3 Writing Tips

John Reynolds

  • Make a habit of writing one really good topical joke per day. That way when a packet is asked for, you've already got a head start.

  • After you've edited a joke down, challenge yourself to lose one more word. You'll always find it.

  • Try to think of a joke using a subtopic of the headline for the set up rather than just the headline. This will help lessen the chance of you doing the same joke as everybody else.

ALWAYS Tape YourselF

Jeff Lawrence

Several years back a few of our comics were lucky enough to meet Joan Rivers backstage after her set. Her first words of advice: "Always tape yourself....if you don't, you won't make it".  And there she was just minutes after finishing her set, methodically going through her notes, with a tape recorder listening to the audience reaction of a set she had just finished. If you're able to videotape, that is optimal. Watch your body language, your eye contact, and how you appear on stage. If you can't videotape always audiotape. Were you talking too fast? Did you step on your laughs? Were there laughs you didn't plan? These are things you probably won't be aware of when the spotlight is shining and the adrenaline is flowing. Think of it like a football team. You must watch last weeks' game to learn from your mistakes, and you must study next weeks' opponent to prepare for them. A videotape will give you the opportunity to examine and reflect on your performance so you can make adjustments and improve your set.

10 Tips for Writing Success

Joe Devito

  • If you can write one good joke, you can write more good jokes

  • Say the funny part last and then stop talking

  • Getting onstage at a mic is five minutes of the world asking "what do YOU think?" Take advantage of that because it doesn't happen pretty much anywhere else.

  • Open strong with a joke, don't waste time.

  • Have a strong point of view/opinion and be an expert on your subjects.

  • Defend yourself and your material at all costs.

  • Stand up is your struggle, always maintain a sense of urgency.

  • Always have fun, the audience experiences what you experience.

  • Embrace your bombs, never bail on your set, always look at bombing as a golden opportunity to turn things around. This builds confidence.

  • No such thing as bombing at a mic, give yourself permission to fail.

  • Perform as much as possible, there are no bad stages

  • Move on stage with purpose, no nervous energy (pacing looking at floor)

  • Write every day, even 10 minutes if you haven't all day.

  • Always save and archive your writing and ideas.

  • Practice patience, becoming a comedian takes many many years of hard work and dedication.

12 Tips for stand up