Friday, January 31, 2014

The Normtastic Four

I've been known to dabble in standup comedy in the past, participating in a couple of open mic nights around town and (wayyyy back in the day) doing short standup sets during high school variety shows.  As much as I love and adore standup comedy....I don't think I'm very good at it.  I'm not bad at improv comedy (where the audience gives you more slack) and I'm not bad at including a few clever vibes within, say, a blog post if I have a paragraph to set it up. 

When it comes to actually coming up with real JOKES, however, to be delivered in front of a live audience?  Not the best.  I realize that it's foolish to be expecting five minutes of wall-to-wall laughs but man, telling what you think is a solid joke and being answered by virtual crickets is tough.  You have to worry about delivery, you have to worry about remembering the damn jokes in the first place* and (of course) you have to come up with lots of good material. 

* = some less-polished comedians refer to cue cards, which I honestly should do since it's it's not like I'm freakin' Seinfeld here, but I dunno, I'd had an aversion to cue cards even back to my grade school speech days.  I feel like I'd just stare at them obsessively like Tim Calhoun

And then, even when you do come up with a good joke, you have to make sure it's "your" joke.  Google is an immense help in this regard, since if you're the kind of honourable person who actually doesn't want to plagiarize, it's pretty easy to discover if the clever line you just thought up is your original creation or something you heard years ago that only now slid its way to the front of your brain.  If this happens, then hey, congrats, you were honourable and didn't plagiarize!  On the down side, dammit, so much for that great joke.

Long story short, I'm pretty sure I'd heard this Norm Macdonald routine before at some point in my life, and thus I have nobody but my subconscious mind to blame for my cursing and angrily deleting a few lines of text earlier today.  I'll just have to stick to the other nine comic book-related jokes in my act....which may also explain my lack of standup success. 

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