So you want to be funny?

So you want to be a funny guy, make people laugh and get paid for it?  That used to be my goal but, I really don’t know what I want to do with it right now.  I could do an online show these days but I’m not sure right now.  The main reason I got involved in it was to see if I could actually do it.  If I could make people laugh.

At first, I wanted to be an improvisor of sorts.  I wanted to be one of those comedy actors, one of those guys who has the funny lines in the movies. I was always a big fan of comedy, and I think I wanted to know how they did it. That’s why I took some classes along the way.  But one thing I did discover is that it is mostly natural. I think. That’s my opinion anyway.

So who are some of my favourites? 

A lot people have asked me that and I still have to say that Dave Chappelle is still my number one.  And then at number two it’s hard to decide between Chris Rock and Louis C.K.  And then next would be Daniel Tosh, and then Russell Peters. I think that would be my top five.  But I also like George Carlin too and a few others.

One of the things I’ve found out through talking with many people about stand up is that the opinions out there about it are usually in two extremes.  Which are that some people really, really respect it and on the other extreme there are people that think that it is really easy and that anyone can do it.

I’ve heard things like, “Oh I can just get up there and talk and I’ll make people laugh!”  This is sort of the idea that ANYONE can do it.  And, I’ve heard the other side of the coin that people say that I have a lot of guts to go up there and tell jokes.  They usually say “I couldn’t do that!”

So one day I decided to try it to see if I could do it.  Well, I haven’t perfected it.  But let’s just say I’ve gotten better.

Stand up comedy is really not that hard.  Getting good at it is the part that’s difficult.  I guess that’s why they call it stand up!  Because you just have to stand up there and try it out.  Bad joke. 

That’s another thing that some people would ask me, is if I had taken any classes in stand up?  Not yet.  In the future I might take a workshop but that’s it.  I don’t think I need any classes or at least I’m willing to go through more trial and error and take chances with my jokes and see what works.

Stand up at The Rivoli-Toronto 2015

What do I like about standup?

I like a lot of things about stand up, but I think it’s mainly the creativity involved that I like most.  And, someone who is a bit shocking that can put on a show. 

I like that it is a solo act that gives a person a lot of freedom where they can almost say whatever they want.  I mean, you can say whatever you want but just be aware of how even some stereotypes may be perceived as you hating a group of people or culture.  And this could get you into some trouble with the audience, even when you are just poking fun at them a little bit.  And this would be the opposite of what you want when you are trying to win over the crowd. 

Some people have told me that they think Russell Peters is racist.  I thought that was weird because he is just basically doing (pretty accurate) voice impressions and telling stories about different cultures.  He even does a good voice impression of white people

What do I not like about stand up?

Some of the things that I don’t like about stand up are that when you tell a “joke,” that it can cause tension between people when someone takes what you say too personally.  

How do I write my jokes?

I’ll admit that I don’t really know what I’m doing.  I do have an idea about writing, but I’ll say that I’m still figuring it out.  I mean, I’ll definately take an idea and give it an unexpected twist.  But, I’ll leave the rest up to you and how you want to perform stand up.  Figuring it out on your own is the best way.  And, I’m not going to give away all my secrets!

If you want to do standup….

So, if you want to do stand up…probably the best thing that you can do is watch stand up.  I was given this advice a few years ago, and I guess it makes a lot of sense.  This way you can see, and get a sense of how other people present their jokes.  And, you’ll get an idea of what their style is like so one day you can create your own.  This is a process that you would have to go through on stage.

In Conclusion

In the end, to succeed at this it takes a lot of patience and hard work.  Going out there time, and time again until you get it right.  Or until you are satisfied or both.  It does take a lot of time to practice and improve your delivery.  For me, I guess I’ve always looked at it as “how can I do better next time?”  And, “can I actually get a laugh or two?”  You know, it may be harder to make people laugh than you think, but it is worth a shot if this is your passion.  So let’s get back to writing and we’ll see what happens in 2021.

The last performance I did is linked in the VIDEO (menu) section of this website.

All the best.  Maybe I will see you on a stage or on Youtube one day soon.