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How To Write Material For Stand Up Comedy: A Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners
Written by John McAllister on May. 27th 2022
If you're a beginner standup comedian, or would like to become one, the most important thing is to be able to write material for your act. This article provides an easy-to-follow guide on how to do so. 

From developing your comedic persona, to crafting your jokes and practicing them in front of people, this article will show you everything you need to know about writing material for standup comedy.

The best way to come up with material for standup comedy

There are a lot of different ways that you can come up with material for standup comedy. However, the best way to do it is by thinking about what you find funny in everyday life. This can be anything from a TV show that you watch to something that happened to you during the day. 

Once you have something in mind, try to come up with a funny angle on it that you can use in your act. For example, if you watched a funny scene in a movie, try to think of how you could make that scene even funnier by adding your own personal twist to it. If you can't think of anything funny off the top of your head, don't worry! There are plenty of resources out there that can help you brainstorm material for your act. 

Just take some time to look around and see what others have come up with before you start writing your own material.

Do not steal jokes. this is a career killer and you will be found out. 

Why it’s important to produce original jokes

If you want to be a successful stand-up comedian, it's important that you produce original material. Many aspiring comedians make the mistake of trying to imitate their favorite comedians, but the truth is that audiences can see right through that. They want to see something fresh and new, not a rehashing of someone else's jokes.

One of the best ways to come up with original material is to keep a journal where you write down your thoughts and observations. Over time, you'll start to notice patterns in your thinking and what makes you laugh. You can then use these insights to develop material that is uniquely yours. Of course, it's not always easy to be funny on demand. 

If you're having trouble coming up with jokes, try studying the work of other comedians or reading books on comedy writing. By learning from the masters, you'll eventually find your own voice and learn how to produce material that will make audiences laugh out loud.

3 Key ingredients of a funny joke

1. Know your audience:

The first step to writing material for standup comedy is understanding your audience. What are their demographics? What do they like? What do they dislike? When you know your audience, you can write material that appeals to them.

If your jokes are only relevant to a small group of people or a town, in particular, there's a very good chance that material won't work somewhere else. 

So start to think about who your audience and is whether your material relevant to them?

2. Write what you know:

One of the best ways to write material for standup comedy is to write about what you know. If you're knowledgeable about a particular subject, use that information to your advantage. Your jokes will be more relatable and funnier if they're based on personal experiences or observations. 

3. Be Original:

When it comes to standup comedy, originality is key. Don't just regurgitate jokes you've heard before - come up with your own material. This will make your act more appealing and push you to think outside of the box (which will make you a better writer in the long run).

You will quickly come unstuck if another comedian finds out that you're ripping jokes, which is the worst thing you can possibly do as a comedian.

How to find new topics for your jokes

One of the hardest things about being a stand-up comedian is coming up with new material. You can't just tell the same jokes over and over again. You need to keep your act fresh, otherwise you'll lose your audience's attention.

So how do you find new material? It can be tough, but there are a few methods that can help. One way is to keep a notebook with you at all times. Whenever something funny happens to you, or you hear a funny story, write it down. 

This will give you a stockpile of material to work with when you're trying to come up with new jokes. Another method is to watch other comedians and see what they're talking about. You don't want to steal their jokes, of course, but this can give you some ideas for topics that you might not have thought of before. 

You can also look for inspiration in the news or in current events. What's going on in the world that you could make fun of? This can be a great source of material, but be careful not to be too offensive. You don't want to alienate your audience.

 Finally, don't be afraid to experiment and try new things

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About Author: John McAllister

From plasterer to CEO and Founder of Comedy Lounge. Johnny put everything on the line to open his own comedy club and has since turned it into one of the best clubs in the world for performing standup comedy.

Over his 20+ years in the industry, he has been a comedian, a booker, and a club owner. Johnny has watched and analysed thousands of comedians perform on stage and from that he knows exactly what makes or breaks a comedian. 

He has been responsible for hundreds if not thousands of comedians taking their first step in standup comedy.


Join our online comedy course for beginners today and become part of the next generation of standup comedians.

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