Stand up comedy.

on Monday, 16 April 2012
I'm a big fan of stand up comedy, ever since I was a little kid watching the likes of Ben Elton on TV and listening to my mother's Bill Hicks LPs. Yes, I'm getting old. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered "comedian". It's true, I enjoyed and still enjoy making people laugh, but I think the comedy is not the main reason why I love stand up comedy so much.

As I've grown older and absorbed books by the hundreds, I've developed a real passion for language that I think was always burgeoning under the surface. For me, stand up comedians display incredible wordsmithing, and all the best test out new material, gauge its reaction and go away and re-write, test and re-write until it's perfect; until the sentences are structured to flow perfectly, giving the audience the right pause to laugh in, delivering the punchline at just the right moment.

I really admire that, the mastery over language, and the immediate reward you get for it. With creative writing it can be a long time before you get any kind of feedback on what you've written from your audience, but with stand up comedy they're right there in front of you.

If you're not following me, watch this video of George Carlin and let me know what you think:

That monologue gives me goosebumps every time. I miss ya, George.

I don't think I'll ever follow my childhood dreams of being a famous comedian, since I have the charisma of a damp cloth, but I still get immense enjoyment out of stand up shows. Who's your favourite stand up?


Anonymous said...

I couldn't do comedy because of George Carlin. He was brilliant. I would never be able to top him.

happyhacker said...

I typically dislike stand-up in it's entirety, but there a few whom have been able to grace my evening list of shows.

Robin Williams live on broadway, George Carlin, and every once in a great while Carlos Mencia.

Mark said...

That monologue was absolutely amazing. I miss George Carlin is a legend, gone too soon :( I love stand up comedy but I don't think I've ever thought on it as much as you have.

teganwilson said...

happyhacker: I loved Robin Williams as a kid, I remember he'd have me in absolute stitches, I'd watch anything with him in it.

Old Kitty said...

I went to a comedy club once (in the west end - early 1990's - yes I am also that old! LOL!) and there was one guy who just wasn't funny and after deathly silence when his jokes fell flat, people startled heckling and he was boo-ed off stage eventually and I just remember feeling very very very sorry for him. Being funny is truly a skill but getting up on stage infront of strangers for me is totally awe inspiring even if what you deliver turns out to be less than!

Take care

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