of COURSE practice makes you better at it. But it takes a comedic sensibility (I suppose this could be called talent? idunno, I'm not really a fan of that word but whatever) to get a sense of the kinds of things i was talking about above.

I have comic friends who I'll run a bit by, because I'm stuck on a certain way to get an idea across, and they'll have the answer for me immediately. And I am sometimes able to do that for them. Sometimes, a fresh perspective is all it takes, because when you roll an idea over in your mind over and over and do it at a thousand open mics, you can lose your sense for it.

It really is amazing though, how so many open mic comics do the exact same thing ad infinitum, and never improve upon their delivery style or ability to recognize how to construct a bit.

A word of advice: have actual jokes in your material. Not necessarily set up punchline, but have actual parts of what you say be intended to elicit laughs. Most beginners just talk about something that is overall kinda amusing, but doesn't have any actual intended laughs, so they don't get any.

Also, don't be discouraged if you don't get any laughs. Open mics, ironically, are the worst possible place to get a sense of what is working based on audience reaction. Most mics are other comedians, who are either working their own material in their head, or on their phones, or getting up regularly to get another drink, or they don't want to laugh at you because they're miserable losers, or it's their third mic of the night and they're burned out because they've been listening to 5 hours of bad open mic stand up already. The mic is for you to hone your own sense of what is working, by putting it in the actual forum that the art form takes place in. You can only do so much saying the routine out loud at home.

Definitely report back! Maybe we do need a new thread?
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:06 AM   #74
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

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I watched your entire video and skimmed through the other nine. Didn't laugh once but you were probably the best of the bunch. They were all pretty terrible.
This is an example of the exact question I raised in the Talking Funny thread. I think some of the responses to Spaceman in this thread have been a little exaggerated, just because he's a forum regular & well liked. But, watching the entire video and not laughing once is clearly wrong, well going too far in the other direction. But, that was the question I raised in the other thread. I use to get upset with other people who put down comics that I liked. Now, I think it's more of a taste thing. Like the way pizza is awesome, but some rare people don't like it because they don't like tomato sauce or whatever.

On the other hand, I wonder if people that don't recognize the humor in a good stand up's act are just not paying attention or if they have unrealistic expectations. It's hard to know because I never read a comment that goes, "I never laughed once. I think you missed on x, y, or z when you tried to execute this bit." There's never an explanation, which has me question the person's judgement. I mean, what is funny? George Carlin's "Baseball vs Football" bit or Chris Rock's "Difference between Black people & N-words"? Does a stand up act have to be on that insanely high level, or it's not funny?

Jon Hamm talked about that recently on some podcast (I can't remember which), and I think he's spot on. We live in a day and age where everyone feels like a self-appointed critic because they have 500 Facebook friends. In order to get everyone's attention things have to either be in one of two categories. They have to be the best movie of all time or the biggest P.O.S. movie ever. No one can go see a movie like say "Identity Thief" and say "It was alright. I laughed a few times."

DPC, I'm not trying to rip you, so I hope you don't take it that way. I guess, I've come to the realization that comedy is just polarizing in this way. But, I'd be curious to know which stand up bits you do like, who your favorite comics are, just for a reference point. And also what in particular you didn't like about Elon's stand up. Personally, I thought two-thirds of it was really funny & original/creative. I thought about one-third of it was formulatic & predictable, what I would call "chuckle" humor. But even that one-third I thought was okay, just not great. Moreover, reading through the comedy threads in this forum, I've been very impressed at how good Elon is at reworking another poster's idea. He's taken ideas that were not funny & made them very funny, within a few minutes of seeing the post I'd imagine. That's a skill that few people have.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:25 AM   #75
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Re: I'm in the finals of a national TV comedy search! Now I need your vote, OOT!

DD,

Wow. Just wow. Thank you for all of that wonderful feedback. I live in the Dallas area, and on a Wednesday night there are only two open mics that I'm aware of. Although, there could be more because I just became aware of the second one a few days ago via this forum. But, one open mic is in Arlington and plays to an urban crowd; while the other is in Dallas and plays to a more mixed crowd. I don't know what to expect, but I don't anticipate the audience will be filled with a lot of open mic'ers who are bored because it's their 3rd or 4th open mic of the night. I'm thinking the audience will be at least one-third regular folks just out to see comedy that night. But who knows.

Quote:
Sure, a funny idea will get your first laugh, but then what? You need to explore the idea. Find something to compare it to. Do an act out. What other areas in life would this funny thing that happened not work? Hypotheticals.
This is the only comedic tactic that I know. Not saying I know it well or anything, it's just the terms in which I most often think. Like I have an idea for a bit that I'm trying to work up right now that riffs on rappers. "Rappers always think they're so witty because they make the most basic connections. Like, I balanced my checkbook today. I call that checks & balances." I'm trying to tie it to going to the doctor's office. He diagnosis you with a common ailment, like the cold & flu, writes you a prescription, and says, "I call that X & Y!" And in a way that shows he's clearly impressed with himself. So, that's the way I'm working currently. As you can tell I need a lot of practice with it.

I started another thread to talk about the mechanics & theory of comedy, called Talking Funny. I got that from the HBO special where Seinfeld, Rock, Louis C.K., and Gervais all talk about comedy. One poster said he opened the thread and thought it would be about a guy struggling with a weird voice. I need a mod to change it to Talking Funny (Comedy Discussion), so more people know what it's about. I'm going to go over there and make a post about the different comic tactics/strategies that I've seen and like. Would love your feedback on that topic too. Thanks again for all of the advice you passed along.
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