Tonight's Hot Soup: Popp, Bargatze, McCaffrey, and Drucker

Tonight's show features Jesse Popp, Nate Bargatze, Tom McCaffrey, and Mike Drucker.

Every Friday
Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8
Happy hour drink prices
Professor Thom's (upstairs room)
219 2nd Ave between 13th and 14th St. (map)
With Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope
Join the Hot Soup Facebook Group


The side of the majority isn't funny

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."
-Mark Twain

I think it's true for standup too. Are you arguing something that everyone in the room already agrees with? Then who cares? And how funny is it if everyone already feels the same way?

I'd much rather hear you defend something horrible. Or something that everyone is on the other side of. At least then you'll be interesting. And that tension is a lot more likely to result in something funny.

I love during this set when CK says, "What other terrible things to defend?" (about 7:40 in). It comes in between him defending terrorists and explaining when it's ok to rape someone. Yeah, sounds terrible on paper. But that's why it's funny.

Along the same lines, Chris Rock says offending people is part of being an artist:

"Somebody should always be offended," Rock says. "Somebody in your life should always be like, 'Why did you have to do that?' Always. That's just being a real artist. That's the difference between Scorsese and Disney."

Maybe I like that idea so much because of how little I respect people who get offended. What is that even about? If someone says something that's wrong, then they're wrong. That means they're stupid and why would you get worked up about that? Just pity their foolishness.

And if they say something that's true, then, well, it's true. You may not like it but it's the truth so what can you do about it? If you get offended by the truth, life must be a real pain in the ass. Either way, being offended seems silly.


Schtick or Treat is this Wednesday (10/28)

Two days away from the big show where 30+ NYC comedians come together to perform as their favorite comedy legends. Full details, lineup, ticket info for the show here. If you can't make it out, Bowery Poetry Club will be streaming a live broadcast of the event online. You can watch it here.

Also: Thanks to everyone who came out to Hot Soup on Friday. Show was a big success (standing room only) and all the comics had great sets. I think we got a good thing cooking. Next one will be this Friday (10/30) at Professor Thom's. Same time: 7:30pm doors, 8pm show. Full Hot Soup details/address here. Come on out.


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Hot Soup, new Manhattan show, debuts this Friday

Hot news! I'm co-producing a new weekly show and it's in the East Village. No schlepping to LIC for this one, yeah! It'll be Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, David Cope, and myself (all very funny, great guys) putting it on and we'll be booking the best standups in the city every week. And it's FREE. Every Friday at Professor Thom's (upstairs room). That's at 219 2nd Ave (between 13th and 14th St) in the East Village. Doors at 7:30pm and showtime at 8pm.

Join the Hot Soup Facebook Group

Every Friday
Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8
Professor Thom's (upstairs room)
219 2nd Ave between 13th and 14th St. (map)
With Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope

And here's more of my upcoming dates (calendar)...

10/20 11pm Show @ Comic Strip Live
10/21 7:30pm We're Nice People @ Parkside Lounge
10/23 8pm Hot Soup! @ Professor Thom's
10/25 8pm Sunday Night Standup (hosting) @ Three of Cups Lounge
10/26 8pm A Case of the Mondaze @ Manchester Pub
10/27 9pm Donkey Show @ Union Pool
10/28 7pm Schtick or Treat @ Bowery Poetry Club
10/30 8pm Hot Soup! @ Professor Thom's
10/30 9pm Almost Famous @ Village Lantern
11/03 9pm Symbology @ The Creek (LIC)


How do you know when your comedic character has arrived?

Some questions from a reader:

1) What would you consider the best way to get feedback on your performance/material when you don't really know the other comics that you perform with regularly? I've been doing stand-up for almost two years, maybe three nights a week, at best. I know most comics by recognition because we perform regularly together but I don't have the family-like rapport the other comics have with each other. Aside from my girlfriend and a few random suggestions from strangers, I don't feel like I have the steady feedback that most other open mic comics get from each other. Thoughts?

Um, three nights a week for two years and you don't have rapport with any other comics? That's a problem. Start making friends. Comedy is pretty tough if you take a lone shark attitude. Find at least a couple of people who you respect and get to know 'em. You need allies in this game. In fact, I think the first few years is basically you trying to impress other comics and just using the crowd as a means to do that.

2) Recently, you posted something from Brian Kiley on trying to find your comedic character. I'm still trying to figure out what my gimmick is as a performer. Right now, I think I'm a grad student in a relationship who likes to gives random musings on what I find to be ridiculous. I don't know if the audience buys into it though. How do you know when your character has arrived? Does the audience tell you? Other comics?

I think the audience tells you with laughs. Also, other comics might be able to point out "this sounds like you." Like Mark will sometimes tell me a joke sounds "very Ruby" which can be a good pointer that it's something "in character" or however you wanna say it.

And fwiw: "I'm a grad student in a relationship who likes to gives random musings on what I find to be ridiculous"...This seems way too generic to be your comedic character. Try harder to figure out what's really unique about you or what you say on stage.

3) Lastly, what is the general rule on injecting esoteric references into your material? One of my favorite comics is Patton Oswalt and I would say that random cultural and literary allusions is 75% of his act. My mind operates the same way too but I always either a) get scared because of the audience demographic or b) psyche myself out on whether its funny or not. I just wanted to get your takes on this.

No general rule that I know of. Try it. If people laugh, great. If not, maybe it's a bad idea. Or maybe you need to find a different audience. One thing to keep in mind: If you rely too much on pop culture or specific niche references, you can limit the scope of people who get you. That's not a grand idea for someone just starting out.

And btw, I disagree that those kind of references are 75% of Patton's act. People like him and Dennis Miller certainly get esoteric, but there's a lot of stuff along the way that ANYONE can understand too.

Do you also want to get advice about standup from someone who is almost totally unqualified to give answers? Then send your questions to me at matt@mruby.com.


Divorce Magazine?

magAttention fans of gag gifts! Know a married couple? Hoots guaranteed when ya subscribe one of the partners to Divorce Magazine. Just imagine the conversations that will follow the first issue's arrival in the mailbox.

Married already? Next time ya get in a fight with the spouse, just sit on the couch and leisurely read a copy. That's sure to settle things down in a hurry.

Also, note the mag's tagline at the site: Help for generation "ex" — because everyone knows: Divorce = a great time to pull out the puns.

[Thx TE]


Comedy clubs vs. rock clubs

Eugene Mirman discusses doing comedy in rock clubs in a couple of old interviews...

1. Stay Free! interviews Eugene Mirman

STAY FREE!: That brings me to a whole other thing, which is that you went on a rock tour.

MIRMAN: I really like playing rock clubs, but it can be more work if an audience doesn't know you.

STAY FREE!: The comedy shows you host are structured more like rock shows than comedy. At the crappy comedy clubs here, they make the comedians bring X number of people before they're allowed to perform.

MIRMAN: Well, that's a "bringer" show. None of the people I know do those shows anymore, or would ever. That's when you're starting out. I find it easier to get on Conan O'Brien than to perform regularly at some of the clubs here, so I just don't really try anymore. Not that I tried that hard.

STAY FREE!: So it wasn't really a complex thought process of, "Oh, I'm not going to run my shows like that because that's lame."

MIRMAN: Right. When people ask me to perform at clubs, or if I audition for something, I'll go to a club, but also it's different in New York than in Boston. When I was in Boston, there were three comedy clubs. In most clubs you start as an opener, then you're a "middler," and then you're a headliner, and there's this system. But the system seems pointless and depressing. Here it's kind of different, because there's just a bunch of people performing for 20 minutes at a time at a club, as opposed to an opener. Anyway, the point is that rock clubs and alternative spaces are, for me, just as good if not better exposure, they're fun, and you make more money. The argument against it is that it doesn't exist. You have to make it. That's what's inconvenient about it. You have to create your own thing, which I personally enjoy.

2. Dead-Frog interviews Eugene

Also when I was talking to Mike, I told him that his material is equally at home at some place like “Invite Them Up” and at a comedy club. Do you feel the same way about your own material?

What I feel in terms of comedy clubs is that some are great and some are not, but I’d rather just draw my own audience that wants to see me. If I’m in a comedy club, it’s good in a sense that you do get other random people. But if you do it a rock club or a theater, the people who are coming to see it want to see you or someone you’re with or someone with a certain sensibility. Not to see comedy in general.

And the truth is I just want people to enjoy what I’m doing. I was supposed to do some shows in Vegas. And I was supposed to do eight and I only did two of them. And it was because it was a terrible mismatch. It was a weird bad room where there were people who were in respirators. But the point is they wanted to see entertainment and I would have gladly entertained them. It’s just that I didn’t have anything that they would really enjoy. So I’m just really just trying to find a way to do what I’d like to do.

But I’ve done sets with Patton (Oswalt) at Caroline’s and other stuff, but I’d just rather start my own night and have it always full and do things that I want to do, as opposed to figuring out how to break into some random place.

Why aren't more comics touring rock venues these days? Eugene, David Cross, Comedians of Comedy all did it a few years back. But I can't think of too many who are doing it now.


Video: "I Need Laughs: I Need Laughs (Part 6 of 7)"

Part 6 of "I Need Laughs: One week in the trenches of the New York underground comedy scene." No booked shows means open mic'ing. This clip has me trying out some new bits and talking with other comics about mics. And I drop by the Cellar for a minute too. Funny thing: Josh Comers, the guy who makes the "paying your dues" joke, is now a writer for Conan.

More of "I Need Laughs" (and details about it) here.


Do you need a manager?

Reader question:

Do you have a manager? Do you NEED a manager? There is a lot of confusion around the kind of help having management can offer. Does it really open doors? Or is it just a shortcut to a door you may eventually open yourself?

Things to consider:
Some comics book all of their own gigs (i.e. Elayne Boosler, "Comic Insights", Silman-James press)
Young people can rise quickly (i.e. Aziz Ansari, Donald Glover), getting big writing credits and cast into shows with big stars. Did they do it with the help of management?
I have heard that Saturday Night Live casting will not consider letting someone audition unless they have managment.

I do not have a manager (and no one's offered). Would I consider it? Sure. 15% of nothing is still nothing.

But, unless your career demands are overwhelming you (unlikely), I don't think you NEED one either. A good manager can def help open some doors. But lots of people have managers and get little/nothing as a result.

I guess I think the big misconception is that a manager can take a nobody and "make them" overnight. I think a good manager can take heat and make it hotter. But if you're doing nothing right now, I think it's unlikely that a manager will come in and turn you into an overnight sensation.

In reality, most people who think they "need a manager" probably should worry more about getting funnier. That's the best way to make things happen. Be undeniably good. Do that for long enough and good things will happen.


Bob Dylan thinks like a standup

This is a great clip from the Scorcese doc on Bob Dylan called "No Direction Home." The way he tosses out words/ideas here reminds me of how comics play with an idea, start talking out loud, mix things up, and hope something fun/surprising sneaks out.


More answers to Stupid Ass Questions

Below is the rest of my Q&A as resident expert over at Stupid Ass Questions the other week. They supply really dumb questions, I supply answers (question #1 here):

2. Dear Stupid Ass Questions: My toe hurts real bad. I stubbed it the other day and it still is killing me. Do you think I could go to the grocery store and have a bunch of cans fall off the shelf and say one got me on the toe? I don't have any medical insurance so it would be easier if someone else paid it instead. Also, I could ask for a little more just so I won’t sue them.

This is a great plan! Make sure you do it real slapstick like though. I want it to look like a Benny Hill episode! So bring your boombox (an iPod w/ speakers could work too) and play some silly music. Then start acting goofy. Like you might be unstable. Knock over a woman's cart! Yell "This is why the sky is yellow!" And then head for the peas. You can't just do cans of anything. Peas. Cans of peas. And then knock a ton of them off the shelf and roll around and imagine that you're Andy Dick or Mr. Bean or Geraldo Rivera. That's the way to pull off this caper. Caper, now there's a word that's not used often enough. Well, I guess the food word is used often enough. Funny how capers are these things you can put on a fish or this big scheme you try to pull off. I wonder if there's ever been a caper caper! You know, like a group of criminals gets together to pull off a big heist of a place that bottles capers. We could call it the Great Caper Caper. Everyone would need code names. And masks. Like in Reservoir Dogs or Point Break. Too bad Keanu wasn't in Reservoir Dogs. Like a virgin! Remember when they talked about that? That was a fun scene. May peas be with you!!!!

3. SAQ’s.com: I bought deodorant and still get b.o. all the time. My friends and family all make fun of me. Am I doing something wrong? Also, am I supposed to take the cap off when I use it? The instructions inside didn’t say to and I thought leaving the cap on would make it last longer.

Oh man. Wow. I know how you feel, man. I use products all the time without taking the cap off. Sometimes I brush my teeth and I just put the whole tube in my mouth. Or I'll drink apple juice but leave the cap on and really just lick the outside of the bottle. Also, I'll sometimes take a bottle of pills and swallow them all and try to commit suicide. But then I'll remember that I left the cap on. So I didn't really attempt suicide at all. But I tell everyone I did. That way they feel sorry for me. And I get attention. I like attention. Maybe it's because my parents didn't love me enough. They were off doing their own thing a lot. My dad wasn't really talkative, ya know? But I still love him. He'd take me to baseball games once in a while but he'd just sit there and read the newspaper the whole time. He didn't care about baseball. What I don't get is anti-perspirant. It actually makes me STOP sweating? That's weird. And it's all sticky and stuff. Nah, I'll take the regular old deodorant myself. I use Tom's of Maine deodorant. And toothpaste too. In fact, the other week someone asked me what kind of toothpaste I use. I meant to say Tom's of Maine but what came out of my mouth was "Uncle Tom's." That's a tough one to cover up. "Yeah, um, haven't you noticed that my teeth have been ACTING white lately???" So yeah, try taking that cap off and see if life changes. That's the only way to figure out stuff in life: Try it and see if the result is better than the other way. Science!

4. Stupidassquestions: A friend invited me for dinner but I don’t want to go. Her whole family eats with their mouths open and food goes flying everywhere including in my food. Couldn’t I get Aids from them? How do I politely get out of this disgusting and unsanitary dinner party?

Whoa, this family seems like a real piece of work. For one thing, they eat with their mouths open. For another thing, they have AIDS! Talk about 0 for 2. It's especially rude when people have diseases, I think. I wish they would stop doing that. Hey, disease boy! You know what you should try? Health! Yeah, try NOT having a disease. You ever think about that, tough guy? Why don't you just tell that disease "I'm not interested." Yeah, that's the way to deal with these things. There's a lyric in a Luna song that goes "Living with sick people makes me feel so strong." Maybe you should take advantage of this mouthtacular in order to feel better about yourself. You can just think of yourself as the best in the room at eating with your mouth closed and not having AIDS. Well, I don't know if you'd be the best in the room at not having AIDS. You would probably just be tied with everyone else in the room who doesn't have AIDS. It's kind of a binary thing. On or off. Zeroes and ones. That's the way I see the world. Black and white. No gray. How come sometimes you spell grey like that with an "e" and sometimes it's gray with an "a." I think the "e" way seems more British. Bad teeth! One time I told a joke about Scott Baio and there were two guys from England in the front row and one shouted out "Who's Scott Baio?" I asked, "Didn't you have Happy Days in England?" But they didn't know I meant the TV show Happy Days. To them, it sounded like I thought they had never had a single happy day in their entire lives. Because they didn't know who Scott Baio was. Like that would be such a crippling blow. "All this rain and no Chachi!? How will I go on?" Brits! Can't live with them, can't water their flowers unless they give you the key to their apartment.

5. Dear Stupid Ass Questions: A good client of mine is constantly sending me pictures of her children. God only knows why, I never indicated I wanted them. So far I have thrown them all away in the circular file. Just yesterday she calls and says she will be in the area and is stopping for a visit and place an order. Then she says, I have an adorable picture of the kids for you to add to your collection. Holy crap, what do I do?

Well, the first thing I need to know is what you do for a living. If your job is, say, putting together photo albums of people's children – well, maybe that's why she's sending you pictures of her children. Or maybe you're a plastic surgeon. Then she might be sending you photos of her kids hoping that you'll perform surgery on them some day. Boy, plastic surgery. That stuff really works. People get it and they look SO much better. They are taut. Like a sail in the wind. Full speed ahead! And botox. That's a fun one. I think they put the stuff that makes you sick when cans have dents in them into a needle and then inject it into your skin. Me, I can't stand needles. I hate doctors too. I once had a cat that hated going to the vet. He'd make quite a ruckus when we took him! He also liked to bite strangers who came into our house. But he'd lure them into it by circling around their ankles and waiting until they tripped over him. And then he'd bite them. I always thought that was very thoughtful of him. To entrap them into "the first punch." His name was Couscous. No, not named after the food. Named after Inspector Couscous from a Richard Scarry story. He was a dog that dressed up like a dancer to foil a crime syndicate. Cross dressing in a little kids story. Don't see that everyday. My little nephew reads Richard Scarry now. This kid is funny. He saw his mom drinking something and asked what it was. She replied, "Red wine." He said, "Give me some. I need it." He NEEDS it!? A little two year-old alkie! How about that? He can enter AA and nursery school at the same time. Why is god stuff part of AA? Can't you quit drinking even if you don't believe in god? Or is it mandatory for atheists to be...is it on the wagon or off the wagon? I can never remember which is the good one and which is the bad one. I mean sobriety and drunkenness. I can never remember which one of those is the good one and which is the bad one. Hmm, maybe you should just show her a bunch of pictures of other people's kids. And then go, "Surprise!" And have a bunch of people there and turn it into a party. She'll forget all about the photo thing then. Maybe you'll even get a conga line going. Wishes can become dreams if you just let the rainbows into your water filter. That's what Couscous used to say anyway. Mazel tov!


Video: "I Need Laughs: This guy's a standup comic (Part 5 of 7)"

Part 5 of "I Need Laughs: One week in the trenches of the New York underground comedy scene." After the shitty show I did in Part 4, I head to another show...with even fewer people at it. With a crowd of six people, I decide to just chat with the room and stumble across some interesting stuff. Then Mark, my civilian friend Brian, and I discuss it afterwards in a cab on the way to another show.

More of "I Need Laughs" (and details about it) here.


Lineup for the 2nd Annual SCHTICK OR TREAT (Oct 28 at Bowery Poetry Club)

The 2nd Annual
Hosted by Matt Ruby and Mark Normand
A pre-Halloween comedy tribute show
30+ NYC comedians come together to perform as their favorite comedy legends!

Wed, Oct 28
7pm SHARP showtime (6pm doors)
The Bowery Poetry Club
Tickets: $7 at the door/$5 online
308 Bowery (Between Houston and Bleecker)
F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker
Facebook Event invite

Richard Jeni (Kumail Nanjiani)
Kumail Nanjiani (Pete Holmes)
Paul F. Tompkins (Sean Patton)
Jim Gaffigan (Luke Cunningham)
Sam Kinison (Mike Drucker)
Johnny Carson (Mark Normand)
Neil Hamburger (Matt Ruby)
Steven Gold (Matt McCarthy)
Dana Carvey (Adam Newman)
Brian Regan (Jason Saenz)
Cedric the Entertainer (Nick Turner)
Dave Attell (Danny Solomon)
Judy Tenuta (Leslie Goshko)
Jim Carrey (Charlie Kasov)
Carrot Top (Pat Stango)
Bill Burr (J-L Cauvin)
Jeff Dunham (Jay Welch)
Sinbad (Abbi Crutchfield)
Alonzo "Hamburger" Jones (Neal Statsny)
Emo Phillips (Matt Goldich)
Norm MacDonald (Dan Curry)
Jeff Foxworthy (Roger Hailes)
Reggie Watts (Rory Scovel)
Big Jay Oakerson (Jared Logan)
Kristen Schaal (Jamie Lee)
Adam Sandler (Matt Maragno)
Richard Lewis (Dan Mintz)
Eddie Izzard (Dan Fontaine)
Joy Behar (Molly Knefel)
Mitch Hedberg (Mo Diggs)
Brett Butler (Dan St. Germain)
Rip Taylor (Mike Lawrence)
Dana Gould (Jon Clark)
Bernie Mac (Dan Wilbur)
Lenny Bruce (Tim Warner)
Orny Adams (Shawn Pearlman)
Bob Newhart (Ross Hyzer)
Joan Rivers (Alice Wetterlund)
Conan O'Brien (Chelsea White)
Arj Barker (Chesley Calloway)
Fozzy Bear (Aalap Patel)
Jim Breuer (RG Daniels)
Ron White (Ben Kissel)
Jack Benny (Ray Field)
Steve Martin (Erik Bergstrom)
Albert Brooks (Sean O'Connor)
Doug Benson (Alex Grubard)
Gilbert Gottfried (Gilad Foss)
Todd Barry (Luke Thayer)
Andrew Dice Clay (Rob O'Reilly)

Here we go again. Another Halloween, another Schtick or Treat. If ya missed last year's, here's the idea: Bands often perform special "tribute" sets on Halloween and do a show as some bigger, more famous band. It's fun and crowds dig it. This is like that, but with comedy. It's a quick turnover show where each comic gets up to three minutes to do a set as a famous comic and then it's on to the next performer. Last year's was a ton of fun and this one should be a blast too.

Some of last year's performers:

This year, you'll get to see people like Alonzo "Hamburger" Jones:

And while we're announcing stuff...
Coming soon: a new weekly standup show in Manhattan.

Begins Friday, Oct 23 @ 8pm
A weekly standup show every Friday at 8pm
With Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope
Professor Thom's (upstairs room)
219 2nd Ave between 13th and 14th St.


Chris Rock and a French TV show make the same Polanski joke in different ways

Chris Rock was on Jay Leno last week and used OJ as a reference point when talking about Roman Polanski:

People are defending Roman Polanski because he made some good movies. Are you kidding me? He made good movies, THIRTY YEARS AGO. Even Johnnie Cochran don't have the nerve to go, 'Well, did you see O.J. play against New England?'

Here's the clip:

Great stuff. This NY Times article on the Polanski case brings up a similar approach taken by a French TV show. The show takes the same basic concept (i.e. it's silly to think a crime is justifiable just because the accused happens to be a good artist or athlete) and bends it in a slightly different way...

“There is a generous America that we like,” [Frédéric Mitterrand, France's culture minister] said. “There is also a scary America that has just shown its face."...

Meanwhile, A popular French cable television satire, “Les Guignols de l’Info,” ridiculed Mr. Mitterrand. Recalling Chris Rock’s joke that O. J. Simpson would have been in jail years earlier if he had been “Orenthal the Bus Driving Murderer,” a puppet on the show depicting the French culture minister referred to “the Beast of the Bastille,” Guy Georges, who raped and murdered perhaps as many as 10 young women in the early 1990s. “If Guy Georges had directed ‘Citizen Kane,’” the minister-puppet said, “I would have let him out.”

Interesting to see the variation there in a joke that's making the same point. Different streams that still wind up in the same river.

Btw, the site Jezebel wrote about Rock's bit on Leno and said, "I'm amazed it took a comedian to say it outright." Really? You're amazed it took a comedian to say a truth that the rest of our culture isn't saying? Uh, start paying more attention to comedy.

I think Rock's bit comparing Sarah Palin to Michael Vick similarly nailed the truth in a way that wasn't being widely discussed in the media:

Maybe Rock isn't as consistent as he used to be. But man, when he's on, it's still awesome to watch.


We're All Friends Here tonight w/ Leo, Rozzi, and Hailes

Tonight's guests: Leo Allen (SNL/Comedy Central), Giulia Rozzi (UCB), and Roger Hailes (Comedy Central).

The comedy chat show with boundary issues
Hosted by Matt Ruby and Mark Normand
Friday, Oct 2
8pm @ The Creek
10-93 Jackson Ave at 49th Ave
Long Island City, NY
Just one subway stop from Brooklyn and Manhattan


Bill Hicks’s Principles of Comedy

Chris Hardwick wrote a great post trying to answer the “How does one go about being a comic” question. Along the way he offers up the following list which is posted on the wall at the Laughing Skull in Atlanta.


1. If you can be yourself on stage nobody else can be you and you have the law of supply and demand covered.

2. The act is something you fall back on if you can’t think of anything else to say.

3. Only do what you think is funny, never just what you think they will like, even though it’s not that funny to you.

4. Never ask them is this funny – you tell them this is funny.

5. You are not married to any of this shit – if something happens, taking you off on a tangent, NEVER go back and finish a bit, just move on.

6. NEVER ask the audience “How You Doing?” People who do that can’t think of an opening line. They came to see you to tell them how they’re doing, asking that stupid question up front just digs a hole. This is The Most Common Mistake made by performers. I want to leave as soon as they say that.

7. Write what entertains you. If you can’t be funny be interesting. You haven’t lost the crowd. Have something to say and then do it in a funny way.

8. I close my eyes and walk out there and that’s where I start, Honest.

9. Listen to what you are saying, ask yourself, “Why am I saying it and is it Necessary?” (This will filter all your material and cut the unnecessary words, economy of words)

10. Play to the top of the intelligence of the room. There aren’t any bad crowds, just wrong choices.

11. Remember this is the hardest thing there is to do. If you can do this you can do anything.

12. I love my cracker roots. Get to know your family, be friends with them.

Great stuff. #7 esp rocks. If you're not getting laughs, at least talk about something that's actually compelling/interesting to you. It's your best bet for at least holding people's attention. Without that, you'll never get laughs anyway.

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