I realized the other night I listen to comics the way I listen to songs. I'm hearing the rhythm and melody first. If that doesn't hook me, I probably won't even pay attention to the lyrics.
The comic equivalent: I don't pay attention to the words if the delivery is weak (no confidence, no timing, no selling the jokes, etc.) Especially if it's one of those shows where there's a bunch of meh comics. If you don't sound like you're worth paying attention to, I'm tuning you out. It's self-defense, really.
A good comic sounds like a good comic. Listen to Chappelle or Galifianakis and they just sound funny. Take out the words and you still know where the jokes fall. Here's a clip of French comedian Raymond Devos:
I have pretty much no idea what he's talking about. But he still seems way funnier than most of the tepid comics at NYC open mics.
Sandpaper Suit is NYC standup comic Matt Ruby's (now defunct) comedy blog. Keep in touch: Sign up for Matt's weekly Rubesletter. Email email@example.com.
The way a comic sounds
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