C.J. Toledano, a standup and former writer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Onion News Network, wrote a piece for the Chicago comedy journal The Steamroller about getting some advice on standup from Louis C.K. nearly a decade ago.
At the time, Toledano was an 18-year-old dipping his toes into the comedy world and Louis C.K. was a comic and TV writer who was getting ready for his first starring role in HBO's Lucky Louie. Both Toledano and C.K. frequented the same Google Newsgroup, alt.comedy.standup (which is currently flooded with crazy spam), and Toledano wrote C.K. an email asking for comedy advice. Here's part of C.K.'s [...]
Stand-up Ari Shaffir delivered this nearly four-hour-long lecture, chock full of helpful advice for up and coming comics, onstage at The Comedy Store earlier this month and it's well-worth listening to despite its considerable length.
"There's nothing like being in debt to make you work. My best work came since I've been in debt. The thing about being humbled or stumbling or being in debt is that it makes you cut out the nonsense and just get to it, Jack. Just tell your story. Don't be precious about it. Make it count. Make it emotional. And mean it. Really mean it. Don't get too cerebral about it. Don't think about it too much. Those are all the traps for me."
- Writer/director David O. Russell, an expert on telling people what to do, giving advice to aspiring writers in The LA Times.
"Roast jokes tend to be shorter and more to the point than other kinds of jokes. They‘re more based in fact, and they’re economical. The fewer words the better… [It's] saying things out loud that normally you’d say behind people’s backs. A true roastmaster just lets it fly. That’s why I never prank people. That’s behind their back or sneaking up on them, and catching them off guard. I’d much rather confront them and tell the jokes face to face." – Jeff Ross in an interview with Co.Create on the art of roasting. (Like joke roasting. He, sadly, doesn't explain how to roast a chicken.)
Where the most relatable creative ambition was once to write the Great American Novel, it is now to maintain the Great American Twitter Feed. And who better to give advice on how to tweet comedically than the Fitzgeralds and Hemingways of Twitter? Here's a sample tip from Mystery Science Theater 3000 writer Bill Corbett:
Try to understand the short form, and be playful within it. Not everything needs to read like a classic "premise, punchline" joke…But understand that tastes vary wildly. Not everyone will think you're hilarious, and some dicks will make sure to tell you so. Don't worry about it.
Quick, before he gets away, let's all [...]