Everybody, who holds passion for stand up comedy, knows Richard Pryor. He was one of the comedy iconoclasts, who devoted 8 years of his life to comedy. But his biography throws light on parts of his life that shows what was the mischievous sprite inside him that made him choose this profession.
He was one of the top entertainers and stand up comedians, who became popular in 70s and 80s. His early life was quite rough. His father was a bartender and his mother was a prostitute. His parents married when Richard was 3 years old. However, the reunion of his parents did not last for long.
Pryor was left with his grandmother, who took care of him. He had also experienced sexual abuse in his childhood. He even played as a clown in school. Very soon in his teenage life, he discovered acting as his career. In the early 70s, he got success as a comedian and an actor.
This African-American had broken all the barriers about dealing with race. During his routines, he had always made it easier for people belonging to different races to talk and collaborate. It had always been easier to laugh with him. He received mainstream success on his one night stage in Vegas. The black audience was thrilled with his delivery with n-word. He documented every pain and every suffering of his life by making it funny, which is the quality of a true comedian.
Pryor’s jokes were also based on his marriages, his sex life, and not to forget his relation with cocaine. He also joked about having a heart attack. The sensitivity of Pryor made him a brilliant comedian but it was also one of the many painful things he faced, which made him wish to go somewhere else.
When his grandmother died, this incident tripped him badly. He almost died dousing himself in rum and he literally set himself on fire when he was freebasing cocaine. He had so much severe burns that it was almost became impossible for him to survive. But within a year, he was back on the stand up comedy stage to make gags about this incident. He found humor within his own sufferings.
Richard Pryor was one of the stand up comedians with whom it was easy to work and learn. His movie career wasn’t a big success. He was a brilliant comedian, however. That’s why his stand up comedy videos are still enjoyed by comedy lovers. Learn more about him through these stand up comedy videos.
So your friends think that you are a riot and your girlfriend always laughs at your jokes. You think that you can become a comedian. Before you take any step, you need to learn how to turn your stuff into a worthy stand up routine.
In order to learn the art of comedy, you will have to learn stand up comedy first. Just cracking good jokes and making others laugh does not make you a comedian. You need to know the insights of this art to actually make people laugh. Your audience will have all sorts of people and one category of jokes will not be enough to please them. Search the stand up comedy videos of the great comedians. Study the way they do comedy and find out the trick of being funny. Every great comedian has his own way of making his stand up routine impressive. Comedic timing matters a lot. It will help you in taking the start.
Every comedian has his own persona. Some are the angry comedians, some are silly, and some have a political rant. You will have to choose your stage persona. It surely is great to watch stand up comedy videos for learning the way of different comedians but do not ever steal any material or try to imitate the personality of a professional comedian. If you want to get laughs, you will have to be unique.
You will have to practice to be a stand up comedian. You must have lots of material with you for which you must write every day. It’s better to carry a notebook or a pocket tape recorder so that you can record or jot down every humorous observation around you. In order to pull out a gem, you will have to convert the notes into an idea and then into a comic.
The old mantra “write what you know” is applied to stand up comedy too. Every joke you write must have a setup and then a punch line. That’s going to be your key to be funny. Along with observing your daily life, you must observe the style of the professional stand up comedians also. You also need to be comfortable on stage, as the professional stand up comedians know the art of moving the audience with their expressions. It’s not just the jokes that are funny, sometimes the expression of the other person also make us laugh. However, it is going to take a lot of time and effort from your side to be good at this.
Stand up comedy has emerged as a wide profession with many opportunities. There are a few tricks, which can help you to learn stand up comedy. If you want to opt it as a career, these tips can help you to excel in this field.
It is important to have a clear idea of your target audience. Even if you are pretty sure that your content is funny enough, you may end up giving a flat performance if your audience is not the right match for your jokes. If the crowd does not appreciate your act, it is of no use. So, make sure that your content is the right match with your audience to get them rolling into laughter. Know your audience to make sure that you do well in your performance. After all this, your ultimate aim should be to get the crowd roaring into big laughter.
It is important to keep your jokes and material up to date. It especially goes when your political act caters political or any current events. It is essential that your material should be as relevant as possible. In the beginning, go for material that is more generic and as you move on, practice and experience keeps you progressing forward.
Practicing is extremely important. Practice as much as you can. It will polish your skills as a stand up comedian and you will gain experience along the way. It is also recommended to watch funny stand up comedy videos online to learn more about effective comedy. By watching them, you can learn and get new ideas.
You may practice jokes in front of the mirror or among friends and family. Focus on the delivery and timings. Timings play a very crucial role while delivering your performance. The punch lines are effective when their timing is perfect enough to make the required impact. Also, check your facial expressions and gestures, as they are also very important in comedy. Your body language must be adequate. It is very helpful to take feedback from friends and family about your performance so that you can improvise. This allows you to enhance your capabilities.
Pay attention to the factors that make people laugh. This will give you an insight of what your crowd demands from you. It is the audience, which you intend to satisfy in order to make your act successful. Once you are on the stage, just give your best and make sure that your act is hilarious enough to let the crowd dive into big laughter.
Stand up comedy has turned into a million dollar business and is all about creating laughter. It gives you a beautiful thought of bringing smiles on many faces sitting in front of you. It is a very satisfying feeling that you are responsible for making so many people happy. In additional to this personal satisfaction, you get a good pay too. It may sound easy but the truth is that it requires hard work and efforts. It is not a simple profession and is quite adventurous.
You require a fresh script in comedy. Observing things and conversations around you can be very helpful in giving comic twist. Everything that happens around you always has a sense of humor in it. The need is to perceive it with an open mind. It is a good idea to write jokes on daily basis because a lot of content is required in stand up comedy.
A very famous stand up comedian once said that comedy is ninety percent expression. It is true that comedy is all about expressions. It is your presentation, which matters in an act and can make your performance successful. Hence, you need to have a good grip on your expressions to become a star in comedy.
It all depends on how you deliver your content in front of the audience. It is good to practice your act and expressions in front of the mirror to improve your skills. Perform your act among family and friends to learn from their responses. Your material should appear as if it is spontaneous and not memorized. It should appear natural and effortless.
You need to understand the crowd to deliver good comedy and make them laugh like crazy. Perceiving the audience to know what they want is very important to entertain them. You should always learn from your experiences. At times things might not work well but never give up and keep up with the struggle. Pinpoint the drawbacks in your performance and work on improving those flaws. We always learn from our failures so treat your successes and failures equally, as they are both essential for becoming a renowned stand up comedian. Refine your comedy writing skills and delivering skills. Join a good stand up comedy workshop or institute to get professional training. You may also watch different stand up comedy videos to learn many comedy tricks and tactics.
Well please don’t die laughing literally, though I can think of worse ways to go! Anyway, it’s a while since I gave you any tips on some comedy talent to watch out for and if you do catch any of these, I hope you agree, they are guaranteed to have you in fits of laughter.
Brooke Van Poppelen
Named one of the ‘Best New Comedians of 2012’ by Esquire Magazines, Brooke made her stand up debut on John Oliver’s New York Stand up Show. Appearing in numerous other shows, as well as being a comedy talent, Brooke is a writer and producer for ‘Girl Code’ on MTC and contributing writer and producer for MTV 2’s ‘Guy Code’. Definitely one to catch if you’ve not already.
His own father being a clown turned world class magician, it’s easy to see his comedy roots. Winning New York’s Comedy Festival and Boston’s Comedy Festival in 2012, Nate has had his own comedy special and is proud of the fact that he was recognised as one of the biggest up and coming comedy talents by Jim Gaffigan in 2012. He is currently enjoying success with his first comedy release ‘Yelled at by a Clown’.
Named ‘Best New Comic’ by iTunes in 2009, Moshe achieved success later that year when his comedy album ‘Everyone You Know Is Going To Die, and Then You Are!’ was ranked one of the top 20 comedy albums for 2009. Moshe has also also been named as ‘Comic to Watch’ by Punchline Magazine. More recently, in January 2012, Moshe recorded his first solo television special at The New Parish nightclub in Oakland.
His road to success started with a win at the DC Improv Comedy Competition in 2008. Writing for Upload with Shaquille O’Neal on TruTV, Fantasy Factory on MTV and Loiter Squad on Adult Swim, Hampton is also currently a writer for his second season for Ridiculousness on MTV. Appearing on numerous TV shows, he’s also familiar to listeners of the Bob and Tom Radio Show as well as appearances on The Nerdist Podcast young comics special and XM Comedy Radio. I’m not the only one who tips him for the top, as he was named one of the comics to watch in 2012 by Esquire Magazine.
First gaining notoriety following his recurrent role on the second season of Chappelle’s Show, Bill is now a familiar face on the stand up comedy circuit as well as appearing on a number of TV shows.
Referred to as a ‘comedian’s comedian’ by some observers of the U.S. stand up comedy circuit, his work is followed and appreciated by the public and fellow professional comedians alike.
As well as success in the field of stand up comedy, Bill records a weekly one hour-podcast covering various personal experiences and observations and can also be seen in the fourth and fifth season of ‘Breaking Bad’.
If you’ve not had the chance to catch any of Bill’s sets, I’ve just included a few of my personal choices from his stand up routine:
- You know what a cubicle basically says? It basically says, like, ‘You know what? We don’t think you’re smart enough for an office, but we don’t want you to look at anybody’.
- I’d be like, ‘Lady, get the hell away from me! You’re old, you’re gross…I’m sorry. I’m sure you were unbelievable back in the 20’s, when you were doing the Charleston, making beer in your bathtub, but you’re at least four decades past humpable. I’m sorry.’
- There’s no ‘brothers’ when it comes to white people. We are just complete individuals. We don’t care about each other. He’s not my brother, my brother lives in Ohio…I don’t know that guy.
- A good story is always you doing something wrong, you know? That’s why nice people are so damn boring. I mean, they’re nice, but their stories suck.
- You’re a kid, your whole life is awesome. It’s awesome right? You had no money, no ID, no cell phone, no nothing, no keys to the house. You just ran outside into the woods. You weren’t scared of nothing. I challenge you to do that as an adult. All your ID’s, all your credit cards…just run out of the house with no phone, turn the corner where you can’t see your house, and not have a full on panic attack.
Like many aspiring stand up comedians, I realised I had a talent for making people laugh at quite a young age. A couple of my old school reports even have mention of me being the class clown, something my Mom and Dad were not exactly proud of as I recall! As I got older, I did what was expected, got good grades, went to university and after graduating just kind of fell into a career as most of us do I guess. Mom and Dad were happy, but the thought that for the rest of my days I would be wearing a suit and tie, working 9-5 and having a perfectly manicured lawn in the ‘burbs filled me with dread. I fell back to comedy as my escape.
I’d been a regular at the comedy clubs in the city and as an avid comedy fan I already knew from various stand up comedians biographies that a career in stand up comedy is not as easy road. Even knowing it would be difficult, I knew that my dream was to work as a stand up comedian. All I needed to work out, was if I could be brave enough to take the step?
I’d done my research and so I knew what I had to do. I rehearsed at home, usually videoing my ‘routine’ so I could watch it back to work on hesitations or areas I needed to improve. I had started making notes of all the things that I might be able to write about, so each evening, I would try work on my comedy writing. I wasn’t brave enough yet to tell family, so for my first ‘public’ performance I bribed some colleagues with an offer of free food and drink if they were willing to subject themselves to my routine. Some were honest enough to give me critical feedback which though a little tough at first, was valuable in helping me shape my performances in future.
I then hit any and all open mic events in the vicinity and after doing this for just over a year, I started sending my comedy resume to club owners to try and get bookings. So far, I’ve sent out more than I can count and only managed to get a handful of paid bookings.
I won’t lie, it really is as tough as they say it is. I’m holding down my day job still and performing and writing most evenings. But what makes all the effort worthwhile is getting on stage and knowing I am making people laugh.