Friday, April 02, 2010

Curing other ailments of failed acts

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 08:  (FILE PHOTO) Come...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

We read earlier this week stage fright is a daunting characteristic of bad comedians.

But what are some other tumultuous tendencies comedians use in their set which can turn their performance from promising to detrimental?

After visiting comedy clubs, doing research and writing this blog for three months, I have come up with annoyances turning me off from a performance. Maybe up-and-coming comedians can learn a thing or two.

1. Excessive swearing.

Swear words get a rise out of the crowd when used emphatically. But to me, it's just a lazy substitute for word that could be better suited.

It seems the louder a comic screams "asshole" or "son of a bitch", they expect the crowd to laugh because it's a "naughty" word.

While George Carlin's "The Seven Words" joke is one of the greatest bits in the history of comedy, it shouldn't be the model of comedy. when modern-day comedians rely on these words, it can come across as ignorant and lazy. Someone wanting substance in their comedy won't get it from repeatedly hearing the "f," "S," and even the dreaded "c word."

2. Singling out audiences members.
Chrissy Burns performed a truly awesome set at Grumpy Dave's Pub on March 2. She was creative, brilliant and made fun of her insecurities when on stage.

But one bit of her material irked me really badly. She kept calling one of the audience members out, saying how she wanted to take him home and basically have sex with him.

Funny the first time. Tired after the fifth time. Horrible after a couple dozen times stated.

I believe the audience gets turned off when they are singling out one member of the crowd. It becomes then the entertainer is not performing their function of pleasing a large group.

When journalists write profile stories, they don't concentrate on the one person. They need to include all aspects of that person's life within the article.

3. Egomaniacs

Most comedians performing in northwest Ohio are here because they can't get gigs in more luxurious, higher-paying cities.

But that's OK for many.

Comedian Steve Brewer said he gives 100 percent into every performance, regardless of location, time, day or number of attendees.

This should be the mindset of not only comedians, but people in life. Put forth your best effort into every aspect of your life. It can only pay dividends for whatever endeavor you choose, especially comedy.

What are some things or tendencies comedians do that annoy you? Let me know in the comments section!

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  1. Mmm I can't stand George Carlin. For exactly the reasons you mentioned. I prefer subtle witticism to loud profanity, personally. Jokes where you have to connect the dots. Or just plain awkwardness.

  2. When we went to Fat Fish Blue, I got really sick of that one comedian who kept making fun of her weight. It just got old after a while.

  3. Yea, agree with the over the top material. Sometimes it can be good it delivered good, but other times, it's horrible