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Week One: Riffing Copy Copy

Welcome to Level 2 Standup!

First off, the class rules:

  1. No guns, alcohol, drugs, food
  2. Everybody love everybody!

About your showcase: You will perform an 8-10 minute set. Your set must include a theme, some riffing, and a game.

Things we will cover in this class

  • Texturing joke
  • Hecklers
  • Marketing yourself
  • Your comedic voice
  • Performance! Show don’t tell.

Basic Joke Writing: Experiential jokes are funniest. 3rd person is played out. Clever, clean comedy is the most lucrative.

  • Consider how society views something vs. how you view something
  • Funniest = when you did the opposite of what society would do

Beat 1-2-3 Joke: A story joke with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Riffing: Interacting with the audience (crowd work)

  • Should be very complimentary of the audience. You want them to like you right off the bat.
  • Seek suggestions from the crowd that could lead into one of your jokes.
  • Don’t riff on any one topic for more than 1.5 minutes at the absolute most.
  • Rules
    • If they’re not participating, move on. Don’t pull teeth.
    • You can be your own warmup act, or you can riff in the middle of your set if you need to save yourself. Never acknowledge you’re riffing because you were bombing!
    • Never riff at the end of your set.
    • If you’re nice to people your audience will like it!
  • Have low expectations of your audience. Keep it very basic.
  • 4 easy go-tos:
  1. What are you drinking?
  2. What do you do for a living?
  3. Where are you from?
  4. Comment on what they are wearing. (Not women, unless it’s VERY complimentary. Do not comment if there may be a disability.)
  • ALWAYS be complementary and make yourself the butt of the joke.

– How will you know if it’s going well? Use the force!

HOMEWORK: Write 15 jokes where you did the opposite of what society expected. Write a log line (one sentence summary) for each joke. At the beginning of next class you will perform riffs with two crowd members and perform one of your 15 jokes.

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