Why You Need to Watch Some Stand-Up Comedy Right Now

Last quarter I signed up for a comedy class on a whim. It was one of the electives for my major and my friends were taking it, so I thought why not? I like funny things. I can be funny…

I remember looking through the syllabus and feeling excited about the projects and assignments we were going to work on. Writing my own radio show, creating a slapstick scene, recreating an iconic comedy duo, and watching a PBS special on the history of comedy and famous comedians seemed like so much fun! But then my eyes shifted down to the bottom: “10 minutes of original stand-up comedy” was our assignment for the final. And boy was I not excited for that.

I used to hate stand-up. It seemed so insane to me that people would willingly go up in front of people and just talk and try to be funny for 10 minutes to an hour. It seemed excruciatingly painful and I never thought that I would ever find myself doing it. But I did! And surprisingly, I liked it. For my research, I watched a lot of Netflix stand-up comedy specials with comedians like John Mulaney and Amy Schumer. We even had a UCD alum come by who does stand-up for a living talk to us! My small experience with stand-up comedy certainly opened my eyes. So, basically, you should watch some stand-up comedy! Here's why.

Comedy is very hard and stand-up, especially, is very underappreciated.

Comedians spend so much time coming up with jokes, characters, and even stories that will hit every beat perfectly and make audiences laugh.

It’s very difficult, and also very hard to watch people who haven’t had a lot of experience try it out. But everyone’s got to start somewhere! Unfortunately, the beginning stage is rough, but after getting through many crash and burn performances, the really good ones are definitely worth watching. Just knowing how much effort goes into writing one single joke is amazing, and comedians deserve to be seen.

A lot of their pieces are relatable.

There’s nothing better than hearing someone else say exactly what you’re thinking! While a comedian’s job is mainly to make you laugh, a lot of material, especially nowadays, is meant to hit you right in the feelers. Whether it’s revealing the subtleties of human awkwardness or an ugly truth in society, sometimes those jokes that hit the hardest at home are the ones that make us chuckle the most.

If you’re an actor, stand-up comedy is a great way to get started.

Stand-up comedy is a great way for actors to get seen. Breaking into the business isn’t a perfect science and no one starts their career the same way. However, if you’re an actor just starting out, you should take advantage of the open mics in your area. After all, you never know who will be in the audience! Famous actors like Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, and Steve Martin started out as stand-up comics, and if that’s what you want to do, stand-up is totally worth a try!

So, if you’re looking to expand your actor toolkit or just need a good laugh, check out some stand-up comedy! Watch Netflix specials, go on Youtube, or even go out to an open mic night! The important thing is to always appreciate artists.