Help Me Find Some Stand-Up Comedy Resources, Please
June 1, 2010 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Could y'all help me out with finding some good resources online about the craft of stand-up comedy? Books, websites, how-to, videos, albums, whatever you think is important.

I'm interested in learning more about the art and craft of stand-up and would love to get mefi's take on any of the following:

* how-to guides
* stand-up comic community websites
* books or essays on the craft of stand-up/comedy
* curated collections of good stand-up online
* classic works of stand-up outside of the obvious (Bruce, Pryor, Cosby...)
* links to good and bad stand-up, especially at the lower levels like open-mic nights and local acts
* personal experiences and stories

I've checked some of the other threads, but most of these posts are several years old. In my vicinity, there appears to be a local comedy club (mainly improv) that I'll check out and a big name comedy club in the capitol that is of less interest to me.

Thanks in advance, y'all.
posted by willie11 to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
The Nerdist podcast is usually a bunch of stand-up comedians (or other creatives) talking about their methods and experiences doing what they do. Some of the interviews, like Drew Carey's, are pretty fascinating and touches on a bunch of methods of joke creation.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:17 AM on June 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you would like to hear comedians chat about their craft and personal/professional struggles, then Marc Maron has a podcast called WTF on iTunes.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:20 AM on June 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Apiary has an interview section where you can find some insight on how others broke in or got started.
posted by cazoo at 11:22 AM on June 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Rooftop Comedy has videos of comedians all around the country, including all of the DSI preformances. DSI does have standup comedy classes, but you don't _need_ to take classes to get into standup. There are some open mikes in your area that you can try.
posted by Comrade_robot at 11:32 AM on June 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think Jimmy Dore's Comedy and Everything Else podcast gets more into the nitty gritty of stand-up than does the Nerdist or other comedy podcasts I've heard (not to suggest that Nerdist isn't a good suggestion). For example, in episode 89, he goes through Leno's set at the White House Correspondent dinner joke-by-joke. If you're willing to wade through the archives, the episodes where Todd Glass was still a co-host are particularly good.

Also, I 2nd Marc Maron's WTF podcast.
posted by mullacc at 11:33 AM on June 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

A great many comedians post there experiences on this comedy forum. Good luck!
posted by any major dude at 11:45 AM on June 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Personal stories? I did standup for a few years. I recall performing in a bar that hadn't quite got its liquor license yet nor had it ripped out the flourescent deli cases lining the back. All of that paled in comparison to the busload of foreign students brought there by a college professor who thought it would be a great place for them to start to learn English. There were approximately 35 of them in a room that sat 40. What followed was a night where I would tell a joke then watch stupidly as entire tables turned to their interpreter thus effectively putting me on a 15-second time delay. Oh, and it seemed the interpreters killed that night. I ended the show by telling everyone I was going to end Free Green Card With Every Coke Night by walking off stage and killing myself. I walked right out the door and fell to my knees on the sidewalk where, sure enough, nine seconds later, I heard laughter and some applause.

I don't do that any more.
posted by lpsguy at 11:48 AM on June 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Steve Martin's recent memoir Born Standing Up was outstanding - it made me realize some of the hard work that goes into standup.
posted by Sukey Says at 5:23 PM on June 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

John Rogers has a blog called Kung Fu Monkey:

"John Rogers started doing stand-up in 1988, got his Physics degree in 1990, began writing television in 1995, writing movies in 1999, writing comics in 2005 and writing for RPG's in 2007. He plainly needs to focus."

In several of his posts (some political rants, some not), he talks about what he's learned from being a comic, including

Boats Johnson and the Standing Ovations
Learn to say 'ain't'
Stand-up is Tricky
Why Tell the Jokes (about Stephen Colbert's Press Dinner monologue)

There's an index to some of his more popular posts (not all about standup, mind); a Google search of Kung Fu Monkey for "stand-up" should get you all the good stuff.
posted by kristi at 2:57 PM on June 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

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