Where art meets science: The technical side of comedy

Stand Up Comedy – Art or Science?

Comedy is a style of performing and a style of writing. As such, they are elements, technologies, devices, physical and auditory devices that we can use to help generate new jokes or even make a joke funnier.

Now, stand up comedy does have an artistic side to it. If you’ve ever seen someone go on a spontaneous rant or find comedic gems by simply interacting with the audience, you know what I mean. That said. I believe that by recogning the various comedic technologies that the masters have employed, I can enhance my own performance.

Personal List of Comedic Masters

Comedic Instruments & Technologies

After listening to their performances, I’ve made a list of comedic technologies that I can use to enhance my performance. This is a living list, but given that this is lierally my 3rd day of writing comedy, I think it’s a good start. I’m sure the list will grow over time.

Physical Devices Auditory Devices
  • Acting out a scenario
  • Using microphone as a prop
  • Facial Expression
  • Anger
  • Tone
  • Impression
  • Volume (yelling i.e. in repetition, whisper)
  • Disgust
  • Repetition (with different tone)
Devices Premises
  • Repetition
  • Disgust
  • RhetoricQuestion
  • Impressions
  • Contrast
  • Whatif (imaginary scenarios)
  • Actingout (the scenario)
  • Analogy
  • Anger,
  • Thoughts (what are they thinking when they do it (This guy Actually believes…); what am I thinking, is there a inference between what I’m thinking and doing, )
  • Description
  • Premise
  • Self Deprecation
  • Personal Experience
  • Analysis


About Michael Jagdeo

My name's Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third person. I'm a Comedian from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to honing my stand-up comedy act, I maintain this blog and write the weekly comedy article for blogTO.com.
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