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TIPS for Standup Comedian

Posted on: June 21, 2010

It all happens at a young age when you start cracking jokes with friends, girlfriends, in the class/college and so on. You develop a niche for comedy, you got a natural knack to make people laugh, you think your presence makes surrounding people predict that now the atmosphere will be joyous. OK you have got the interest and daring to go, so what’s next to get on to proper Stand Up Comedy

Stage is your Workspace

Almost all Stand Up Comedies are performed on stage or in front of live audience or dummy audience if performing for TV shows. Improvisation acting or public speaking training in front of people is very helpful. If you are comfortable on stage, in front of an audience half of the battle is won. Most stand up comedies, (except legends of comedies as Umer Sharif, Johny Lever, Raju Srivastav), you got to perform maximum for 15-20 minutes for one go. So your first Item should be the best of your Creations. You can’t get a live stage to practice, so start out by memorizing your best first item of the material, then rehearse in front of the mirror, working out your timing. Remember, timing is the most important aspect in Comedy. Timing is how you end a sentence and begin the next sentence proving exact duration of pause, if necessary (experience counts a lot) depending upon the response you are getting from the audience. When you think you are through in front of mirror session, practice in front of friends, colleagues, small get togethers, or anyone who’s willing to provide you an opportunity to get on the stage. You can start with any stage programmes to begin with.

After some experience you will notice that how and when your dummy or real audiences react. Now you can edit your content, change the duration if necessary and keep only the material that produces laughs and do not hesitate by dumping the jokes that don’t. But remember your test or dummy audience should not be same 1-2 people, you should yourself judge by a group.

Your Content

You have got everything, but if your content is old, stale, you’ve got it!. So remember once you write content, polish it and do not disclose it your competitors. You should make a habit to write every day whenever you see something interesting. Always carry a pocket tape recorder or notebook with you and record any humorous observations or ideas you have. Make an ideas page in your book. Write down your notes into that ideas page, and once a week, polish your idea or add more punch to it to make a gem of an item.

Do consider that you are writing for a stand Up Comedy in front of live audience. There are innumerable interesting things, whether it’s politics, sports, relationships, history, family, etc.

Whatever you write, every joke or story should have a rapid build up (otherwise it would be a "dragged") then maintain this humour build up with good lines and lastly end with a punch line, which is supposed to be the funniest part. You can also incorporate mimicry, singing items, impressions or visual gags, or you can make funny songs, celebrity impressions or stage props into your


Every community or culture has given us great Legends. If Talking of Hindi / Urdu Community we have great stand up comedians ie. Umer Sharif, Johny Lever, Raju Srivastav, Sunil Pal, Navin Prabhakar, Rauf Lala, Bhagwant Mann, Ghuggi and more. Watch stand-up shows of the experienced Comedians. Observe how they do it and what are the characteristics gestures of them, which make them Funny. Also observe and Learn comic timing, which is very important aspect of Stand Up Comedy. You will notice, how every comedian has a different personality & style. Raju Srivastav is the local/country man. Sunil Pal has a niche for music too. Shekhar Suman Miller is great with the political part. Navin Prabhakar likes bar girls items. Similarly there must be a stage personality or style you want to develop. Remember, if you have watched the Judges of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge say, – don’t steal comedian’s material or content or imitate their personality. To get the points or make people laugh, you should be original & unique. If you can pick up jokes from the web, others also. So develop you own unique content and be secretive.

Lastly when you are for the final moment, prepare yourself mentally for the audience who may not react to your items. You should be ready to skip your items or jump to the fast conclusion if you feel its not hitting. Bit when you have got unique items you are sure to make mouths open. So, what are you waiting, grab a microphone and start………


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June 2010
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