Before I get into a discussion about the advantages of story or topic based jokes, it is important to realize that the number of punchlines delivered each minute for a high impact stand-up comedy routine remains the same no matter what stand-up comedy material structure a comedian uses.
Here are some advantages of developing and delivering topic based or story-type stand-up comedy material:
1. Topic based stand-up comedy material can lend itself to a larger quantity of comedy material on a topic-by-topic or story basis, as opposed to trying work on one joke at a time.
2. Once a topic has been set-up, the audience is aware of what a comedian is talking about. Subsequently, less "set-up" is needed to talk about a topic or tell a story.
This can make it easier to deliver more punchlines in any given minute.
3. Funny stories or topics about personal experiences and observations tend to be more personal, lending themselves to a higher level of originality when converted into tightly structured stand-up comedy material.
But regardless of the type of structure a comedian uses to develop and deliver stand-up comedy material, the goal remains the same which is to generate audience laughter that accounts for approximately a third or more of each performing minute on stage (18+ seconds).
Typically, comedians will need to deliver 4-6+ jokes each minute (that includes set-up line and punchlines combined) in order to generate the desired accumulated laughter response that they want, whether they are telling a story, talking about a particular topic, or delivering one or two line jokes.
While developing stories or topic based comedy material may have some advantages, what really matters is NOT the type or “style” a comedian uses in their stand-up comedy act.
What matters most is that a comedian is able to entertain audiences at a high level and get the audience laughter response they want on a consistent basis.