Here at The Future of Comedy, we realize there's a percentage of this population that goes out every night to find any stage time possible to work on their craft and make random strangers chuckle till whatever liquid comes out of their noses. Sometimes these people go insane and sometime these people have an epiphany either way we here want to report their findings.
This Stand up Comic's Epiphany - Warren Urchin
I've been a comic for about a year and a half and the other day I felt down on my luck, disappointed about what i've done with my life. I'm a college dropout, and here i am applying for a job bussing tables on the cheesecake factory website. Then I came across upon a questionnaire.
i skipped through the questions haphazardly when i got to an odd question, "When i see the world around me, i have little hope for mankind." Reading something so absurd, I stopped in my tracks. As if by the pressing of a switch, my brain converted pain and depression into "I think I can do something with that." It was the next day, after performing the new bit I had written about a stupid questionnaire on the cheesecake factory website, I had a profound realization.
If i was never lower class, broke, and desperate, i would have never been on the cheesecake factory website and got the inspiration for the joke. Out of disappointment and self hatred and anxiety, and just the overall strain of working at a high-volume chain restaurant bussing tables for 45 hours a fucking week came a joke; came a punchline. Out of the bad, comes something good.
Maybe somebody in the audience could relate to it. maybe audience members at the pub filled out questionnaires for a job. Maybe some guy felt where i was coming from; broke and forced to go through a bureaucratic website hoping to get a job from a chain restaurant.
It's all about that drive, that passion for reaching out to people. The voice of a comedian is what drives he or she to find a way to relate and connect to the patrons. There is truth in the supposed psychological phenomenon referred to as "it's funny because it's true." It's with us as we go about our days, the good and the bad.
Every comic is unique in the way that they observe that world, it's good facts and it's bad facts. We live in a world ripe for satire.
The reason that we comics instantly feel so alive after a good set; that blast of happiness, that "everything is going right" feeling comes from our inherent and apparent need to use our voice. To create something; something that says something. something that makes a drunk guy at a pub laugh so hard he drops his mug.
If there is such a thing as "funny", it is that moment of surprise; for instance, when a comic uses a perfectly timed callback. It happens when a comic drops an insanely clever tag out of nowhere to the point that you are itching to hear whatever observation comes next. The funny occupies all your attention and evicts the "my life sucks" type of thoughts right out of your head for a few minutes. Funny is when a comic makes you feel like they are in your head. Funny is a curveball that is thrown onstage. Laughter is your brains way of telling you "alright, subconscious self, that was a damn good joke. Better express it verbally".
Sometimes, we as comics feel alienated from the world around us. We fuck up, get sad. Get lonely. We feel locked in a society that we are powerless to change. But as comedians, we have a precious, precious gift to use our brains for this creative outlet. For instance, Politics is riddled with idiots and evil doers that are deserving of a righteous ridiculing.
It is a testament to the human spirit, and it seems to be the epitomized mentality of what it means to be an artist. We are pained and angst-ridden in a backwards-assed society, clinging desperately to any outlet at our disposal to create anything lovely.
We have a compulsion, a need to regularly make patrons laugh. When we succeed, it makes us happy. It gives us a fleeting view of contentment. A feeling that "everything is working out", a feeling so precious and rare it makes us glad to be a part of such a fucked up, crazy world. A comedian is someone who looks at the world, and all its injustice and suffering and loneliness and pain and says , "There's a good 5 minute bit in there, somewhere".