Stand-up comedy is one of the most difficult and rewarding forms of performing arts to master when you meet someone unexpectedly quotes. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. It may seem like an insurmountable task, but with practice and perseverance anything can be accomplished in 30 days — even becoming a stand up comedian! I’ve taken all the best tips from several dozen other popular blog posts on learning how to be a stand up comedian in 30 days and put together this ultimate guide for those interested in taking their comedic talents to the big city stage.
1. Watch Comedy Movies.
For starters, watch comedy movies daily — they’re the best way to understand what comedy is all about. Practice clapping and laughing during the funny parts, and don’t be afraid to feel embarrassed or weirded out by the more awkward or random ones. Don’t just watch the big name comedians either; try to view as many different types of comedy movies as you can. Documentaries and dramas are especially useful for providing valuable insight about spontaneous acting, situational humor, and social satire.
2. Go to Comedy Shows.
Once you feel like you get what’s funny about a stand-up comedian’s material in movies try seeing some live shows. The best way to see stand-up comedy is to go see a comedian, who is not just trying to entertain you but actually trying to put on a show. You’ll get an even better sense of what it means for one person to look and act out a joke than watching the same material in a movie.
3. Go Online and Learn about Improv.
Live comedy shows are even more effective at teaching comedians how to produce spontaneous material on stage because there’s nobody there who can tell them what’s funny or not funny — you have no one but yourself and the people sitting around you. Often, the more technical and complex the material, the more difficult it is to perform but the more rewarding it can be when you do get through it.
4. Watch Comedy DVD’s.
Well, not really, as they’re called ‘DVDs’, but a great way to learn how comedians talk and act on stage that’s extremely helpful is by watching stand-up comedy DVDs. There are lots of different styles of comedy shows out there in the world, so many artists have their own unique approaches to their performances that you can pick up while watching these DVDs over and over again.
5. Watch Comedy Podcasts.
There are lots of great stand up comedy podcasts out there that can help you pick up some new material, connect with other comedians in your city, and help hone your own skills as a comedian on stage. From podcasts of comedians talking about how to make it in comedy to podcasts that teach you how to learn comedy while you talk, there are many that can help you learn more about what’s funny out there in the world.
6. Get a Comedy Workshop/Class.
To become a better stand up comedian you need to do what most successful comedians have done — take classes or workshops! You can find tons of workshops online where people are willing to teach you how to be funny on stage for cheap and quickly, or even if you don’t have money for a class it’s still possible and recommended that you just start practicing by yourself.
7. Get a Comedy Club Pass.
Find some comedy clubs in your area and get a pass for the night where you can go in, sit down, and watch everyone on stage making people laugh with their jokes. If you’re not used to seeing others tell jokes or talk it can be weird at first, so just relax, take it all in, and learn from them. There’s no better way to feel comfortable and confident going on stage yourself than watching other people do it while they are feeling pretty much the same way you are right now.
8. Join Your Local Stand Up Comedy Community Online/Onstage /Chapter/Fringe Festival/.
No matter where you are in the world there are always people interested in comedy and willing to help teach you how to make people laugh. As with classes and workshops, these groups will be more helpful to you if you know what kinds of things are funny and want to learn how to do it yourself. Try meeting up with these comedy clubs in your area at a nearby comedy club or even at a comedy club all by yourselves — just the club members — and find out what kind of material they use and if they have any tips that they can teach newbies like yourself who have taken just one stand up class on this week’s lesson plan: “How to make people laugh on stage.”
Practice, Perform, & Practice Some More.
There is no shortcut to becoming a great stand up comedian. All comedians must develop the skill of sitting in front of an audience (usually alone) and sharing their thoughts and experience with them.