Performance Critique 24: Feb 07

This is me at a 3 person bringer. There were about 30-40 people in the audience, 3 of whom actually knew me. And two of them had seen my stand up in the very beginning. I hate myself for not checking the camera setting before hand to ensure optimal lighting.


0m37s Change from “You get to” to “We get to that midnight kiss” 

0m44s Note for future reference, pick out a person in a large group to say “you know what I’m talking about” whenever possible, as the rest of the group will usually laugh at the guy. Also try to pick out a guy as it makes my joke make more sense. 

1m33s Don’t say “but it’s messed up” anymore. 

2m39s My amazon dot com voice needs work as it doesn’t sound consistent from set to set, and the laughs vary as well. 

4m25s When I wrote that, I didn’t consider “some people don’t realize there’s some photos you don’t put there” to be a punch line. That either shows how little I know or how great of a crowd it was. 

5m05s My voice was off for “It. Costs. Money.” because I got a little interrupted and this led to random laughter. I should’ve gone back a few words, to get my outraged voice back. 

6m52s I didn’t pause long enough between “that takes” and “tubes”. 

7m23s I love how this punch line either causes crickets to chirp (silence) or kills. 

7m39s I learned to wait after “that means that you are.” As that takes people a few seconds to get it. 

7m43s I came up with that on the spot and will be using it from now on. “I didn’t mean to give the game away, I’m sorry.” 

8m17s For every set where “girl lets you take her out to dinner” didn’t get big laughs, “I didn’t even get any snuggle head” doesn’t get big laughs either. I should adjust on the spot and know to skip that if this occurs (assuming I’m getting good laughs in general). 

8m38s That’s by far the best reaction that line has ever gotten. I think my notes on holding the face in previous critiques finally paid off. 

9m02s I should start ending good sets by saying “Check out BigBenComedy dot com and have a good night. Thanks” so that my website name doesn’t get drowned out. 

Overall: This was one of my best, if not my best, set overall. The fallopian tubes and the website name were the two weakest jokes, so I either need to strengthen them, deliver it a little better or get rid of them. This audience was dying at a lot of other things so they’re trustworthy in judging what works and what doesn’t (unless they laugh at everything).

5 Replies to “Performance Critique 24: Feb 07”

  1. Awesome set man. I see what you mean about the difference between a real crowd and an open mic night, and how the size of the crowd makes a difference. It’s strange. I guess the problem with open mic nights is that everyone’s constantly analysing your set and seeing if you’re better or worse than them, and thinking about their own set, rather than just enjoying the comedy.

    Great set though.

  2. Solid set Ben.

    Just a quick note: the reason I think “EVERYONE in New York will know I’m talking about you?” is such a funny line (and it seems like it got one of the biggest laughs) is because I assume it’s going to be followed with a crack about how the girl has gotten around with all of New York. So it seems a bit disjointed when you take the route of her overestimating your fanbase. What do you think? I’m sure you’ve thought of this before, but I’m curious if you considered going another direction with it.

  3. Hey Andrew,

    Thanks for the compliment.

    In my experience other open mic comics aren’t so much concerned about analyzing your set to see if they’re better than you (although everyone does that too) as they are about memorizing their material / deciding what material they want to use for their set.

    Also, the size of the crowd making a difference says more about my skill level than anything else. I did a bringer/pro mixed show with an audience of about 20 people in December, the audience was laughing but not dying at everyone’s stuff. Until the professional headliner came on. He destroyed the room and made everyone (including me) laugh much harder than they had all night.

  4. Hey Charlie,

    Good catch and great question.

    One way to get big laughs is by using misdirection or surprising an audience.

    I don’t feel I need to make a crack about the girl getting around, as I (think I) imply it with the way I repeat “Everyone in New York???” and the look I give. I can’t think of a good “been around the block” joke that isn’t hacky to follow that up. If you think of one and I like it, I’m game to try it out. (This really goes for anyone suggesting any new punchlines or jokes for me.)

    The interesting thing I just thought of, is the better I’ve gotten at saying “everyone in new york” / giving the look, the less I’ve been getting a laugh at “I think she was overestimating my fan base.” So I should either play with the fan base wording or ensure that I’m delivering the line the same as before.


  5. Just thought, if you’re going to drop the buddhist dating joke, how about “there’s this online dating website for Sikhs living in New York. It’s called UrbanTurban.com.”

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