The George Benson Bit & Bit/Joke Lifecycle

Update: In retrospect, this joke isn’t that funny. However, I’m leaving it up so that you can see my evolution as a comedian. You gotta start somewhere, right? – Dec 23 2011

I dropped the girlfriend to the subway this morning, got a coffee and a bagel, and sat down to the computer to see if I got anymore followers on Twitter. Nope.

I have 8 right now. For those of you keeping score, you’re right: I do have the worst ‘Great Tweets to Follower’ ratio in the history of the multinet (this term describes all of the internets in the multiverse combined).

The Set-Up

I’ve been playing music all my life, from trumpet to trombone to steel pan. Like most of you, I play music in the background while I avoid work (let’s stop calling it surfing the web and call a spade a spade) and today I decided to play a bit of George Benson. After watching the video for about 30 seconds I came up with a bit…

And things kind of just steamrolled for me bit-wise. I love to get really deep into the psyche of the people I’m thinking of, and I guess that’s because I tend to project the social inadequacy and neurosis I have onto them, which makes them much more interesting.

The Bit/Joke Lifecycle

When I started this blog, I thought that it might be interesting to see the evolution of the bit, to see how a bit moves along the stages of idea to, well, the stage. Here are the steps that I go through right now:

  1. Idea or Premise – this is the moment something funny comes into my head. It’s at this point where I either jot it down or record my voice on my Voice Memo’s app on my Iphone.
  2. Work in Progress – this describes the time frame where I actively write out the bit, figuring out where the laughs are going to bit. Most of the actual joke writing happens here. I use www.workflowy.com to organize all of my ideas.George Benson workflowy pic
  3. Fleshing out – this is where I format and structure the material in a way that will allow me to easily rehearse it. This stage involves
    1. Reordering the jokes in a bit so that it flows in a logical timeline.
    2. Adding places where I might be able to interact with the audience.
    3. Making notes about how to physically act out the bit on stage
  4. Where does it fit? – this step is a curious one. I have to ask myself, “How does this material stack up against the material that I’ve already rehearsed?” If it’s better, I have to supplant previous practiced material in the interest of bubbling the A-material to the top. In other words, the funniest jokes, no matter when they are written, must be performed first when you only have 5 minutes of time and 1 hour of material.
  5. Practice – this is where I am recording myself performing the bit. I read through the material a couple times, practice it a couple more times looking away from my notes and finally I do it in front of the camera.
    blog
  6. Tightening – I was going to end the lifecycle at Step 5, but I realized that after I watch myself perform a bit, I often come up with new jokes to add in. So the final stage comes when I’ve watched the bit a few times and think up a few more jokes and places to go with the bit before ending it off.

So that’s the Bit Lifecycle, or at least how it is 1.5 weeks into this burgeoning new career, anyway.

Where was I?

Huh? Oh yeah, I started this whole thing off talking about this George Benson bit. So here it is. I am currently at Step 2 (Work In Progress), where I’m coming up with the main jokes that are going to be in the bit.

But before you read the bit….oh snap I have an idea…what if I overlay the bit on the video of the clip I’m talking about…good Lord I’m such a STUD! Here you go:

George Benson Bit by Michael Jagdeo

I hope you enjoyed the latest instalment of, ‘Jagdeo has way too much goddamn time on his hands.’

Holla atchuh boy,

Michael Jagdeo (follow me @JagdeoComedy)

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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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2 Responses to The George Benson Bit & Bit/Joke Lifecycle

  1. lol found your website when looking for different breeds of cat, dont know how that happened!

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