"Comics who are green try to be more blue to appear less yellow." Andy Sandford quoted that line to me the other night when we were talking about cursing onstage.
It rang true for me. I used to curse onstage a lot when I started. But eventually it started to bug me when I realized a punchline was hitting because I threw a "fuck" in there. If I took the "fuck" out and it didn't get a laugh, I didn't feel like it was actually a funny joke.
Plus, I've had to do clean shows (church show, opening for headliner who wanted me to stay clean, etc.) and it sucked to sit down and have to eliminate jokes. I don't want to have to think about which material I can or can't do at a show. If everything in my arsenal is clean, it's one less thing to worry about. Not to mention, it was disheartening to vet material before a show and realize a big chunk of my stuff relied on talking about sex or cursing.
Anyway, already discussed this a while back but the green/blue/yellow line was clever enough that I thought I'd bring it up one more time.
Btw, here's Stanhope's defense of cursing (“that’s just how I talk”) which I get; Being who you are offstage when you're onstage makes sense. But I'm not a guy who curses all the time in real-life so it feels like doing it onstage a lot would be solely for shock value.
Sandpaper Suit is NYC standup comic Matt Ruby's (now defunct) comedy blog. Keep in touch: Sign up for Matt's weekly Rubesletter. Email email@example.com.
"Comics who are green try to be more blue to appear less yellow"
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