The most underestimated quality of successful stand-up comedians is how hard-working they are, which became clear as this joke evolved over two months. Stand-up is the rare form that usually requires test driving in public. [He] has since tried variations of his chivalry joke at about 80 performances. Almost every time, he tapes it, studies the results and jots down new ideas. That’s the job, he said, one he can’t imagine ever not doing.
Everyone talks about taping sets. But I'd say only 30% of comedians I see actually tape every set. And I'm guessing only 30% of those ever actually listen to the tapes. (I know when I'm done performing, the last thing I want to do is sit down and listen to myself.) Myq's work ethic to actually review all those performances is probably one of the things that helps him succeed.
Also, it's interesting how distilled the final joke is considering all the work and variations that went into it. It's as if a comedian builds an entire house just so he can present one window.
P.S. Myq is the only comic I know who will pull out his recorder in mid-conversation and speak into it in order to capture an idea. Trying to catch lightning in a bot-, er, recorder.
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 3/06/2012