One big factor to that: How confident you are in the bit. A joke's working and you feel good about it and everything's great. But after a while you either get tired or lazy or something is off and it doesn't do as well. You start doubting it. But then a good crowd or giving it a rest breathes in new life. It's all a bit strange. Goes to show how much of this game is about delivery and confidence. Material certainly helps, but it ain't everything.
Similarly, I've noticed the key test for a new joke is the third and fourth times telling it. Sometimes you get laughs off a new idea just because it's new. You're excited to try it and your delivery sounds fresh (maybe it's something you're just riffing even). But then, when you've told it a few times, it starts to go downhill. Once the adrenaline and energy of a new idea are gone, you see if it's really got legs.
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 1/02/2009