Audience member gets sick of personal material

Email exchange with Mark after a recent show...

Me:

my friend who likes comedy was there. interesting to hear his take on the night. he said my set was diff than other comics 'cuz i was the only one who "didn't just talk about his own asshole all night." funny to hear that. we always hear "be more personal" but to this guy it was a turnoff that people just talked about their own lives and nothing else. maybe there's something to the idea that mixing observational and personal is a nicer blend than going all one or the other.


Mark:

I totally agree with your friend. I mean, somewhat. I hate when comics just go up and talk about themselves. I think it can be great but you've gotta talk abt the world around you. to me that's the point of doing comedy. If I talk about myself I try to make it super relatable. When I say my gf had a pregnancy scare that is to set up a joke about babies, not my life.

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3 Comment(s)

Blogger Mo Diggs said...

Personal material is fine. Self-indulgent navel gazing bullshit is unacceptable.

4/17/09, 1:53 PM  
Blogger myq said...

Also, without any further context, it seems relevant that you were the ONLY person not doing just personal material.

It can certainly do a comedy show good to have more variety of comedians on it...

A whole lineup of one-liner comedians might get tiresome as well, even if they're all great joke-writers.

Likewise a lineup of all strictly observational acts (which might make audience members YEARN for someone to just talk about their own asshole).

I mean, I'm might be too far removed from the mentality of a regular audience member myself, but when I'm watching a show, I just want to see the funniest people saying the funniest things about whatever.

Be observational if you want, be personal if you want, be a combination, be whatever as long as you're being funny and being yourself (or whatever your stage character is).


PS Mark, you say you hate when comics "just go up and talk about themselves" without also talking about the world around them? What exactly do you mean? Can you give examples? What kind of jokes are these?

Is it like "I have brown eyes and I keep them closed. I have no sense of smell and I'm depressed. I don't go anywhere because I don't acknowledge other places."

(If anyone wants to try out this new character that actually recognizes nothing outside him/herself, be my guest.)

PPS I do mean to be sincere about this question.

4/18/09, 10:10 AM  
Anonymous londoncalling said...

It's when newer acts use the stage as some sort of therapy That I start to cringe .It's not primal scream it's comedy the only person who find your "issues" interesting is you and your therapist .
Write some jokes F.F.S and stop being so self indulgent .We don't care , seriously we don't .

4/19/09, 3:58 AM  


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