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     Chili Challis

           Lifetime comedian, comedy writer and coach



My Blog

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THERE IS A FORMULA TO STAND UP COMEDY

Posted on September 7, 2016 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (11)
If there is a formula in stand up comedy that I approve of it is this, in all of your thoughts & jokes you must get to the point and then make THAT point funny, repeat. Simple sounding but not so.
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You must isolate a topic, (do that for the audience so they can easily follow you) then twist that topic to a near breaking point, then break it to allow the audience a release of laughter.
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THEN move on to the next point, even if your next point in on the same theme.
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Why? Because stand up is meant to be performed and performance is immediate.
The beauty of prose is it can ramble, you can have many ideas going at one time, funny can be in many levels because people are reading it and so they can re-read it if they need to catch on or catch up.
In stand up your audience doesn't have that luxury, they are listening to you in a the good ol' American half-hearted way and so need to be lead and even reinforced occasionally as to what your topic is and what you're making fun of.
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In Dave Letterman's classic desk piece 'The Top 10 List', he repeated what the topic was several times during the reading of the top 10 jokes. He did this to reinforce the setup and set the timing. A stand up must do this, 1. to keep a distracted audience's attention and 2. to keep a punch line timing rhythm going. 
That is stand up comedy. Simple isn't it?

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