what i learned from performing stand up in an amphitheater for six Bolivian people – Michael Karlik

I was about one year into doing stand-up comedy. Naturally, I thought I was doing well (I wasn’t). Naturally, I thought I should be on more shows (I shouldn’t have been).

So when the Craigslist post said “Performers wanted: all types,” I responded immediately.

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it looks like a freaking TORNADO hit!!!

Did one of your parents ever have a phrase they’d say when you made a huge mess in the house? Something like: “It looks like a PIG STYE in here?!”

I feel like everyone has a parent who says one of those phrases. My mom would always walk into a room and go: “Je-sus Christ! It looks like a freaking TORNADO hit!”

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i went on tour for a month and you can too (maybe) – Patrick Hastie

I’m Patrick Hastie and you’ve probably never heard my name; reports of my fame are greatly exaggerated. I’m a stand-up comedian and in August I went on a 19-city tour with my friends, Albert Kirchner and Nick Pupo, called the YOUNG DINOSAURS TOUR. We did 30 shows in 27 days. It was crazy. It was daunting. It was absolutely fucking amazing. Since then, a lot of people have asked how we did it. So this article is going to tell you exactly how we did!

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you should meet your hero: what opening for Demetri Martin taught me – Phill Giliver

Imagine:

You’re a mechanical engineering student at Stanford University – one of the most elite colleges in the world. On a typical weeknight, you’re powering through your homework problems for Compressive Flow/Turbo Machinery, studying for an upcoming exam in Fluid Mechanics, building a solar power race car, presenting a camera mount (that you designed) at an engineering fair, or meeting with one of the four student groups that you’re a leader of.

Oh, and you do stand up comedy. You run an open mic at the campus coffee shop on Fridays where you perform in front of an audience of maaaaaybe 10 people. By the time the mic is over, there will be 3 of them left. One, an old man who lives in a trailer and plays his saxophone on the campus quad, comes every week just to heckle you – specifically you – about how your jokes aren’t funny. Whenever you get a chance, you make the forty-minute drive up to San Francisco to hit up an open mic (an open mic that isn’t much more popular than the one you run) and then you make the forty-minute drive back to campus.

One night, you get an email. Demetri Martin, one of the most famous headlining comics in America, is coming to your school. He’s going to be performing in front of an audience of 600. And you get to open for him.

That’s what happened to my friend Phill.

Phill Giliver is a student and open mic comedian based in the San Francisco Bay. This is the story of how he threw his hardworking college-student life out the window for one week so he could perform the set of his life.

A lot of people say you shouldn’t meet your hero because you’ll just be disappointed when you encounter them in the flesh. Phill found out what it was like to meet his. And he says, “do it.”

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bullshit is entertaining

Hello! I’ve been working hard on this story so that I could submit it to a comedy festival…and I just finished it! It’s a story about a trip I took to New Orleans with my grandpa. It’s pretty damn long, but I really do like it a lot. I’m not just saying that. Give it a darn minute of your time and see if you like it!

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jokes that only i think are funny

One of my favorite things is telling jokes that only I think are funny and nobody else thinks are funny. Which is, like, fantastic for stand up – I know.

I just think that there’s something hilarious about somebody thinking something is the funniest thing ever and everybody else just being like, “No, that’s not true. That is NOT funny. At all.”

That happened to me in real life once recently. 

I was on the train listening to a podcast in my headphones and then something funny happened in the podcast and I started laughing out loud. Like, really hard.

And then I looked next to me and I saw that this really old woman who was sitting next to me had just fallen off her seat on the ground.

And then I realized that everyone in the train was looking at me like I was some asshole because they thought I was just laughing my ass off at this old, injured, helpless lady who was sprawled out on the ground of the train.

And that just made me laugh even harder! Because they didn’t get the joke. They didn’t get why I thought it was funny. And at this point I was laughing hysterically, so I couldn’t just be like, “No, people…you don’t understand: my podcast is funny.” So I thought, “Okay, fine. I don’t care. I’m just make this even funnier for me.”

So, I just went with it. I pointed at the lady on the ground and went, “Ha, she’s old! She’s old and she fell! That’s hilarious!”

And then I got up…and I started kicking her. Real hard.

And then I pulled out my switch blade and I went, “STAB! STAB!”

And then I grabbed some of the blood and I was like flicking it on peoples faces all around the train.

And they still did not get the joke. They did not think that was funny. At all.

Except for one guy who was laughing. But then I realized that he had headphones on too, so he was probably just listening to the same podcast that I was.

You people get it though, right? That’s FUNNY. You get it. You’re totally on my side.

The featured image is a mural of Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza from the TV show Seinfeld that I found somewhere in Bushwick.

Yelp is racist

I was lucky enough to have Christmas in Hawaii this year. But, before I got there, I spent a couple of days in Los Angeles at my sister’s. One of those days she was very occupied with her boyfriend’s birthday plans, so she said, “Take my car and go visit your friend in Santa Barbara.”

So I was like, “Cool.” And I did.

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why i’m never going to be on SNL

Pretty much everybody I know who knows that I do stand up comedy has at one point said something to me like:

“Wow, wouldn’t it be something if I saw you on SNL one day?!”

Or, “Maybe if you work hard enough, you could be on SNL! Wouldn’t that be cool?!”

Or, “Hey buddy! You on SNL yet?! Ha!”

And I’m like, “Haha! Yeah! Whatever!”

Because everyone outside of the comedy world thinks that SNL is The Pinnacle of All Comedy. Which is totally fine to think; don’t get me wrong, I think SNL is fantastic! But it’s a very specific style of humor with a very specific format. And I don’t think that either the style or format is really right for me.

What I’m thinking in my head when somebody says one of those things to me is: “This person clearly doesn’t understand my comedic sensibility! Even if Lorne Michaels begged me to be on the show…I’d have to think twice about it!”

What I’m saying is that SNL probably wouldn’t ever want me anyways. It’s just not the gig for me. And that’s fine; I’d want to do other styles and formats of comedy that I would enjoy more anyways.

But, if I’m never going to be on SNL, I realized that I’m guaranteed to be a failure in the eyes of pretty much everyone that I know. Which is totally refreshing, and 100% takes the pressure off. I can do whatever I want! It’s SNL or bust. And I am choosing bust.

It’s like if you were to go into a test knowing that you weren’t even going to answer any of the questions. And then after you fail the test, your teacher and your parents and the school are all like, “Why’d you fail the test, Stu? You’re not very smart.”

And you’re like, “Trust me: I’m smart! The test is stupid.”

 

The featured image is a picture of the Freedom Tower taken from 14th Street and Avenue of the Americas, right down the street from Bunga’s Den. It’s nowhere near 30 Rock, but it’s still cool. If you liked this post, please like and share below! You can also follow the blog through TwitterFacebook, or by joining my mailing list.

“be silly!”

I was at a crowded open mic on a Friday night – the last one of the night that everyone who doesn’t have a show goes to. A friend I had made a few days earlier (say, Jess) made her way up to the stage and started her three-minutes set. It was early in the night and so the majority of the comics were in the room paying close attention. She told a couple of new jokes that didn’t go over so well, so she asked the audience of comics “why isn’t this funny?” It was a genuine question, although it was definitely rhetorical. She was just wondering aloud.

“You’re not being silly!” Someone shouted from the back of the room. Everyone looked back. It was another comic known to be brash at open mics, let’s call him Ryan.

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