Fly-by-night proposition #damnmyeggs

So yesterday I got a crazy idea. I woke up and wrote a bunch of jokes. Last night at a couple open mics, I did those new jokes. And do you know what happened?

I got about the same amount of laughs with this material as with the old material! Maybe a little better. Do you know what this means? Means I GOTTA STEP UP 2 THA STRAYTS ON DIS SHIT. I mean I have to write more.

I was holding onto the idea of the material that I had too closely. To think about it in terms of songwriting, it's like I was playing shitty songs I wrote in high school for my college recital. It's time to write new stuff so that A) I can practice writing jokes on-demand, and B) I can improve my odds of writing a great joke.

Because, to quote Mike Birbiglia in an interview with Tim Ferris,

"...it's not about being good; it's about being great. Because what I find, the older I get, is that a lot of people are good, and a lot of people are smart, and a lot of people are clever. But not a lot of people give you their soul when they perform."

And in the words of Jon Stewart (loosely) from his appearance on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee:

"new stand-up material is precious" 

When it comes to a new joke that works, that is so damn true.

One last thought for the day re: joke theory.

In comedy - and for this I include standup, late night, sitcoms, sketch, anything writing based - I think that jokes are one of the fundamental units of measure. Jokes are to comedy what scales are to music. What do I mean by a joke? A joke is a discrete verbally or physically expressed broken expectation. How's that for some amateur comedy speculation?

More writing this morning, more mics tonight. See you tomorrow!

-Jon


Comments

  1. I'm a daily reader of your stuff! Keep your head up my friend. Sounds like it's exactly what you wanted, as hard as it is. I know how little it can mean when it comes to the craft of stand-up, but remember: you're one of he funniest people I know. Also, love your new definition of a joke :)

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    1. Hey, thank you! Yadi Rain Seattle! ;) Seriously though, I appreciate the support my friend. It's the wild west out here. But, you know. In the East.

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