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.