Rodney Dangerfield made a living at getting no respect, yet he became one of the most respected stand-up comedians in history. This doesn’t take away from the fact that Rodney was absolutely correct. Stand-up comedy is the lowest form of performance art when it comes to respect, recognition and appreciation. Singers, musicians, magicians, etc. are revered, while comedians are treated like talentless losers. Okay, that may be a bit harsh, but then again.
Here is my point. While watching America’s Got Talent last night, it was easy to be enthralled by the dancers, singers and dangerous magicians. However, when the chosen comedians hit the panel of four judges, the excuses started. “It’s hard for comedians because they need an audience”. I say Balderdash ! (love that word). A professional comedian should be able to perform for an audience of 2, as well as 5,000.
Comedians are smart. They have to learn how to construct a joke, or an observation that appeals to a wide range of audience. They have to be original. We can’t do covers. They are challenged to be clean for a family audience. And most importantly, they have to be funny.
Is that harder than learning how to sing, or play piano, or do a simple magic trick?
YOU BET IT IS …Try it…Then let me know how you feel about comedians.
Jon Stewart, a highly respected comedian, said it best. “People don’t think comedians have talent because everyone thinks they can tell a joke, or they know somebody funny. Watching someone sing opera, or play an instrument is talent. You’re just telling jokes. My brother in law can do that.”
Stand-up comedy is the most difficult form of entertainment. You are alone up there and you need attention from people. You cannot be in the background, like the cocktail lounge singer. The audience makes a decision to like you or hate you within the first 30 seconds and you have to go on, in spite of that opinion.
Yet, making someone laugh so hard it hurts is the most satisfying feeling for the comedian and the audience. Laughter is healing. It releases endorphins, It cures disease. It’s helps people forget their problems.
Let’s see an accordion player do that.
Hug a comedian today.
Or at least go out and support live comedy.
My schedule is on the “on stage” tab on this blog.
My website www.steviegb.com
I am open to hugs, as long as I have my Purell.