Vivacious Vocabulary for Stand Up Comedy

Today you’ll learn vocabulary related to stand-up comedy.

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I’ve always loved stand-up comedy. Even as a teenager, I would watch Comedy Central constantly, even buying comedy albums from the likes of Steve Martin.

Although telling jokes on stage has long been a form of entertainment, all the way back to ancient Greece, what we think of as modern stand-up comedy really began in America in the early 1900’s, with comedians telling jokes on stage in vaudeville shows.

Then, in the 1950’s, with the likes of Lenny Bruce, stand-up took on its sharper edges of social commentary. That’s often what its used for today- a way to laugh at the dark parts of the world, taking some of their power away, and making people feel better in the process. source

Stand-up Vocabulary

Slay- make everyone laugh a lot; do really well

Kill- make everyone laugh a lot; do really well

Dry humor- a way of delivering jokes without emotion, and the jokes may not be immediately or obviously funny

One liner- a joke that is super short, maybe just one sentence

Example from Mitch Hedburg: “When I was a boy, I laid in my twin sized bed and wondered where my brother was.”

He’s a good example of a tortured stand-up who died young. After listening to the podcast WTF for years, I’ve learned that a lot of stand-ups actually struggle with problems like depression and extreme anxiety, which leads to substance abuse.

Punch line- the last line of a joke that makes it funny\

Comment! What stand-up comedian do you like?

Pop Culture R&R

Jerry Seinfeld had his hit show, Seinfeld, from 1989 to 1998. This show broke all the rules of a sitcom; as they say in the pilot, it was really about nothing.

After the show ended, Seinfeld threw away all his jokes and started over. He made a documentary of this process called Comedian which came out in 2002.

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