“Stand-up comedy is a comedic style in which a comedian performs in front of a live audience, speaking directly to them. The performer is commonly known as a comic, stand-up comic, stand-up comedian or simply a stand-up.” – Wikipedia
A stand-up comedian is one who tells jokes, humour stories or comic tid-bits in front of a live audience to get them to laugh and have fun. The material used in any such act is prepared and rehearsed days and sometimes weeks in advance. An ‘act’ usually involves direct audience interaction with sometimes a joke or a punch line targeted at a member of the audience albeit in a lighthearted vein. Such an ‘act’ can either contain references to the comic’s past and present life, references to any events or person in history or it can just be a collection of one-liners with a certain context. Sample these-
“Did you ever walk in a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.” – Sue Murphy
“I wanted to make it really special on Valentine’s day, so I tied my boyfriend up. And for three solid hours I watched whatever I wanted on TV.” – Tracy Smith
“I know what men want. Men want to be really, really close to someone who will leave them alone.” – Elayne Boosler
“Dogs lead a nice life. You never see a dog with a wristwatch.” – George Carlin
There are many comedians known worldwide for their stand-up acts and the most popular amongst them being George Carlin, Russel Peters, Robin Williams, Louis C.K. , Jerry Seinfeld (Of Seinfeld) and Bill Hicks. Each one of them have their own distinctive style and flavour of presentation that makes them a favourite amongst the audience. Whereas on one hand George Carlin speaks about social issues and makes fun of them on the other we have Russel Peters who jokes about cultural and racial, differences and idiosyncrasies. You sure wouldn’t want to be in the first row of any Russel Peters show!
And then we have Louis C. K who generally speaks about all the silly little things in life – generally from his own life that makes sense to and applies to all.
As for the audience, there is nothing that relaxes or makes you laugh more than a stand up act. The fact that it is happening live and in-front of you is what makes it that much special. However, as an audience one should be careful enough to choose the comedian of their taste and be sporty enough to look at the lighter side of all the jokes,comments or gestures made. Whoever your favourite performer is, there’s plenty of videos on the Internet that can make you laugh, chuckle, giggle, chortle, crack up or simply smile and ease out the pressures of any stressed out day. So go on, just laugh!