That time Louis C.K. gave great advice to an 18-year-old comedian
Phil Kuhlenbeck stashed this in PowerHouseLunches
Stashed in: @louisck
C.K.’s response went like this:
i started when i was 17. i got a good head start, skill-building wise, but I sometimes think I missed out on a lot of “Life” that I could be drawing from now. Try to go to college and get some knowlege. If you don’t do that, make a deliberate attempt to read a lot and educate yourself, so that you don’t just becauase a siv for American pop culture. If you spend all your time on stage talking about the cover of People magazine, you won’t go far, you won’t last, and you’ll be bored before you get good.
Take advantage of the head start you’re giving yourself by stopping as often as possible to live your life, explore America and grow as a person. When you go to some shit town to do a one-nighter, get there early and walk around before the show. Watch people. Observe and remember.
Go on stage as often as possible. Any stage anywhere. Don’t listen to anyone about anything. Just keep getting up there and try to be funny, honest and original.Know that it’s not going to be easy. Know that it’s going to take a long time to be good or great. Don’t focus on the career climbing.
Focus on the getting funnier. The second you are bitching about what another comic is getting you are going in the completely wrong direction. No one is getting your gig or your money.
Keep in mind that you are in for a looooong haul of ups and downs and nothing and something. It takes at least 15 years, usually more, to make a great comic. most flame out before they get there.
And yes, be polite and courteous to every single person you deal with. Not because that will make you a better comedian, but because you’re supposed to do that.
As far as how to get funny or write jokes, no one can teach you that. Just make sure you know what you’re trying to do and that you’re doing it in a way no one else is doing.
If anyone tells you they can teach you how to do comedy, they are lying.
I agree with Bent that you should fill yourself with the history of standup. Watch Richard Pryor Live in Concert, Bill Cosby himself, and listen to all of their albums as well as any other comedy cd you can get your hands on.Good luckLCK