Friday, May 8, 2009

"The Curious Workings of the Mind"

There was a time when I had serious thoughts of becoming a comedian. I worshipped comedians. I thought they were smart and funny. I was kind of smart and funny. So, why not try being a comedian?


I am not comfortable around people.

I’m do not take rejection in stride.

I do not enjoy staying up late,

Or loud, smoky places where the customers drink.

I dislike the idea of repeating my material.

I am not willing to go where the biggest laughs are – sex jokes, mean-spiritedness and stupidity.

I am no fan of constant travel.

I am unenthusiastic about a steady diet of crappy food.

I would not do well with shady club owners.

I get wrenching stomachaches before going on.

I am not “punch line” funny.

I have no “comeback” for hecklers, other than running away, or bursting into tears.

I am daunted by the arrangement where the reward for giving a great performance is to having to go out the next time and do it again.

It would eat me up to “kill” one night and “die” the next, doing exactly the same act.

to name just fourteen of the stresses and indignities associated with the job of being a comedian.

Which inevitably leads to this question:

What exactly was I thinking?


growingupartists said...

Earl, you're only saying that because nobody ever gave you a chance. You loved the fill time on stage before the shows began, you were spontaneous. You always wrote that.

Perhaps your memory is failing. Good luck with that!

A. Buck Short said...

Thanks, you just wrote my bible.

But have you ever thought of devoting your life to "the dance?"

Wayne said...

An admiring question: if you are not "punch line” funny, how did you thrive working on some of the wittiest sitcoms ever?

growingupartists said...

Earl fishing for compliments, as usual.

samuel.x.killer said...

a lot of people advise aspiring comedy writers to try stand-up - did you get anything out of performing, earl? was there another activity that you think would've helped you as much if not more?

PP said...

I'm a comedian. Two things stood out. I'm not sure why I'm commenting on them. I guess I just want to clarify for all the non-comedians out there? Sure. We'll go with that.

The biggest laughs are not in sex jokes, mean-spiritedness and stupidity - look at Seinfeld and Cosby. I think you meant to say that that's where the easy laughs are.

If someone kills one night and dies another with the same act, chances are the act just isn't funny enough. A good act is a consistent act. It's like saying that a basketball team is good because they destroy in some games and get destroyed in others. Nope. That, sir, is a .500 team. Which means it's a team that has a long way to go.

Stand-up's the most honest profession that exists. Either you're good or you're not. And you get instant feedback. It's brilliant.