The Problem With Trying To “Find” Stand-up Comedy Topics

There is an interesting thing that happens when a person makes the decision to take a stab at stand-up comedy – specifically, this nagging question seems to pop up:

How do I find funny stand-up comedy topics to write jokes about?

I have firsthand experience with this and it was only after I developed my system for developing stand-up comedy material that I fully understood where the disconnect was when it came to trying to “figure out” what to talk about on stage.

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False Assumptions Can Create Major Roadblocks


Most people who make the decision to try stand-up comedy do so because they have a sense of humor that consistently generates laughter from others without much effort or thought.

But when they are faced with the prospect of developing a stand-up comedy act, they become stuck and suddenly can’t seem to pinpoint what they should talk about on stage.

In retrospect I can tell you that a huge part of this major mental block is caused by the assumption that producing stand-up comedy material is something very unique and drastically different than using one’s sense of humor in everyday life.

The reality is that this notion is not only false, but the comedy mechanics that any person uses in ANY environment to generate laughs are EXACTLY the same as the comedy mechanics that they will ultimately use on stage to generate laughs with their stand-up comedy material.

Yes, there are differences between making a group of friends or family members laugh and making a stand-up comedy audience laugh.

But those differences lie primarily in structure and format, not in the comedy mechanics that are used by the comedian to generate the laughs.

What I have just described ties directly into the second part of this issue…

Why You Don’t “Find” Stand-up Comedy Topics


Trying to “find” stand-up comedy topics that will somehow “automatically” work to get laughs like you would try to find a lamp at Wal-Mart is pretty much a waste of time and here’s why:

Everyone has a unique sense of humor and perspectives on life that are specific to them.

It is this “comedy lens” through which they see life that gives them their laughter power when they communicate with others.

It is also this aspect of stand-up comedy that cannot be “found” – it is there already (provided a person has real comedy talent), ready to be tapped into to produce a mountain of stand-up comedy material if a person knows how to do it.

So, instead of trying to “find” stand-up comedy topics…

A comedian should ask themselves two important questions when it comes to developing stand-up comedy material for the stage:

What is it that I can talk about that allows me to easily use my sense of humor?

Of the things I want to talk about on stage that allow me to use my sense of humor, what will the audience be able to easily visualize and/or relate to?

Don’t get me wrong – what I am presenting here is certainly oversimplified. There is much more involved with developing and delivering a high level stand-up comedy routine that gets the big laughs.

But given what I have presented in this article, it is far easier taking this approach to develop stand-up comedy material that will work on stage than trying to somehow “figure out” what to say or trying to “find” some sort of “generic” stand-up comedy topic that has nothing to do with your own sense of humor.

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