Skip to main content

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

In this article, Study the Styles of Comedians to Unleash Your Funny, we’ll embark on a journey to study the various styles of comedians and discover the magic behind their laughter-inducing abilities.

In my previous article, Aspiring Comedian’s Checklist: Watch Stand Up Shows to Ignite Your Comedy Passion, I pushed you to watch shows so you’ll know the diverse world of stand-up comedy.

Comedy is a universal language that has the power to bring joy and laughter to people from all walks of life. Whether it’s a quick one-liner, a hilarious observation, or a captivating story, comedians are masters at capturing the essence of humor and making us laugh till our sides hurt.

These styles of comedians can overlap. This is more of an art than a science. Some are a combination of several styles of comedians, which in itself becomes a style.

This article is not about trying to plug everyone into a category, but rather to point out the diverse styles of comedians make us laugh. Also for you to note which styles you like and want to work toward as you become a comedian.

Styles of Comedians - Monologist

One of the most well-known styles of comedians is that of the monologist. Late-night shows thrive on the witty banter and hilarious anecdotes shared by talented monologists. Their ability to engage the audience with their unique perspectives and relatable stories is truly commendable.

Late-night legends like Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien have mastered the art of monologues, bringing laughter to millions night after night.

Styles of Comedians - One-liner Comics

On the other end of the styles of comedians spectrum, we have the one-liner comics. These quick-witted masters of brevity, such as Steven Wright and Anthony Jeselnik, have the ability to pack a punch with just a few words. Their concise delivery and clever wordplay leave us amazed at their ability to turn ordinary phrases into comedic gold.

Styles of Comedians - Characters & Ethnic Types

Another fascinating styles of comedians is that of character or ethnic comedy. For instance, the infectious insanity of Steve Martin’s character swept through American culture. This jerk thought he was great at everything all the while being inept at most everything he did.

Whoopi Goldberg has become a household name with her fantastic ability to embody different characters and bring them to life on stage. Through her unique storytelling and hilarious impersonations, she has left a lasting impact on the comedy world.

Styles of Comedians - Observations

Once of the styles of comedians is observational, popularized by the legendary Jerry Seinfeld, focuses on finding humor in everyday situations. Seinfeld’s ability to make us laugh at the mundane aspects of life is a testament to his remarkable talent. His keen eye for detail and ability to highlight the absurdities we often overlook is truly inspiring.

Styles of Comedians - Storytellers

Moving on, we encounter the styles of comedians is the storytellers. Richard Pryor and Jay Larson are prime examples of comedians who captivate audiences with their vivid tales. They take us on a journey through their experiences, effortlessly blending humor with relatable narratives. Their stories create a strong connection with the audience, allowing us to see the world through their humorous lens.

Other storytellers, such as Tom Segura and Jim Gaffigan, have the incredible ability to captivate audiences with their narratives. Through their personal experiences and compelling storytelling, they weave a comedic tapestry that keeps us engaged from start to finish. Their ability to draw us in and take us on a laughter-filled journey is truly magical.

Styles of Comedians - Opinion & Social Critic

More styles of comedians is the opinionated social critics like Bill Burr and George Carlin use their comedy to share their perspectives on life, society, and everything in between. Through their thought-provoking jokes and biting social commentary, they shed light on important issues while making us laugh along the way. Their unique ability to combine entertainment and social commentary makes them true comedic geniuses.

Styles of Comedians Variety Performers

The skilled styles of comedians, such as magicians, jugglers, and ventriloquists, bring a different kind of talent to the stage. With their impressive tricks and entertaining performances, they leave us in awe and wonderment. To the mesmerizing magic of Penn & Teller or the ventriloquism of Jeff Dunham or the comedy juggling of Michael Davis, these variety comedians never fail to amuse and amaze us.

Styles of Comedians - Topical & Political

Different styles of comedians has also found a place in the political arena, with shows like “Saturday Night Live” and right-wing funny columnists like Kurt Schlichter who use satire and humor to tackle societal issues. Their ability to poke fun at politicians and current events provides a much-needed release valve in tense times.

Styles of Comedians - Humorists

Another one of  the styles of comedians is the humorists, like George Carlin and Steven Izmo, use their comedy to shed light on everyday situations and human behavior. Through their clever use of language and relatable jokes, they remind us to find the humor in life’s little absurdities of language.

Styles of Comedians - Musical

Musical styles of comedians, such as Tom Lehrer and Victor Borge combine their musical talent with comedic lyrics to create a unique and entertaining experience. Their ability to make us laugh through catchy tunes and excellent music is truly delightful.

Styles of Comedians - Parody & Satirists

The styles of comedians and satirists, who have found a home on shows like “Saturday Night Live,” use satire and parody to imitate and mock prominent figures and events. Their ability to distill complex issues into comedic sketches is an art form in itself.

Styles of Comedians - Insult

Insult is another one of the styles of comedians like Don Rickles who are known for their quick wit and sharp tongue. Their ability to roast and make fun of others, all in good jest, is a testament to their comedic skill. Also Dean Martin as well as Jeff Ross and the Battle Roast have exposed the fun of pointing out the funny side of other people’s flaws.

Styles of Comedians - Sketch

The many sketches are another of the styles of comedians by the writers and cast of “Saturday Night Live” bring together situations and characters to have some frivolous fun or show us the obscurity in our world through the Weekend Update.

Styles of Comedians - Improvisation

A fabulously funny styles of comedians is Improv like on “Whose Line Is It Anyway.” Improvisors bring the element of spontaneity and creativity to the stage. Others such as Jeff Garlin and Robin Williams use their ability to think on their feet and create hilarious scenes and characters in the moment is truly impressive.

Styles of Comedians - Eccentric

Eccentric is another one of the styles of comedians like Andy Kaufman who are known for pushing the boundaries of comedy and blurring the line between performance and reality. Kaufman’s unique style challenged traditional norms and made us question what comedy truly means.

Styles of Comedians - Prop Comics

Prop comedians from the classic acts of Gallagher to one of the top paid comedians Carrot Top. Some consider this a lesser styles of comedians as an art form than pure stand-up comedy, yet their popularity is a testament to the fact that they make audiences laugh in a more universal manner.

Styles of Comedians - Silent Film Stars

Silent comedians are one of the styles of comedians who use physical comedy to elicit laughter without uttering a single word. Their ability to communicate through gestures and expressions alone proclaims the power of nonverbal humor.

If you haven’t studied the work of Charlie Chaplin, who I consider the funniest man to ever live, or Buster Keaton and Jacque Tate, then you’re missing some of the greatest comedy ever produced. Their comic genius lives on in their movies.

Styles of Comedians - Mimes & Clowns

These physical styles of comedians are some of the most gifted performers that don’t get the credit they deserve. Mime and actor Bill Irwin brings astounding talent to stage and screen. Also Stefan Haves is keeping the spirit of clowning alive with his many stage productions and his work with Cirque du Soleil.

Let’s not forget the great funny man Red Skelton and his many characters on the Red Skelton Show. He brought joy and laughter through exaggerated physicality and slapstick antics. Clowns and mimes have the ability to make us laugh without saying a word which is a testament to their timeless appeal.

Styles of Comedians - Daredevil

This is one of the oddest styles of comedians with the character Super Dave Osborne played by Bob Einstein with his hilarious crashes made us laugh while performing death-defying stunts.

Frank Miles juggled a million and a half volt tasers on the end of sticks while standing in a huge bucket of water pushes the boundaries of physical comedy which resulted in unpredictable hilarity.

Styles of Comedians - Sports

Unique among the styles of comedians is within Sports, like Frank Caliendo take the world of sports and turn it into a comedic playground. Through their hilarious impressions and witty observations, they bring a new dimension of humor to the sports world.

The Harlem Globetrotters are still going strong by entertain millions with their basketball skills and antics enjoyed by folks in the world over.

Styles of Comedians - Literary

Not always thought of  as one of the styles comedians, there the Literary writers, such as Dave Barry, use their comedic writing skills to entertain and enlighten readers. Through their humorous essays and witty commentary on everyday life, they bring laughter to the written word.

As we study the various styles of comedians, it becomes clear that comedy is a diverse and ever-evolving art form. From quick one-liners to thought-provoking social commentary, comedians have the power to make us laugh, think, and question our own perspectives.

Summary

In conclusion, studying the styles of comedians from monologues to literary humorists each brings its own unique blend of humor. So, immerse yourself in the world of comedy, embracing the diversity of styles of comedians and relishing the joy and laughter they bring. Who knows, you may find yourself being one of these funny people.

Coming Soon

In my next article, Aspiring Comedian’s Checklist is Read Stand-Up Comedy Blogs to Fuel Your Dreams, I’ll suggest you read the blogs that will inform and keep you current on the ever-changing world of stand-up comedy.

Remember, 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.