Give a Laugh…

A couple of years ago while in New Orleans I got to sit down with Aye Jaye and chat about his book, The Golden Rule of Schmoozing. We talked about giving people things, and initially I didn’t know I was doing it, but I was. I always have a trick or gag ready. I never force it on people, but if the situation is right, I do it.

That brings me to this gag that I thought up not too long ago:

I was at the store and got carded because I was buying some alcohol. I remembered a gag that was taught to me by Tom Mullica where you glue a clown nose on your ID. I thought it’d be a topical gag and found some paper and cut one out and stuck it to my ID. Now I’m giving away a laugh, and expecting zero in return.

Nothing.

Just giving out a smile. That’s all. It’s a great feeling, and something that I think people need right now. Also I think it’s one of the better COVID gags out there right now, because the laugh is on the situation, not on the virus.

It’s Not Strange…

One of the most important things you can do right now is watch other performer’s virtual shows. You can learn a ton about doing these shows by watching them. You may see stuff you dislike and it’s a reminder for you not to do it and you may see things you like and you can try to recreate those elements.

The other day I watched a performer’s first public virtual show. One of the things he did was talk about how “weird” watching a show virtually is. From the performer’s view, it’s very strange and not like what we’re used to. From the audience point of view, it’s not that strange as they are used to consuming entertainment through their computers or TV.

Personally I firmly believe in addressing the elephant in the room, however at this point it’s only strange for the performer. Unless you have a joke, trick or point of view, in my opinion, it’s now best to skip it. In March and April I think mentioning it was appropriate, but now we’ve all had zoom meetings, zoom school, we’re all familiar with it.

Also going forward, if you’re a performer and you’re not an expert on using Zoom, you need to be. Kids have been using it for school for three months, PTA meetings have been happening over it for the same amount to time. You can’t be fumbling though it anymore.

Make It Last!

In the current version of my show I use a things that are printed on paper for gags in the show. The problem with paper is that it doesn’t travel well. You can keep in in an envelope, or folder, but it will show wear and tear very quickly. In no time it will start … Continue reading “Make It Last!”

In the current version of my show I use a things that are printed on paper for gags in the show. The problem with paper is that it doesn’t travel well. You can keep in in an envelope, or folder, but it will show wear and tear very quickly. In no time it will start looking pretty ragged.


What I do when I need something on paper for the show to last, I print it onto Tyvek paper.

Tyvek paper is paper that doesn’t tear, and is bit thicker than standard printer paper. I think Tyvek is a plastic, so it also holds up to moisture. If you use anything in your show that’s normally on paper, look into using Tyvek!


Get To It!

A couple of the showcase acts I saw recently did a lot of talking before anything happened. By anything, I mean anything, no jokes, no tricks, nothing. They did do a very straight forward autobiography of themselves. It really didn’t move the ball forward. Yes, the goal is to let people get to know you, … Continue reading “Get To It!”

A couple of the showcase acts I saw recently did a lot of talking before anything happened. By anything, I mean anything, no jokes, no tricks, nothing. They did do a very straight forward autobiography of themselves. It really didn’t move the ball forward.


Yes, the goal is to let people get to know you, and to relate to you, however you need to do that in an entertaining way. Telling jokes about yourself upfront makes it palatable for an audience. Saying you’re 28 years old and from Missouri doesn’t. Telling them about you in the context of what you do is the goal.


Personally I don’t believe you need a quick trick, but you do need to get to what you do to set the tone for the rest of your show. This is even more important when you showcase set is only 12 minutes long!

Another Joke…

Yesterday at the fair a friend of mine watched me show and said he felt like the fishing pole breaking needed more than me just reacting. It needed a joke with a couple of tags. I think he’s right. Currently it breaks, I react and we move on. A verbal joke will get a little … Continue reading “Another Joke…”

Yesterday at the fair a friend of mine watched me show and said he felt like the fishing pole breaking needed more than me just reacting. It needed a joke with a couple of tags. I think he’s right. Currently it breaks, I react and we move on. A verbal joke will get a little more time out of it and make it more worthwhile to carry around.


Here’s what I started saying after I react to the broken pole:
“That’s the last time I buy a fishing pole on Tinder”

Not the best joke, but maybe I could tag it with:
“I should have gotten the one on Plenty of Fish”


The fishing pole doesn’t really serve a purpose other than it breaking right now. I need to remake the reel so that it has a bigger center, so that the few turns that actually happen move in a few feet of yarn. Luckily it’s a prop that doesn’t take up a lot of space in my case.

T-Minus 3…

We’re coming into a new year and it’s a time that many people look back on their lives. It’s not just a time of looking into the past, but also making goals for the future. You can do this for your show, reflect on the old, and make plans for improvement. Here’s how to do … Continue reading “T-Minus 3…”

We’re coming into a new year and it’s a time that many people look back on their lives. It’s not just a time of looking into the past, but also making goals for the future. You can do this for your show, reflect on the old, and make plans for improvement.


Here’s how to do it. Watch a video of a recent show of yours and takes notes. What you are looking for are three bits in the show to cut from it. Look for things that no longer fit you, your performing style or society.




When I’m out seeing shows, I frequently see shows where the performer does an outdated line. They’ve probably never examined their show for outdated material, so the joke or bit is never noticed. Sometimes it will be a reference to a product, or TV show. Other times it will be a word that’s no longer socially acceptable. Maybe it’s a youthful reference that the performer told when they were a kid and they’re middle aged now. It could also be a joke or trick that for whatever reason no longer gets the reaction it used to.


Once you’ve found three bits, cut them from your show. Just stop doing them. Now you create new bits to fill any gaps that cutting the bits may have created. Pretty simple. You’ve now “freshened up” your show!