I was getting people to clap, but I reached a point where I never wanted to get people to clap, because it was, like you said, pandering. But there's a difference between a clap and a laugh. A laugh is involuntary, but the crowd is in complete control when they're clapping, they're saying, "we agree with what you're saying-proceed!" But when they're laughing, they're genuinely surprised. And when they're not laughing, they're really surprised. And sometimes I think, in my little head, that that's the best comedy of all.
He also talks about why he doesn't do the same set every night.
If you want to say the same thing every night of your life, if that's what you want to choose to do with your life, that seems completely insane to me. Like, I don't even know how singers do that shit. Plus is becomes so rote that unless you're the greatest actor in the world, you can't pretend like it's just coming off the top of your head. I'm probably the worst actor in the world, so I need something new all the time. I need stuff that makes me laugh, and old stuff doesn't make me laugh. And also I'm embarrassed. Like, you know when you tell a person a story that you've already told them before? That's embarrassing, right? So I would be embarrassed by it, but mostly I would be driven insane by the repetition.
I often thought comics that weave and bob onstage — alternating between crowdwork, riffing, and material — have more fun than guys who just go out and do mostly the same set every night. Comics who come to mind: Todd Barry, Todd Lynn, Patrice O'Neal, Jimmy Pardo, etc.
That approach prob sets ya back a bit when it comes to churning out albums and TV specials. But ya probably enjoy the ride along the way a lot more.