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  #101  
Old 12-13-2017, 11:43 AM
manson1972 manson1972 is online now
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I still don't get these two:

Quote:
People walk up to me on the street and ask, "what's your favorite sexy time music?" They do!

My favorite sexy time music is four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence
Do they go together? Why is having silence funny?
  #102  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:00 PM
DooWahDiddy DooWahDiddy is offline
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It's a John Cage joke. Perfect for comedy.
  #103  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:13 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I still don't get these two:



Do they go together? Why is having silence funny?
Most people will just politely chuckle if they catch an implication that sex with "me" is just quick and silent. A few will laugh rauccously at the John Cage reference. If I do it right the louder laughs will make the quieter laughs get louder.
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  #104  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:22 PM
Knowed Out Knowed Out is offline
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My two cents.

Quote:
I have a PhD in philosophy. That is my first joke.
That's been done many times before. Maybe try for the second sentence "I am now qualified to ask the deeply deterministic questions in life such as 'you want fries with that?'"
Reason being is because you established your proficiency in philosophy, and the rest of your joke starts to sound like you're applying that proficiency and setting up the audience for a possible success story, which you instantly destroy. In your original version, the joke goes by too quickly and there's no buildup for the audience to get invested in.

Quote:
I'm bisexual. That means I'm attracted to ladies--but only in pairs.
That's also an old saw and doesn't make you sound as twisted. Again, it needs a little more buildup before the punchline, something that implies a struggle in your life to cope with your sexual preferences. Something like "I'm bisexual. I realized that from a young age and it was difficult to admit to my parents and friends that I'm attracted to both women and women."

Quote:
I prefer being okay to being happy. Because when you are happy, there's so much you haven't thought through.
Not sure "okay" works here. It's not a strong enough descriptor, and it doesn't sound that different from "happy." Maybe "indifferent"?

Quote:
My wife is a seven and I am a three. I know what you're thinking. "He must have a huge 'personality'." But you're wrong. It's my penis.
Instead of "it's my penis," how about "I have a huge penis." Repetition of "huge" adds to the punchline.

Quote:
People walk up to me on the street and ask, "what's your favorite sexy time music?" They do!

My favorite sexy time music is four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence.
The first part is OK if you can strengthen "They do!" Draw it out, put on a gloaty face, raise your eyebrows, smile really big, like you're accepting an Oscar and you feel you deserve it.
I'm scratching my head on the second part. Is the 4:33 supposed to be some kind of pop reference?

Quote:
Who here is in an open relationship that they know of?
Do this in two parts. "Who here is an open relationship?" "That you know of?"

Quote:
I love children. When I grow up, I hope to have three of them. One for the food stamps. One to run and grab me a beer. And I'm going to need another kid to be responsible for raising the other two.
"Food stamps" is kind of dated. Maybe start with "One to run and grab me a beer", then follow up with "One to maintain my GoFundMe page."

Quote:
I tend to forget little things like picking up my wife after work.
Iffy on this. Forgetting to pick up your wife is not so shocking. Maybe instead of "work" you use some kind of really degrading job title, like "after she finishes her job collecting roadkill."


Quote:
My wife and I have had to learn some life lessons about love and forgetfulness. She has learned from me, for example, that my forgetfulness doesn't make my love any less real. And I have learned from her, that my love is worthless.
This sounds more sad and tragic than twisted and obnoxious. Since you mention forgetfulness, follow up on that. "And I have learned from her that something something something..."

Quote:
I did bring a series of racially offensive jokes. Which way do you think I should go with those?
This kind of breaks the flow. You only do one racial joke, so indicating you have more than one will make you look ineffective unless you actually deliver the goods. It also sounds like you want your audience to answer, but you're putting them in an awkward situation. After a few seconds of awkward silence, you announce something like "OK, let's try THIS direction," then go to the first racial joke. If it doesn't go over so well, follow up with "OK, let's try the OTHER direction" and use another racial joke.

Quote:
There's a street corner near my house where several hispanic people stand just hoping for an honest day's work. Then the other day I saw a young white millenial hipster standing there with them. Gentrification rears its ugly head.
How about "Then the other day I saw a young millenial hipster standing there instead. Gentrification at work!"

Quote:
I read they scanned a 2000 year old mummy, and announced that it had cancer. How is this helping?
That's OK, but it doesn't really match the rest of your material. Your other jokes describe you as being a clueless sociopath, but this joke is not of that subset.
  #105  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:28 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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Knowed Out, you seem good at this.
  #106  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:33 PM
manson1972 manson1972 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
Most people will just politely chuckle if they catch an implication that sex with "me" is just quick and silent. A few will laugh rauccously at the John Cage reference. If I do it right the louder laughs will make the quieter laughs get louder.
4 minutes and 33 seconds is "quick"????

  #107  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:33 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spice Weasel View Post
Knowed Out, you seem good at this.
I would not disagree, but what's kind of strange is almost all of their suggestions, are more like how I originally had things, and intentionally changed. I should say something about what led to the changes, it's an interesting discussion, but I have to work now...
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  #108  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:51 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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So for a complete noob this is really above my paygrade but to expand on what I just said--I seem to have a real aversity to spelling out the joke, to making it obvious. I find a common theme in the changes I make is to change jokes to "slow burn, give them a second to get it" type jokes. Partly I think this is because that's the kind of humor I enjoy. Also, it's just kind of how I am--when I write stuff that's not jokes (i.e. always) I'm allusive and indirect. (I always find the most pleasing challenge is to find an exact balance between suggestion and concreteness.) So these edits I've done on jokes are also in line with that tendency. Also... this says maybe too much about me but if I were to spell out the joke, I am afraid my complete contempt for the joke and the audience who wants it spelled out would come through too much!

What do I mean by spell out the joke? Take the "open relationship" one. Yes, originally I had a big pause before clarifying "that you know of." I know that would be pretty standard and should work. But something in me just militates against that. It's like I'm telling them, here's the joke, and here's what the joke is. Instead I want to lay it out almost completely straight, with maybe the slightest of gestures or a facial movement to give a signal of sorts but mostly, yeah, just laying it out as a simple question. Then let it sit there for a second. Then they realize I just told a joke then they realize what the joke is and hilarity ensues (or something).

I do like I said intend to be experimental with this, try different approaches and see what works how. I'm here just articulating how my instincts about all this seem to be working.
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  #109  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:53 PM
DooWahDiddy DooWahDiddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spice Weasel View Post
Knowed Out, you seem good at this.
Yeah, nevermind the hundred other people who have tried to help him.

OP, like I said before, you have good seeds there. But right now they seem like setup lines and not punchlines. If I heard "I prefer being okay to being happy. Because when you are happy, there's so much you haven't thought through.", I would be waiting for what's next; what is the "so much you haven't thought through"?

Again, you're very brave to be doing this in the first place, but if you don't want to be met with 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, you need to dig a little deeper and craft a 2-3 sentence joke that has a setup, a lift, and a payoff.

ETA: I wrote this before your previous post, just FYI

Last edited by DooWahDiddy; 12-13-2017 at 12:54 PM.
  #110  
Old 12-13-2017, 01:00 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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I'm familiar with setup and payoff--what is "lift" in this context?
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  #111  
Old 12-13-2017, 01:07 PM
DooWahDiddy DooWahDiddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
I'm familiar with setup and payoff--what is "lift" in this context?
It's probably not an official term in comedy writing, but it's what I call that split second right before the punchline is delivered, where you know you're about to kill it, the audience knows it's coming, and still they laugh because it's such a good punchline and it's so perfectly delivered. It's almost like a collective inhale, and if you wait too long they'll run out of breath. But if it's timed just right and the material is strong, they'll all exhale at the same time in the form of laughter, and you'll be golden.

Of course, if you are going for a Steven Wright thing full of non-sequiturs, that's something completely different. But it seems to me like you're sort of trapped between those two worlds right now. I also don't remember where you said this would be taking place; it obviously depends on the audience, whether they're the type to get a John Cage reference or not, for example.
  #112  
Old 12-13-2017, 01:14 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DooWahDiddy View Post
It's probably not an official term in comedy writing, but it's what I call that split second right before the punchline is delivered, where you know you're about to kill it, the audience knows it's coming, and still they laugh because it's such a good punchline and it's so perfectly delivered. It's almost like a collective inhale, and if you wait too long they'll run out of breath. But if it's timed just right and the material is strong, they'll all exhale at the same time in the form of laughter, and you'll be golden.

Of course, if you are going for a Steven Wright thing full of non-sequiturs, that's something completely different. But it seems to me like you're sort of trapped between those two worlds right now. I also don't remember where you said this would be taking place; it obviously depends on the audience, whether they're the type to get a John Cage reference or not, for example.
It's just a standard open mic night, audience of random people. I have no idea why I'm insisting on the john cage reference. Like two people will get it. I just kind of think there's enough of a _hint_ at a "sexual inadequacy" joke to make it at least a chuckle for many, then the couple that catch the reference will add to that.

I don't know, I'm weird. I kind of just want to see what happens y'know?
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  #113  
Old 12-13-2017, 01:19 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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I've been attending these open mics for over a year, about once a month, is part of the background here. (I'm one of my friends' required five audience members.) With the john cage joke--part of it is, I feel like on stage people get away sometimes, with saying something that feels like it's _supposed_ to be a joke, and has some clear sort of joke-basis in it, even if the audience doesn't a hundred percent get it. They still feel like they've witnessed a funny thing. I don't know. That's kind of where I imagine this one to be in joke-space.

I think a comedian can only get away with this once or twice in a set. Gotta time it right and put it in between the right stuff.
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  #114  
Old 12-13-2017, 01:27 PM
DooWahDiddy DooWahDiddy is offline
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I hear ya. It sounds like Steve Martin's old stuff. I highly recommend reading his book Born Standing Up, especially if you can squeeze it in before your performance.
  #115  
Old 12-13-2017, 02:07 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knowed Out View Post
I'm scratching my head on the second part. Is the 4:33 supposed to be some kind of pop reference?
John Cage famously (or perhaps somewhat famously, I guess) wrote a musical piece entitled 4'33" which was four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. (Or, more accurately, 4'33" of no instruments playing. The ambient sounds of the performance space is at least part of the point of the piece, if not the whole point.) It was first performed in the early 50s. Here's the Wikipedia article on it.

It's one of those smarty pants nerd jokes that you feel somewhat clever for catching and elicit a chuckle.

And it does sneak into pop culture, if it isn't a part of it. Here's 4'33" performed by a cat, as a promo for Late Night with Stephen Colbert.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-13-2017 at 02:10 PM.
  #116  
Old 12-13-2017, 02:09 PM
Penfeather Penfeather is online now
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If I could go back in time, I would visit my dad's house, and I would ask him "don't you recognize me pa?" and he would say no, because I wouldn't have been born yet. Then he would shoot me, because I am in his bed, banging his wife.

It's okay! Adopted! Adopted! I have adopted a casual attitude. Towards the prospect. Of incest. Between my mother and myself.

It's inevitable. I may as well enjoy it when it happens.
No. Just - no.
  #117  
Old 12-13-2017, 02:12 PM
Knowed Out Knowed Out is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
So for a complete noob this is really above my paygrade but to expand on what I just said--I seem to have a real aversity to spelling out the joke, to making it obvious. I find a common theme in the changes I make is to change jokes to "slow burn, give them a second to get it" type jokes. Partly I think this is because that's the kind of humor I enjoy. Also, it's just kind of how I am--when I write stuff that's not jokes (i.e. always) I'm allusive and indirect. (I always find the most pleasing challenge is to find an exact balance between suggestion and concreteness.) So these edits I've done on jokes are also in line with that tendency. Also... this says maybe too much about me but if I were to spell out the joke, I am afraid my complete contempt for the joke and the audience who wants it spelled out would come through too much!

What do I mean by spell out the joke? Take the "open relationship" one. Yes, originally I had a big pause before clarifying "that you know of." I know that would be pretty standard and should work. But something in me just militates against that. It's like I'm telling them, here's the joke, and here's what the joke is. Instead I want to lay it out almost completely straight, with maybe the slightest of gestures or a facial movement to give a signal of sorts but mostly, yeah, just laying it out as a simple question. Then let it sit there for a second. Then they realize I just told a joke then they realize what the joke is and hilarity ensues (or something).

I do like I said intend to be experimental with this, try different approaches and see what works how. I'm here just articulating how my instincts about all this seem to be working.
OK, I understand you want to go deeper than usual without looking like you're doing so, but the audience wants to have fun, and you seem like you're going into "funny only to me" territory. Andy Kaufman could pull that off, and had no qualms with the audience walking out on him. But there can only be one Andy Kaufman.

I would think you'd want to hear some kind of reaction from the audience so you can feed off the energy. If your jokes are too subtle and the audience is silent and looking confused, the manager is going to do the throat cutting gesture.

Also, I understand delivery is an essential part of the performance. Maybe the jokes will sound funnier when you deliver them on stage, but at the moment I'm not seeing it. There's some comedians who can pull off reading from the phone book and making it funny. But again, Kaufman. He made it not funny, and that was the joke.
  #118  
Old 12-13-2017, 02:23 PM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
So for a complete noob this is really above my paygrade but to expand on what I just said--I seem to have a real aversity to spelling out the joke, to making it obvious. I find a common theme in the changes I make is to change jokes to "slow burn, give them a second to get it" type jokes. Partly I think this is because that's the kind of humor I enjoy. Also, it's just kind of how I am--when I write stuff that's not jokes (i.e. always) I'm allusive and indirect. (I always find the most pleasing challenge is to find an exact balance between suggestion and concreteness.) So these edits I've done on jokes are also in line with that tendency. Also... this says maybe too much about me but if I were to spell out the joke, I am afraid my complete contempt for the joke and the audience who wants it spelled out would come through too much!

What do I mean by spell out the joke? Take the "open relationship" one. Yes, originally I had a big pause before clarifying "that you know of." I know that would be pretty standard and should work. But something in me just militates against that. It's like I'm telling them, here's the joke, and here's what the joke is. Instead I want to lay it out almost completely straight, with maybe the slightest of gestures or a facial movement to give a signal of sorts but mostly, yeah, just laying it out as a simple question. Then let it sit there for a second. Then they realize I just told a joke then they realize what the joke is and hilarity ensues (or something).

I do like I said intend to be experimental with this, try different approaches and see what works how. I'm here just articulating how my instincts about all this seem to be working.
Going off of this, I see a lot of suggestions are telling you to turn the jokes from one-liner after one-liner to more of a story-based set....but that's completely against what you want to do.

A lot of the suggestions are good ones, but they're fundamentally changing your act. Personally, I like your original list better than most of the suggestions (other than my own of course ) because most of the suggestions boil down to "Instead of saying it like a one-liner, why not provide context and create a longer setup". That's not what your jokes are. Feel free to implement a lot of changes, but stick to your original plan...it's a good one.
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  #119  
Old 12-13-2017, 05:16 PM
Spoons Spoons is offline
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On the Ph.D. in Philosophy bit....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knowed Out View Post
That's been done many times before. Maybe try for the second sentence "I am now qualified to ask the deeply deterministic questions in life such as 'you want fries with that?'"
Now that's funny!

I recall a thread from some years back, where our own RickJay spoke about his experience learning and doing standup:

Standup Comedy Is Hard, I Am Learning

Rick shares what he learned, as do other Dopers with relevant experience. Many good tips there; Frylock, I'd suggest that you check it out.
  #120  
Old 12-13-2017, 11:22 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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I'm kinda digging this:

I have a PhD in Philosophy. Would you like fries with that?
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  #121  
Old 12-13-2017, 11:23 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
On the Ph.D. in Philosophy bit....

Now that's funny!

I recall a thread from some years back, where our own RickJay spoke about his experience learning and doing standup:

Standup Comedy Is Hard, I Am Learning

Rick shares what he learned, as do other Dopers with relevant experience. Many good tips there; Frylock, I'd suggest that you check it out.
Good thread, thanks. I note that over there it turns out we've got a whole lotta people with experience here at SDMB. Didn't know...
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  #122  
Old Yesterday, 12:11 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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My set is safer now:

Quote:
I have a PhD in philosophy. Would you like fries with that?

I'm bisexual. That means I'm attracted to ladies--but only in pairs.

Backstage they told me there are two rules you must never break as a newcomer to standup comedy. The no shop talk rule, and the rule of threes.

I read they scanned a 2000 year old mummy, and announced that it had cancer. How is this helping?

My wife is a seven and I am a three. I know what you're thinking. "He must have a huge 'personality'." But you're wrong. It's my penis.

Who here is in an open relationship that they know of?

I love children. When I grow up, I hope to have three of them. One for the food stamps. One to run and grab me a beer. And I'm going to need another kid to be responsible for raising the other two.

I tend to forget little things like picking up my wife after work.

My wife and I have had to learn some life lessons about love and forgetfulness. She has learned from me, for example, that my forgetfulness doesn't make my love any less real. And I have learned from her, that my love is worthless.

There's a street corner near my house where several hispanic people stand just hoping for an honest day's work. Then the other day I saw a young white millenial hipster standing there with them. Gentrification rears its ugly head.

A woman once said to me, she said, "Surely an actual vagina...." I will now pause, to give you a moment to imagine how that sentence may plausibly have ended.

Time is up. She said "Surely an actual vagina feels better than a fleshlight!" I'm going to let her keep believing that.
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  #123  
Old Yesterday, 12:26 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
I'm kinda digging this:

I have a PhD in Philosophy. Would you like fries with that?
That's just such a hackneyed line, though. I prefer Knowed Out's version by far, but I still think "would you like fries with that?" is just so worn-out a "joke" that it's not funny anymore (if it ever really was.)

That said, I'm starting to warm to the whole line-after-line type of joke telling. I can see it working with the right delivery and the right crowd. About 1/2 the jokes elicited a chuckle or smile from me.

Last edited by pulykamell; Yesterday at 12:30 PM.
  #124  
Old Yesterday, 06:56 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
I'm kinda digging this:

I have a PhD in Philosophy. Would you like fries with that?
Agreed with lose the "would you like fries" bit. Can you reference the fact that you're reduced to stand-up at an open mic night?

"I have a PhD. in Philosophy. People think you can't do anything with that degree. But that's not true! I'm mean, technically, according to the modal theory of logic....

...Truth is, I've found the most lucrative and useful thing you can do with a philosophy degree." Look at the audience,at the microphone, down at yourself, in slow despair. "oh. shit. I really have, haven't I?"

Something like that.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; Yesterday at 06:59 PM.
  #125  
Old Yesterday, 08:02 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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I vote you open with "you're a great audience," and stare silently without blinking for the entire three minutes.

Last edited by Vinyl Turnip; Yesterday at 08:02 PM.
  #126  
Old Today, 12:42 PM
edwards_beard edwards_beard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
That's just such a hackneyed line, though. I prefer Knowed Out's version by far, but I still think "would you like fries with that?" is just so worn-out a "joke" that it's not funny anymore (if it ever really was.)

That said, I'm starting to warm to the whole line-after-line type of joke telling. I can see it working with the right delivery and the right crowd. About 1/2 the jokes elicited a chuckle or smile from me.
The only thing I think of when I see "You want fries with that" is Robin Williams' joke using the same line.

I really have no clue what the joke with the mummy is supposed to be
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