Being funny is hard work.
I’m doing a comedy contest on April 22nd (read about it here), and I’m coming up with new material. Mainly because the contest has dictated that we keep the overtly dirty, racist, and “blue” stuff to a minimum.
The challenges of staying relatively clean are probably good for me. I naturally cuss like a crab fisherman, which gets its own sort of laughter anyway, but now I have to focus purely on content which is proving a bit more complicated than I anticipated. I record little things – small snippets of ideas throughout the day – and then transcribe them. Then I need to find a way to expand them and make them funny. Throw in a dick joke and a casual jab at Chinese people and – voila – comedy.
I do have some clean stuff, but finding inspiration is the hard part. I laugh at things daily. I find strange and interesting moments all the time, but phrasing those into nice little gems that drunk people will understand? Tall order, friends, and one that proves more difficult the more I write. Also, I’m still establishing my voice, so my topics of discussion are still broad. Here are common topics and my thoughts on them, in hopes I can shake the cobwebs loose.
This is something that’s hard for me to tap into. Oh, not because it was bad or I’ve spent my adult years repressing things – my childhood had many high points and just fine points – but I just don’t know how to talk about it without it coming out as a) tragic, or b) pathetic.
Aside from the sad parts, here’s my childhood experience in a series of summaries: we grew up sorta poor, but I was well-liked and always had what I needed, I was popular enough in school, got okay grades (though I could have easily gotten better ones), and my feelings and recollections have a positive spin. So….is it funny?
Verdict: maybe, but with work.
Ah, l’amour. The ongoing battle of finding somebody to put up with your shenanigans. It’s a very relatable topic. I’ve talked about this a lot, and can probably talk more about it, but is it almost too familiar? How do I make it better? How do I expand on an idea that’s always been and will always be? And how can I talk about relationships and not talk about penises, too? That’s hard.
Love is funny. Love is difficult. And when it’s good, it’s good. But….is it funny?
Verdict: yep. Now that I’ve found somebody spectacular, it’s just a matter of time before I make them second guess the whole “dating a comedian” thing.
I’m in a unique position in that I currently have a job that’s pretty cool, but this wasn’t always the case. I’ve been a waitress, I’ve been a customer service agent, I’ve been a cold-caller, I’ve worked with animals…lots of material there. And I think the idea of work slowly sucking the soul and spirit out of your life is something people understand.
Work, more often than not, sucks. It’s a means to an end. A way to finance the things you really like…assuming work hasn’t killed those things and left you a shell of your former fun self. Is it funny?
Verdict: sure. But keep it brief. And don’t get so bogged down in the details that you lose the camaraderie with the audience.
There are lots of funny things, and I’m still learning on how to make those things applicable to me. My goal is to go on a stage and make you laugh with me. Because that’s when comedy, for me, feels really good.
More writing. Here’s to progress.