Sunday, September 18, 2005


I just got back from the Stand-up show that I mentioned earlier.

Stand-up is not about just getting up on stage and cursing a whole lot! It is not about just telling one-line jokes, humorous anecdotes and staring at cue-cards in the wings! Stand-up is supposed to be *&%%^$&%$& FUNNY!

A better summary goes like this:

The opening act was this guy Faraz Lodhi. He actually had some funny material. Some genuinely good bits and he managed his transitions well too. He did, however, keep mumbling between jokes and instead of memorizing his bits, or even writing his material down on paper and keeping it on stage with him, he relied on cue-cards being held up in the wings. Good jokes and timing ruined by long pauses that were punctuated by non-stop cursing. It lacked the kind of casual smoothness that makes good stand-up work. But there were some decent jokes and they were well told.

It went downhill from there.

The next guy mumbled some bad one-liners incoherently. Haven't seen an audience energy die so quickly. The guy after that just kept cursing and telling badly structured stories. After him was a friend who actually had one good joke about CNN and censorship and wrecked it with poor delivery. The rest of his material was abysmal and the last guy up seemed confused about which country he was in. Word of advice: Don't take material about American Highschools and apply it to I.B.A. It wasn't even material he had ripped off from an American comedian, it was just bad stuff. We all walked out around then. Couldn't take it anymore.

My advice remains, being funny doesn't mean you are a good comedian. Stand-up is a craft and skill that requires practice and relies on certain tools to succeed. Some can break those rules, but that only works once you have learnt them. To just be this ignorant about rules and structures is embarrasing.


Am worried about the repercussions this will have on my November show. What if word-of-mouth ruins the expectations and interest people have in Stand-up shows. Maybe its good I have a month between this show and my own. Feeling alot more confident about it, 'll be honest. The audiences here are interested and want to laugh. You just have to give them a good reason to.

Another problem is that P.A.C.C. is increasing its booking costs from November. Not Rs. 8000 anymore, but Rs. 12,000! I don't have that kind of money. Really need to save up now.

Saad and I have one chance to redeem Stand-up; on the 26th is Saad's open-mic where I am doing 5 minutes of material. Have to choose what to do carefully. Alot rides on this show.

Damn Crackdown.


Blogger atrophying said...

SAMI! for the love of all things funny, that wasn't just bad, that was the stuff nightmares were made of. I want my 150 bucks back. I couldve gotten 15 jet sports from that money and distributed it amongst the poor. I couldve given it to the Edhi foundation.

Most important of all: I could have gotten 3 packs of Marlboros.

P.S: I really enjoyed your pick of favorite images in Aurora. That was you, right?

2:01 PM  
Blogger Sami said...

Heh. yup that was me.

I'm still trying to erase the trauma of the show from my mind. I feel like I need an acid bath.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Abbas Halai said...

heh good luck with the next show dude.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a member of the crackdown team. No I wasnt part of the show Sami has blogged about. In my defence I was not even in the same country. I was 12 time zones away.

Its gotten better since and only Faraz has survived from the orignal line up.

But yeah I agree with Sami, being funny does not make you a stand-up comic. I'm not really funny in real life situtaions most the time, but I usually get decent laughs on stage.


5:27 AM  

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