Tired: Comedy that's based on awkwardness, uncomfortable silences, interviews between people who don't like each other, etc. Sure, we all love The Office and Curb but they preceded all these Burger King commercials and web series that cover the same territory. The genre now comes off as a photocopy of a photocopy of something that was funny.
In NYC, you spend the first few years performing for other comics. But comics suck as audience members. They're usually bitter, jaded, comedy fatigued, and/or not paying attention. I'd say each real audience member is worth about three comics in the crowd (i.e. I'd rather perform in front of five real audience members than 15 comics).
I crack up when I see comics tell one joke and then look at their notes. If you have to look at notes after only one joke, what the fuck are you doing up there? You've got to be able to remember at least two jokes. If you smoke that much weed, at least start writing notes on your hand so it's a little subtle. (Confession: I do the hand thing sometimes. But it's mostly a mental crutch since I wind up not even checking it 80% of the time.)
Overheard: The entire audience at the second round of Last Comic Standing performances in NYC was made up of soap opera actors. And Live at Gotham tapings had smoke machines to make the venue look more "clubby" on camera. Reality tv that's fake!? It's like Captain Renault in the casino in Casablanca: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here."
Emo Phillips on Comical Radio: "You can't teach standup comedy. If you could, you would see a lot more Asians doing it. We need the live response from the audience. It's a messy, chaotic, wonderful, exciting thing."
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 4/09/2008