Cutup

Cutup: (n) a prankster or show-off.

 This simple, humble author lands somewhere between a prankster and a showoff.

My brain has just always thought with a twist of funny.

Usually, this is just fine—unless I’m at a funeral or around people who think the measure of the human race is in the quality of the frown.

But I do know there is a great danger with humor.

Having spoken to many audiences over the years, I have learned that the worst thing you can promote is that you are a comedian.

Matter of fact, I have insisted that the sponsors who have brought me in to perform never, ever place the words “funny, humorous” or especially “side-splitting laughter” in my promo.

Once people are aware that you’re trying to make them laugh—attempting to be tonight’s official cutup—they will do everything in their power to analyze what you’re saying and convince themselves that you’re not clever at all. For I will tell you:

Humor must surprise.

It must come from the least-expected place and land in a region of dullness.

That’s when it’s at its best.

I have offered eulogies and recited an embarrassing incident the deceased performed in my presence, and the room was enlightened with hilarity and a deep sense of gratitude at escaping the doldrums.

No, you can’t advertise yourself as a cutup.

If you do, your hearers will unconsciously cut you up–and put your words, expressions and punchlines under a microscope.

We laugh best when we laugh astonished.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Comedian

Comedian: (n) an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh

If you tell a couple of jokes at several parties in a row, you’ll start hearing your friends proclaim, “You could be a comedian!”

And when you bashfully turn your head, they insist, “No, no! You could do stand-up.”

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we prove our worth by knowing how little we are.

I’ve been funny all my life. I know how to make people laugh. That does not make me a comedian.

That makes me lucky.

That makes me interesting.

Sometimes it even makes me valuable.

But to sustain a routine which continually makes people laugh is truly a masterful gift.

Even though I, myself, would not want to try stand-up comedy, I have taken the time to study it quite thoroughly. It has three major ingredients:

  1. You have to be willing to insult people because you’ve already insulted yourself.
  2. You need to be overcoming something and not afraid to talk about it in vivid or even gross detail.
  3. You need to insert just enough pathos and emotion that the audience is breathless to hear more.

Now, if you think a mere amateur can pull off these things, you should go out and sign up for open mic night–at your local pizza place.

 

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