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To Inform the Audience About Improv and Stand up Comedy

Autor:   •  November 8, 2018  •  1,033 Words (5 Pages)  •  33 Views

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His professional career was somewhat short, but was so controversial and ground breaking that his influence could be seen up until the present day. He brought in the idea of using stand up to challenge social norms and ideals in an attempt to use comedy as a force of change.

Although Lenny was shunned by the entertainment industry, he helped inspire his much more famous successor, George Carlin. In the 70s Carlin used the idea of pushing the boundary of comedy to shift the old slapstick/one liner stand up of the past, into the modern day conversational story telling it is today.

Carlin was the catalyst of the stand up explosion that happen throughout the 80s and 90s, which saw the rise of such comedians as Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy, as well as later on, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, and Chris Rock.

D. The structure of stand up comedy

Stand up comedy is almost the exact opposite of improv comedy when it comes to structure and development, although both start from the individual. The comedy in stand up is meticulously refined over time, rather than created on the spot.

It all starts with a stand up comedian notices something in their past, or in their everyday life that they find humorous. They take that observation and try to form it into a premise or story in a humorous way, which is typically called a “bit”.

That comedian then takes that bit and performs it at comedy clubs. Typically a comedian will try out a new bit at lower stake clubs to help refine and develop it. They will test different words, phrases, emphasis, sentence structure, anything that will produce more or bigger laughs. Once the comedian feels confident, they will use that refined bit in bigger clubs, or theaters.

Comedians typically start with 5 minutes of material, and work their way up to an hours worth, sometimes even 90 minutes. At around the 20-30 minute mark, you now have a set. The most successful stand up comedians will end up developing dozens of sets throughout their careers.

III. Conclusion

Summuary: I’ve talked about the history of both improv and stand up comedy with you today.The structure of both long form and short form improv, as well as, development and practice put into making a stand up set.   

Memorable Close: Now there’s so many more aspects of both improv and stand up comedy than I’ve mentioned now, but I hope that what I’ve dissuced today might give you a better understanding and appreciation for the history and work that goes into your favorite comedy shows.


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