Five Things You Must Do Before You Try Stand Up Comedy

The First In A Series Of Articles In Starting Stand Up Comedy

The thing I am asked about more than anything else is “How do I get started in comedy”? Well, that is surprisingly hard question to answer. Not because there is not much to say, but because it is such a huge topic.
So I thought I would start with a look at five things you must do before you try stand up comedy, before you even think about getting on stage.


  1. Watch a lot of comedy. I know it sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people miss this crucial starting point out.
    And by saying watch a lot of comedy, I mean GO AND SEE IT LIVE. Not DVD’s or TV, but actual live shows. Go and see comedy at every level. Check out some open mic nights (as that’s where you will start). Go to some semi-pro mixed club nights, go see the bigger club nights. Go see some full solo shows. The Soho Theatre has an excellent range of solo shows if you live in London. If you don’t, have a look at what’s on at your local arts centre or theatre. Go see something at the o2. Go to as many different comedy shows as you can.
  2. Start making lists. Lists of things you like, lists of things you don’t like. List of things that bewilder you, lists of things you can’t believe anyone would want to buy in Waitrose. Lists of the best left backs to ever play for your football team, or worst shoes in the pub on Saturday night. You get the idea. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT try to be funny. Just make a simple list. ONE LAST THING: Be honest, don’t add things to your lists because you think it’s what people would like you to have put.
  3. Don’t be a dick.
  4. Check in at Chortle is the main online hub of the comedy industry. Try to have a look every day. Sometimes there isn’t much there… But it usually is an excellent resource on all things comedy in the UK. You can find Chortle HERE
  5. Strip naked and dance around a candle in your living room while smearing peanut butter over your chest and dancing to Wand. SERIOUSLY. It won’t actually help your comedy, but if you can manage to do that, then you can probably manage perform stand up.

I hope this is some help. More to come soon…


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