In my early years as a stand-up comedian, I wore a bow tie and called myself “The World’s Funniest Accountant”. Mostly because I am an accountant by day, plus I found it an oxymoronic phrase, since the accounting profession is rarely associated with humor. I always got a chuckle when I introduced the character.
However, “character” was always the issue for me. I felt like I was in a box. Labeling myself as the funniest accountant made me feel obligated to inject jokes about being an accountant. Accounting jokes are about as unfunny as accountants. I found my way around it by using the tried and true comic vehicle of self deprecation. That seemed to work.
Still, I felt trapped by this character. Unsure if they were laughing at my clever observations, or my silly characterization of the nerdy accountant.
So, I abandoned the character. went out sans bow tie. I felt naked, yet free. I was now just a comedian. I gained so much on a personal level, but sadly lost my identity, my uniqueness, and possibly my brand, slogan, persona and identity.
I proceeded to take my entertaining talents into theatrical episodes and one man autobiographical shows. Portraying Groucho Marx, and exploring my own roots as a misplaced suburban middle aged man. All fun, artistic, and a true learning experience.
Sadly, I was the only one who cared.
So, here is my dilemma. Do I return to the character that offered the chance to be noticed? Put myself back in the box for the sake of an identifiable brand?
Can I do both?
The World’s Funniest Accountant returns, avec bow tie.
Let’s see if it’s any different this time.
Thank you to those that have stuck by my various transitions. I am still trying to figure it out.
(comment as you see fit)