This might be my favourite joke to date:
Why? Because it takes a risk that I’ve cowered in fear from for a long time now…
When you act out a scene and nobody laughs, the stage can become a VERY uncomfortable place. It’s probably because at that point, you’ve done just about everything possible to make a joke funny. Accordingly, my early experience bombing my ass off made me shy away from writing jokes involving extravagant body movement.
Thankfully, my perspective changed when I remembered a quote from Rodney Stephens’ Stepping Out of Self Deception:
…We feel restricted and defined within our pain, yet something inside us knows we are more than what we have taken ourselves to be. We would like to think that we could leave all the pain aside and go directly to the payoff of interconnectedness, but for most of us that is not the case. One of the hardest lessons on any spiritual path is to understand that interconnection comes from the wisdom discovered through exposure to our pain, not in turning away from it.
And man did it feel great to act out that final, ‘Troubleshooting!’ at the end! The next time, I’m going to relish it longer!
The best jokes always come when something happens unexpectedly, whether it’s on stage or through interacting with the crowd. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you can create the illusion of spontaneity, it can take your jokes to another level, which is what I was trying to achieve in the above clip.
I’m trying to seem like I’m naturally digressing at 0:27 when I make fun of my basketball shot. I don’t think I sell it enough, but that’s the first time I performed it on stage. As I get more experience with it, I’m sure it will come along.
Advice From Ayanna Dookie
Before the set, Ayanna Dookie, an awesome comic out of Baltimore, gave me some sage advice,
Ask yourself: What’s my point of view? Just stating something that everyone agrees with is great, and might even get laughter. Now, take it a step further and figure out why YOU find it funny, not why you SHOULD find it funny, or why the audience finds it funny. What is funny about it to YOU?
So last night, I stopped and thought, ‘Why does a guy bragging about his expensive adventures bother me so much? Well, it’s because I’m broke and therefore feel inadequate.’ That emotional context allowed me to feel my material more than I ever have before. Thanks Dookie!
Who? Me? Aw shucks…I’m just a guy,