Manual New Jokes for Stand-up Comedians 2014

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Her comedy career kicks off with the help of her agent Dan Aykroyd and his assistant Carrie Fisher , but the success of her new career ultimately gets in the way of her relationship with her daughters. This comedy-drama follows stand-up comedian Buddy Young Jr. Through a series of flashbacks, the pic details the brothers' childhood and Buddy's rise to fame as he has his big break by booking his own television show. Following the decline of Buddy's career, the comic attempts to reconnect with Stan while he also tries to make a comeback by accepting a role in a top director's new film.

In addition to starring in Mr. The men bond as George helps Ira perfect his craft and they work to define George's legacy. The veteran comedian goes into remission as an old flame Leslie Mann reappears, which gives him the opportunity to re-evaluate his life and figure out what truly matters to him. Based on Mike Birbiglia's one-man off-Broadway show, the comedy Sleepwalk With Me stars Birbiglia as an aspiring comedian who's in denial about the state of his relationship, his goals for the future and his rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder.

The comic experiences intense anxiety and keeps his feelings a secret, which leads to humorous and dangerous sleepwalking experiences. Gillian Robespierre's feature directorial debut follows immature stand-up comic Donna Jenny Slate , whose one-night stand with graduate student Max Jake Lacy ends with an unplanned pregnancy.

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Donna decides to have an abortion and talks about what she's going to do during one of her sets. Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in this comedy. While Andre Allen Rock has found success as the star of an action-comedy trilogy series, he originally got his start in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comic. When Andre is forced to spend the day with New York Times profile writer Chelsea Rosario Dawson , he unexpectedly opens up to her and gives her a tour of New York City as he reconnects with his comedic roots.

Robert De Niro once again plays a stand-up comedian in this comedy-drama. Despite aging comic Jackie Burke's De Niro efforts to reinvent himself and his comedy act, he learns that audiences only see him as the former television character that made him famous. After accosting an audience member at a comedy show, Jackie is sentenced to 30 days in jail and is forced to complete hours of community service.

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While doing his community service, he meets and forms a bond with Harmony Leslie Mann and the two find inspiration in each other. This film follows Pakistani comic Kumail Kumail Nanjiani and American graduate school student Emily Zoe Kazan , who meet when she heckles him during one of his stand-up sets. They liked their slam poets to deliver the goods in tones of the highest seriousness and on subjects of lunar bleakness; they favored musicians who could turn out covers with cheerful precision; and they wanted comedy that was percent risk-free, comedy that could not trigger or upset or mildly trouble a single student.

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They wanted comedy so thoroughly scrubbed of barb and aggression that if the most hypersensitive weirdo on campus mistakenly wandered into a performance, the words he would hear would fall on him like a soft rain, producing a gentle chuckle and encouraging him to toddle back to his dorm, tuck himself in, and commence a dreamless sleep—not text Mom and Dad that some monster had upset him with a joke. Two of the most respected American comedians, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, have discussed the unique problems that comics face on college campuses.

To understand this change, it helps to think of college not as an institution of scholarly pursuit but as the all-inclusive resort that it has in recent years become—and then to think of the undergraduate who drops out or transfers as an early checkout. Keeping hold of that kid for all four years has become a central obsession of the higher-ed-industrial complex. How do you do it? In part, by importing enough jesters and bards to keep him from wandering away to someplace more entertaining, taking his Pell grant and his plan and his student loans with him.

But which jesters, which bards? Ones who can handle the challenge. Because when you put all of these forces together—political correctness, coddling, and the need to keep kids at once amused and unoffended not to mention the absence of a two-drink minimum and its crowd-lubricating effect —the black-box theater of an obscure liberal-arts college deep in flyover territory may just be the toughest comedy room in the country. Keith is one of the kings of the college circuit.

A few years ago, he was the most-booked college comic, playing campuses. Keith is 31, fast-witted and handsome, possessed of an acute and often witheringly precise ability to assess people and situations. He rocketed into comedy at a young age; at 22 he spent a year and a half on the road, performing with a popular headliner: Pablo Francisco, who let him do half an hour, and allowed him to tell filthy stories onstage. He now has TV credits and a following. He lives in Los Angeles, where he kills at clubs, goes on auditions, and waits—impatiently, as do all the young and talented people in Hollywood who have passed 30—for the big break.

A young gay man with a Broadway background named Kevin Yee sang novelty songs about his life, producing a delirium of affection from the audience. I assumed Yee would soon be barnstorming the country. But afterward, two white students from an Iowa college shook their heads: no. If your goal were simply to bring great comics to a college campus, it would be easily accomplished. This culture—its noble aspirations and inevitable end game—was everywhere apparent at the convention. Its mission involves presenting for potential employment on American campuses a group of entertainers whose work upholds a set of ideas that has been codified by bureaucrats.

B ecause the inclination to hold a convention in Minneapolis in February is not widely shared, the convention center was largely deserted and dystopian. Homeless men, some wearing hospital gowns and ID bracelets under their parkas, slunk quietly inside to keep warm, although if they panhandled or menaced anyone they were bounced back onto the urban tundra by security guards.

The Art of the Joke - Stand-Up Comedy | The Craftsmanship Initiative

Vast expanses of the structure loomed in all directions, and empty escalators wheeled ever upward. All of this was enlivened—mightily—by the fact that the doors of the main auditorium regularly swung open for two-hour variety shows. I found them, as a type, to be cheerful, helpful, rule-following, and nerdy. They were also—in the best sense of a loaded word—inclusive. The NACA kids were impossible not to like, although nothing about them suggested a natural talent for identifying original forms of artistic expression.

They would cluster around their grown-up advisers like flocks of ducklings to powwow about the performers they had seen. These were the buyers, then: one half of the equation. The entertainers were the other half. They had come to the event on their own dime, and were trying to do whatever it took to please these young people so that they could get some road work. Their first step might have been to read the convention brochure. O, Utopia. Why must your sweet governance always turn so quickly from the Edenic to the Stalinist? What this seemed to boil down to, when I looked at the slate of performers who had gotten a golden ticket, was that comics who even gestured toward the insensitive had been screened out, and those whose racial or ethnic background contributed to the diversity of the slate had been given special consideration.

Some were very good. But others barely had the 15 minutes necessary for a showcase; it was hard to believe they would have the hour needed for college work. Many of these younger artists thought that if they could just get the gigs off this audition, they could then do their regular club act once they showed up on campus. They were mistaken. Tell a joke that upsets the kids, and the next morning the student-activities director is going to be on the phone: to your agent, to NACA , and—more crucially—to his or her co-equals at the other four colleges in the region that you booked.

Geoff Keith had counseled Chinedu Unaka and Feraz Ozel not only to work clean, but also to confine any jokes about ethnicity to their own heritage. Unaka delivered an original and interesting set about growing up black in Los Angeles, the son of Nigerian—not African American—parents; Ozel, whose family is Middle Eastern, also did a bit about his cultural background. They were both well received, but they earned few bookings. Who could predict how such jokes would go over back on campus? Zoltan Kaszas, on the other hand, did a cheerful, anodyne set about Costco, camping, and pets.

He was the breakout star of the convention. As I listened to the kids hash out whom to invite, it became clear that to get work, a comic had to be at once funny—genuinely funny—and also deeply respectful of a particular set of beliefs. They seemed wholly animated by kindness and by an open-mindedness to the many varieties of the human experience. But the flip side of this sensitivity is the savagery with which reputations and even academic careers can be destroyed by a single comment—perhaps thoughtless, perhaps misinterpreted, perhaps God help you intended as a joke—that violates the values of the herd.

When you talk with college students outside of formal settings, many reveal nuanced opinions on the issues that NACA was so anxious to police. In part, this is because they are the inheritors of three decades of identity politics, which have come to be a central driver of attitudes on college campuses. Meanwhile—as obvious reaction to all of this—frat boys and other campus punksters regularly flout the thought police by staging events along elaborately racist themes, events that, while patently vile, are beginning to constitute the free-speech movement of our time.

A fter Geoff Keith and I finished dinner, we made our way to the auditorium and fell in with a group of other comics who were heading over to catch his set. Keith is deeply respected in this crowd: he may still be developing his career in the real comedy world, the one where you perform for grown-ups, but he can book as many colleges as he wants. Keith was dressed not in the understated clothing he wears in comedy clubs, but in an almost clownish getup: bright-pink pants, a green shirt, a polka-dot tie.

Instead of performing for 15 minutes, he would cut his set short at the first big laugh after the minute mark, so that the act would seem to fly by. The students would love him, and book him in great numbers, as they always do. But he would not tell the jokes that kill at the clubs. Those jokes include observations about power and sex and even rape—and each, in its complicated way, addresses certain ugly and possibly immutable truths.

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But they are jokes, not lessons from the gender-studies classroom. Their first objective is to be funny, not to service any philosophical ideal. Drive those ideas underground, especially the dark ones, and they fester. A dangerous trend in fake news has the potential to affect the upcoming U. The White House insisted allegations that it wanted to add a citizenship question to the survey for political reasons were conspiracy theories, right up until the moment the president confirmed them.

The conservative justices on the Supreme Court apparently found this argument very persuasive. The evidence that the Trump administration had consciously sought to use the census to strengthen white voting power was ultimately not a part of the case before the Court, which came down to whether the Trump administration had violated administrative law by misrepresenting its motives in adding the citizenship question.

The return of a vanquished disease reflects historical amnesia, declining faith in institutions, and a troubling lack of concern for the public good. She also suggested that disease itself can serve as a metaphor—a reflection of the society through which it travels.