Can you teach someone to be funny?

rehearsal for showcase

Can you teach someone to be funny?

This is the question I get asked most often when people find out I teach stand-up comedy. My answer is simple.

Yes, I can.

class getting ready for showcaseFirst of all I am firm believer that we all have a funny side, and most people never bring their funny side out because they are too hung up on being judged. Taking a stand-up comedy class gives you permission to “take a risk” “say weird things” and “step out of your comfort zone”. Did you notice all the “”” that usually means there is emphasis. I use them to emphasize, that life is about all about being judged, but if you do it with a fun group of fellow weirdos, somehow it all seems to work out.

I always ask each new comedy student “Why are you taking stand-up comedy?” The answers I have heard always vary and they range from…. my friends tell me I’m funny, it is on my bucket list, I really like comedy so I thought I would like to try it, my wife said I should do a comedy class if I think I’m so funny,  I have a brain tumour and I need to laugh more, I am trying to improve my presentations skills, I have this collection of funny stories and I want to share them…… to…. I saw a comic the other night and I thought I am funnier than him so I figured it can’t be that hard to do. All of these are true answers, I do write them down, so at the end of the classes I can see how things turned out.

I don’t want to judge any of these newbies by their opening statements as they may be the next “overnight success” stand-up comic.  But I do make some private coded notes on my bio page about their response. This is my secret, fun game as to who might have some challenges making it to the end of the classes.

So as I sitting here waiting for the newest class to arrive I wonder what this bunch will have as their reasons for taking classes. I don’t even know who will show up, as today the names can go both ways. There will 16 of them arriving soon, a few are repeaters that have taken classes from me before but the rest are new sooooo…..I will let you know who fills the empty chairs and what they have to say.

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