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How to Become a Comedian Blog Series - Aspiring Comedian’s Checklist

In this article, Speak Like Comedians: Decoding Stand Up Comedy Terms – Part 1, I’ll guide you through the language of comedy so when you talk to comedians you won’t sound like an idiot. When you’re fluent in comedian speak, then you can check this off your list as you move from being an aspiring to open mic comedian.

In my previous articles in the Aspiring Comedians’ Checklist, I’ve covered:
Stand-Up Comedy Videos to Harden Your Funny Bone
Read Stand Up Comedy Blogs to Fuel Your Dreams
Study the Styles of Comedians to Unleash Your Inner Comedian
Watch Stand Up Shows to Ignite Your Comedy Passion
Get Your Jokaholic Fix – Addicts Guide to Joke Books

These items are the reflectors along the road to guide you down the road to becoming a stand-up comedian without crashing and burning. Check off or jerk off, it’s up to you.

How learning stand up comedy terms can benefit you.

One of the best ways to become a comedian is to know what’s already out there by reading current and classic joke books. Over imbibe in the endless intoxication of the possibilities of making people laugh.

Joke books offer valuable insights into the mechanics of humor and the different techniques used to create jokes. We’ll explore why reading classic and current joke books is essential for anyone who wants to become a comedian and master the art of joke writing.

Stand Up Comedy Term Categories

I’ve put the following stand up comedy terms into categories so I can get you familiar with some of the most common stand up comedy terms in their contexts. This is just a way to organize this article as comedians don’t think about their lingo in this manner.

Also, I’ve not defined all of the terms in the article as I’m giving you an opportunity to explore more by going inside my Glossary of Stand Up Comedy Terms to explore these terms and more. You can never be too educated.

Styles of Stand Up Comedians

There are many styles of comedians out there, each bringing their own unique flair and perspective to the stage. From physical comedians who use their body language and facial expressions to generate laughter to satirical comedians who use humor to critique social and political issues, the world of comedy is diverse and ever evolving.

Click on the terms below to investigate some of the styles of funny people:

The more you know about the different styles of comedians the better you’ll be at determining which you most resemble.

Comedian’s Positions in Shows

Comedians hold various positions in comedy shows that contribute to the overall laughter and entertainment. Whether you’re an aspiring comedian or a fan of comedy, understanding comedian positions in a show adds depth to knowing where you’re headed.

Click to get their definitions:

As you enter the doors of stand up comedy club and rooms this is part of the lingo you’ll need to know.

Aspects of Being a Stand Up Comedian

There are many related concepts that are part of being a comedian. Here are some of the things you’ll need to know as you step into the role of comedian.

This selection runs the gambit of the aspects of being a comedian, then each of these will lead you to even more. So much to learn and plenty of time to do so.

Material and Joke Writing

The key to writing great material and jokes is to tap into your creativity and unique perspective. Start by observing the world around you and finding humor in everyday situations. What makes you laugh? What absurdities do you notice in your daily life?

Here’s some of the info you need to know about jokes.

Remember, writing material and jokes is an ongoing process. It takes practice and refinement to develop your comedic voice. Keep experimenting, performing in front of audiences (or friends), and paying attention to their reactions. This feedback will help you fine-tune your material.

Understanding Joke Structure

This is the most important knowledge you’ll need for everything to do with writing and performing stand up comedy. With a solid foundation of understanding how jokes work, you’ll put your comedy career on the fast track because you won’t have to spend years learning about structure, but instead put in your 10,000 hours practicing and performing.

Learn how jokes work:

I know these are new terms even for accomplished comedians, yet these joke mechanisms will increase your ability to write material at will.

Stand Up Comedy and Storytelling

Many aspiring comedians tell me they want to tell funny stories. What they don’t understand is that it requires many more skills of writing and performing to tell stories, rather than just do one-liners.

Here’s a bit of what you’ll need to know:

Some of these terms are based on my Anatomy of Funny Storytelling. This information will give a clear understanding of how storytelling is a series of skills.

Lastly, never stop learning and evolving as a comedian. Attend workshops or classes to refine your skills. Study the comedy greats and stay up-to-date with current trends. The comedy industry is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay relevant and adapt to changes.

Coming Soon

In this article, Speak Like Comedians: Decoding Stand Up Comedy Terms – Part 1, I’ve helped you with some of the terms and lingo of comedians in the categories of styles, show positions, being a comedian, material, joke structure, and storytelling. Browse through my glossary so you can check off even more words as you strengthen your comedic vocabulary.

In my next article, How to Become a Comedian Blog Series – Aspiring Comedian’s Checklist: Speak like Comedians: Decoding Stand Up Comedy Terms – Part 2, I’ll continue to explain and give access to my Glossary of Stand Up Comedy Terms with the additional categories of Types of Clubs, Functions of Clubs, Equipment, Audiences, Performing, Work and Representation. These will fill out your vocabulary as you become a comedian.

Laughter is contagious, pass it on.

Greg Dean’s Stand-Up Comedy Classes

Greg teaches his techniques in multiple classes.  The beginner class is “Level 1 – How to Build a Stand-Up Comedy Routine”, the advanced class is “Level 2 – Advanced Joke Writing & Performing Class”. If you’re interested in faster and better ways to create good jokes and you want to dive deeper on joke writing then you’ll want to take both of these classes.

Free How to Build a Stand-Up Comedy Routine Webinar

You’ll Get Exposed to Joke Structure and Several Other Stand Up Comedy Techniques that Could Make Your Stand Up Comedy Routines Better!

View the Webinar
Greg Dean

Forty years ago, Greg realized that nobody was teaching comedy. Greg took it upon himself to be a stand-up comedy teacher and teach others how to succeed. Setting aside his successful career as a comedian (Saturday Night Live, Ringling Bros Circus clown and ringmaster, Comedy Store paid regular, his own improv troupe with Andy Garcia) and many others, he pursued his passion – to teach the art of stand-up.