When I first began to perform stand-up my material was and is very important. I worked on it, honed it and practiced it constantly to make it as funny as possible. I STILL do.
With all that hard yet fun work aside however, THE most important thing that I have come to know is that besides the material I TOO am funny. ME- Chili Challis, I'm an off beat naturally funny person. That's why I started doing comedy in the first place, I can be a funny person when given NO material. I make things funny, that's what I do. Yep I make the material funny and I make up material~ !
Many comics would do well to remember that. Your material is your bread and butter so to speak but but never forget that you are the spirit power that drives it, always!
Why am I telling you this? Lately I have seen some comics forget that simple thing. YOU are funny, never forget that. The material is one thing but YOU making things funny is a whole other thing. YOU are not the material. The material is YOU. You have to be present in every bit you do and if you ever find yourself in a situation (and it does happen) that the material is not working, then YOU have to do something about it. In that type of situation...do you move on? Do you make fun of the room you're in? Do you simply talk to the audience? YOU decide or rather ...allow the funny person in you to decide. When the material isn't funny BE funny. ;)