wikiHow to Perform Stand Up Comedy

One Methods:Premise Act-out formula

Ever want to entertain people with comedy? Well, now you can!


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    Get over stage fright. Do smaller presentations not on stage as much as possible to get used to talking in public. Teach a class in something you know. Volunteer as a Museum tour guide, that will give you a captive audience to try your material. Work up to the bright lights on stage with an audience expecting you to "perform" and make them laugh. Work up to that. Go to Open Mics, and give it a shot, that audience is not expecting wondrous things from you, so use it for what it is, a good practice to overcome stage fright. Its simply overcome by you getting up on stage more and more, so keep that in mind. Yes, it can be terrifying, but it can also be the most exhilarating experience you will ever have standing up.
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    Pick a target (your topic or the thing you're making fun of). It should be something you can say a lot about. Many comedians start by talking about their personal experiences—not only is it a topic they know lots about, but it's more successful to make fun of yourself than others when you're starting out.
    • Research your topic, you will look like a fool if you don't know what you're talking about.
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    Come up with an act. It shouldn't be drawn out, but it should be long enough to cover your allotted time.
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    Practice. It may be a cliché, but practice does make perfect. Practice in front of friends and family, in front of the mirror, and when you're in the shower. You can't know the material too well.
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    Relax and have fun.

Premise Act-out formula

  1. Image titled Perform Stand Up Comedy Step 6
    pick a topic that is unique to you but relatable to others (for example "being married")
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    say something true and insightful (but not necessarily funny) about this topic. This true/insightful/not-necessarily-funny nugget is called a premise. For example, a premise about "being married" could be: "What's weird about being married is that the thing that first attracted you to your spouse will eventually become the thing that will annoy you most.)
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    Illustrate that premise with a humorous act out - "when we first started dating, my wife's laugh sounded like an angel, but now it sounds like (act-out of wife's laugh)


  • You may also want to try impersonations in your act.
  • Know your audience (i.e don't joke about Britney Spears if you're performing for a group of Civil war veterans.)
  • Prepare you material so you don't forget your act. Going up blindly can be embarrassing, so have something to say, and say it with style, enjoy yourself.
  • You may not need to remember it all word for word, but at least remember the setup and the punchline.
  • Have fun and be yourself. The audience will feel more engaged listening to you if you look like you're having fun.
  • Perhaps take a good stand up class.
  • Only go so far on racial, religious, or political jokes.
  • Listen to how Jay Leno and other Top comedians perform.
  • If you forget your material, then make it up as you go along. Whatever you do, don't let the audience know. Get off the stage if you are floundering, nothing is worse than that. So dismount gracefully; just say goodnight, and thank you, wait for applause. Just remember to leave soon if you forget your act.
  • Be sure to make sense and talk about current day events if you run out of material like how people walk slow but then get mad when you step on they're heel
  • Make fun of real things that people will get and understand
  • Find your own method. Watch other comics but still be yourself. Plagiarism isn't approved by a majority of society.

Things You'll Need

  • A notebook
  • A recording device
  • A website listing where the open mics are in your area (make sure that you call the venue itself and confirm the time and date of the open mic- they tend to change a lot)

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Performing Comedy