Stand-up for dummies

Adam Henderson offers some tips...

Seeing how so many comedians are drowning in a sea of failure befitting of England’s finest footballers, I though it’d be best to give these no-hopers a bulletproof guide to how to succeed in stand-up.

Without material, you have no act. But how can you guarantee that you’ll be funny? Chances are you won’t be. Writing Stuff and being funny can be a long and arduous task. And if something is hard then you just haven’t thought about the right shortcuts. The best way to success is once you have an open spot, go see the headliner prior to the night. Make a note of their best jokes. When you walk on stage, regale the audience with these comedy gems. You will go down a storm. The headline act will surely thank you as after all, imitation is the best form of flattery.

Should you choose to write your own material, then there are certain topics you will need to cover.

RELIGION: This hot potato is best approached by ridiculing all faiths other than your own. If you are Christian openly question any Jewish member of the audience as to why he killed your Lord. Ask all Muslim members of the audience to refrain from blowing you up. At this point the audience will be enjoying your warmth and charm. Don’t forget to remind everyone of a different faith that they are praying to the wrong God.

GENDER: Make sure you reference how women can’t drive, have smaller brains and a reduced capacity for learning, and mock them for overreacting to the pain of childbirth. It is important to make sure you’ve informed the audience that women are just not funny. It would be an excellent opportunity to heckle any female performer when your time is up.

RACE: You must stress how different these ‘Johnny foreigners’ are. Make reference to their silly accents, question their hygiene habits, and reinforce all negative stereotypes, remember no smoke without fire. Don’t worry about specific nationalities, just refer to ‘these people’ in generic regional terms for example, ‘commie gypsies’ should cover all areas of Eastern Europe. Should a member of an ethnic group be in the audience, single him out, after all, what would Bernard Manning do? This person will get into the spirit of things and will enjoy the banter.

THE DISABLED: At all times you must refer to this group as spackers. Agree with Glenn Hoddle’s comments that ‘these people’ are being punished by God (your God remember, not any of those false ones) for mistakes in a past life. Perfect your physically comedy with a limp, bend your wrist, and after every punch line say ‘durrh’. Always accuse them of being lazy bastards who are robbing us of our taxes and abusing the benefits systems.

HOMOSEXUALS: Make sure you keep saying “backs to the walls”, everyone loves a good original catchphrase. Educate the audience as to how all gay men are obviously paedophiles. Imply how every gay man fancies you. Reference how it’s the gay community’s responsibility for the Aids virus and how God (your God again) is punishing them. Mock how they speak. Once again, if they is a gay man in the audience single him out for ridicule, the audience will like how edgy you are. It’s a well-known fact that a gay man is a wimp in a fight.

Now you have your material you will need to perfect your stagecraft and persona. This is crucial, you need stage presence otherwise you cannot hold the attention of the audience. The best comedians like to dress up. Dressing up as Hitler, or any other Nazi, will endear you to the audience. Remember this has Royal approval. When discussing race perform the Nazi salute. The audience will enjoy how you are getting into character.

The role of the comedian is to fine out where the line is, and then cross it. This can be done by repeatedly shouting the word ‘cunt’. Women often say they don’t like this word, but they are just playing hard to get. When talking to audience members remember to refer to them as cunts. Swearing is edgy and therefore it makes you look cool and hard. Remember the further you cross the line, the more original your act. I’d suggest rather than cross the line, take a run, skip, hop, and a jump beyond it.

Sometimes, ungrateful audiences will not laugh and if this happens, then you really need to question whether you’ve followed my previous points correctly. If you have, then you may not have said the word cunt often enough. Have you mentioned that the groups you have singled out should be rounded up into camps? If they are not laughing then you probably haven't crossed that line yet.

If they're still not laughing then you need to question their level of intelligence. Tell them anyone who doesn’t find you funny is a ‘spacker’ or one of those Johnny foreigners who aren’t intelligence enough to understand you. A good way to do this is by telling them how your routine went down a storm at your last gig. Inform them how lucky they are to have you performing for them. Insult them some more as you may not have been edgy enough.

You may occasionally suffer a heckler and these people must be exterminated. People like visual comedy, therefore the best heckler put down is to piss on them. If they are too far away you can piss into a pint glass and throw it in their general direction or, alternatively, call them a derogative term and invite them outside to solve matters. This will show how hard and edgy you are and women will want to sleep with you. If it is a female heckler, call them a cunt, and also offer them out for a fight.

Most comedians are emotional cripples who crave public attention because Mammy and Daddy were too busy with a social life. Ignore all comedians and actively spit on the newer acts. Promoters often find this behaviour funny.

To get yourself known, create a website, and get some business cards made up for free online. Promoters and hot women will want to know just how to get in contact with you. Spend your evening trawling the internet for comedy clubs and then send emails (repeatedly) to the promoters demanding they put you on the bill. Demand that they pay your travelling costs, put you up in a hotel, and that they source you some class A drugs. Promoters will be impressed with your entrepreneur skills and immediately give you a headline slot. Before you perform demand double the money or you will walk out.

If they haven’t got back to you, maybe their computer is broken, just turn up on the night. Promoters will be glad to see just how committed you are. In next to no time you will be rising up the comedy ladder and will be in hot demand to showcase your talent at the next Conservative annual conference. It’s easy when you know how…

Published: 3 Jul 2010

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