punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the buffet. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

I have toyed with the idea of doing standup comedy off and on most of my life. As a kid, I used to listen to a lot of standup from Bill Cosby, Cheech and Chong, George Carlin, Phyllis Diller, Eddie Murphy, and a host of other comedians from the 1950s through the 1980s. As an adult, I still like standup, and come of my current faves are Greg Behrendt, Mitch Hedberg, Elvira Kurt, Dave Attel, and Lewis Black.

I know standup is hard. Very hard. In fact, I haven't gone to an open mike because I know how hard it can be. People have always said I'm funny, and should to standup, but I know I have the face, er -- voice, for radio. I think I could be a decent DJ, for instance, but they don't make the kind of money to support my current lifestyle, and it's not like some grand dream, so I doubt I'll go that way. But I have toyed with doing an open mike or two just to get a feel of doing standup. Here's what it will take.

1. A style. I want to be different from all the, "What's the deal with...?" Seinfeld-esque comics out there. Not that they're not funny, some really are, but the style is very common.
2. A bit. I think my bit could be about growing up in a middle-upper class neighborhood, because almost everyone else speaks like they are from poor areas. I think people would like DC snobs to be taken down a notch. But I also have to do comedy that identifies with a general audience, so jokes like, "Don't you hate it when your stable hand doesn't speak English? I said curry comb, not feed the stallion curry! I am running out of hay, my dear boy..." are out.
3. Good answers to hecklers. Not that I'd actually weep if I got heckled (and if I did, I would deserve the further abuse to follow because what did I expect?).

I fear being a success more than a failure, though. I'd hate some guy to think I was really good, and want to represent me, because I'd have to say, "Unless I can make my current tech salary right off the bat, and let my family travel with me ... no!" Maybe if I could just stay local and do a few nights a month, as an opening act, that would be cool. A few extra hundred a month might be cool, and to be in front of people I always find pleasant, even if there are some drunk hecklers some nights. I also feel if I flopped, and totally fell on my face, I'd lose nothing, really. At least I can say I tried it, and didn't like it. The worst that can happen, really, is what I am doing now: nothing.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000404.html
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