This Glossary of stand-up comedy terms and phrases is a collection of relevant industry nomenclature. It’s open ended as there are more which need defining and documenting and new ones yet to be created. If you have a suggestion, feel free to email it to us with the definition. Entries will be considered and included as appropriate. If included, it may be attributed to you as the person who submitted the word or phrase.
Glossary of Stand-Up Comedy Terms & Phrases
(1) The scene imagined in audience's minds based upon receiving a joke's Setup. (2) One of the five joke structure mechanisms that connect Setup and Punchline. See Joke Prospector Writing System, joke writing, and joke structure.
(1) The scene imagined in audience's minds based upon receiving a joke's Punchline. (2) One of the five joke structure mechanisms that connect Setup and Punchline. See joke structure, Joke Prospector Writing System, and joke writing.
In Greg Dean’s model of the three performance roles, points of view (POVs), used in stand-up comedy storytelling: Narrator POV, Self POV, and Character POV. See Anatomy of Funny Storytelling. storytelling, storytelling with scenes, and storytelling joke structure.
(1) Convention that imagines a wall existing between performers and their audience. (2) As related to stand-up comedy, when comedians enacts a scene, Self POVs and Character POVs live in that environment unaware there's an audience. See scene work and Anatomy of Funny Storytelling.
In Greg Dean's model of joke structure, there are 5 mechanisms which connect the Setup and Punchline: 1st Story, Target Assumption, Connector, Reinterpretation, and 2nd Story. See joke structure.
A scene within stand-up comedy routines where the comedian portrays all the roles of Narrator POV, Self POV, and Character POV. See scene work. and Anatomy of Funny Storytelling. (Term coined by Judy Carter.)
(1) A different way of explaining something. (2) As related to Greg Dean's Joke Prospector Writing System, it is an un-expected, yet compatible meaning of a Connector other than the Target Assumption or expected meaning. See Connector, Reinterpretation, and joke structure.
As related to Greg Dean's Joke Prospector Writing System, a list of un-expected meanings of a Connector, different from the expected meaning of the Target Assumption, one of which will become a joke’s Reinterpretation. See Joke Mine.
(1) Anything open to more than one interpretation. (2) In joke structure, an ambiguity, usually in setups, is anything that can have more than one meaning or interpretation, which becomes the mechanism, the Connector, when used to write a joke. See Connector and joke structure.
Greg Dean’s model of the three performance roles, points of view (POVs), used in stand-up comedy storytelling: Narrator POV, Self POV, and Character POV. When performing, comedians are always in at least one of these POVs. See Character POV, Narrator POV, Self POV, and storytelling joke structure.
Based on a piece of communication, Setup or Punchline, the mental means in which people compile information to fill in ambiguous or incomplete information to build a scenario in their minds until they believe they know what that piece of communication means. See 1st Story, 2nd Story.
(1) a fixed way of thinking or feeling about someone or something. (2) As related to the stand up comedy, the expression of only one negative opinion, judgment, or emotion repeatedly used toward a variety of subjects in jokes and routines.
One of three perceptual position or roles within Greg Dean's Anatomy of Funny Storytelling achieved when comedians act out scenes and portray someone or something else. See act out, Anatomy of Funny Storytelling, Narrator POV, Self POV, and scene work.
(1) Information generally shared by most people. (2) information available within an immediate environment. (3) As related to stand-up comedy, the information within jokes the audience must be familiar to get the jokes. See inside joke.
Joke structure mechanism at the center of all comedy, humor, and jokes defined as 1 thing with at least 2 interpretations. See ambiguity. (As related to Greg Dean's Joke Structure and Joke Prospector Writing System this is one of the five mechanisms between the setup and punchline which explain how jokes work.) Fully explained in Greg Dean's books "Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy" and "How to Write Jokes" available on Amazon.com
After the delivery of a failed joke when the audience is so quiet one could imagine hearing crickets. e.g. "At the end of my joke, there was nothing but crickets." See bomb, die, dog it, eat it, flop, suck, tank…
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