A newbie comedian approached me recently and asked me what the secret was to success in stand-up comedy. The interesting thing is this comic was on the same show as me; at a Moose Club in Suffolk County, Long Island. I would understand this question if I just came outside after being on The Late Show with David Letterman. What kind of advice can I give this person at the makeshift bar, surrounded by 60 somethings out on the town at the local watering hole.
After observing my surroundings, I told her “The secret to success in stand-up comedy is apparently still a secret”. The only advice I could honestly give her is to do three things and do them consistently:
3. Go back to rule one and repeat
Now, I know what you’re saying. “That’s only two things”. Exactly. Write, perform and write and perform some more.
Steve Martin said it best “Get so good they can’t ignore you”. That is the truth. There are no quick roads to success. Real success.
There seem to be plenty of shortcuts. Young kids entering the comedy profession tend to go for the quick fame route. Get on some lame reality show, or fixed contest show and BOOM, fame and fortune are sure to follow. But check back two weeks later and they are history, or if they are lucky end up on a Celebrity rehab show.
Building an act that keeps people paying attention and hopefully entertained for 45 minutes to an hour. That is success in stand-up comedy. That level of success takes only three things:
See what I did there?
Now that the secret is out I bet you are as disappointed as that comedian was that approached me at the Moose club. Sorry, but the truth hurts.
Thank you and good night. I’m here all week. Try the veal
Badump bump !!