The backstory: Years ago, Crystal killed one night in front of a famous manager and then asked the agent what he thought. The agent told him he was effective, but not good. He said Crystal's own personality was missing — he didn't leave a tip.
You didn't do anything personal or unexpected. There was no risk taking. A comedian's job is to take risks, and you're playing it too safe. Don't be afraid to fail. And don't ever forget, 'Leave that tip.'
Interesting. My top priority is always laughs. Then, it's how much do I actually care about what I'm saying. But this "how much you is there in there?" thing is def a good factor to throw into the equation too.
Maybe it's even worth shifting priorities and going with something personal even if it's not getting huge laughs. I'm reluctant to do that (esp in shorter sets) but I can see how leaving an audience with a feeling, a piece of who you really are, can get you further than giving 'em laughs that are forgotten by the time they get home.
Plus, being memorable is key too. Anyone can get laughs. You're the only one that can deliver you.