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Performing comedy for the first time – whether it’s improv, sketch or standup – can be an intimidating experience, which keeps a lot of would-be first-timers from taking a stab at it. Luckily for panicky novices, though, there are several well-regarded programs that hold your hand through the getting-your-feet-wet process. While conventional wisdom seems to dictate that with standup, it’s best to get started by performing at an open mic instead of taking standup classes, sketch and improv lend themselves more to curriculum and classes, and several well-regarded [...]
This week, the New York Times comedy column takes on Eddie Brill, the booker for comics on The Late Show with David Letterman and one of the "gatekeepers of television comedy." It's interesting to look at how Brill's own comedy preferences play into his decision-making.
In conversations with a dozen comics as well as Mr. Brill about what he’s broadly looking for, two things come up repeatedly: honesty and vulnerability. About honesty Mr. Brill said: “If you have your base in reality, then you can have fantasy and be silly. But if your base is fantasy, then it’s really hard to have a reality.”
…Among some comics “Late [...]