I was talking to another comic the other night about this. I think he is a really strong writer. But I said I'd like to see him be weirder onstage.
See, he's already got a kinda geeky persona and I think it'd endear him to audiences if he went even further with it.
His response was something like "I've got some far out jokes that I don't tell because I'm scared they're too weird. So maybe I'll try them."
I explained that I wasn't talking about weird jokes, I was talking about acting weird. Embracing silliness. Dressing funny, talking funny, moving funny, whatever.
I think he got where I'm coming from but I'm not sure. The thing is when you're a writer, you always think writing is the answer: "If I want to be weirder, I should write weirder jokes."
But sometimes there's only so far writing can take you. I wasn't talking to this comic about writing weirder, I was talking about acting weirder.
I mentioned Zach Galifianakis as an example. The beard, the illfitting polo shirts, the random temper tantrums, etc. They're all there for a reason. Zach is a brilliant writer. But he also acts and looks really funny too. Emo Phillips is another example of a great writer who looks and sounds kooky.
Standup is two trains: writing and performing. If you're not using both of them effectively, you're doing it with one hand tied behind your back.
Permalink | 6/05/2008