Performance Critique: Oct 24

This is me MCing a show I produced at Caltech.


0m25s Interesting that 80% of the audience didn’t clap for either option

1m24s I need to look at the space on stage where my mom character was for that punch line

1m52s I should’ve done a little more crowd work before going into another joke

2m18s Better to end this line on the punch word: “it’s a joke ever since the deli told him ‘you’re fired’”

2m27s Shocker: the public school kids line doesn’t work at a private university

2m45s Notice The audience didn’t laugh at “have you looked in the mirror lately” but laughed at “I am way more likely to get molested.” I’m trying to figure out if these two lines show that you should keep adding punches to a “meaner” joke until they laugh or if it shows that it’s better to make jokes at your expense.

2m58s This would’ve been a good moment for crowd work

3m25s First time I didn’t get a good laugh from that. This joke works best when I pick a girl from a group of four or five friends. I picked someone on the side where there were only nine people and she was with her boyfriend. I also probably shouldn’t have picked the most attractive person in the audience.

3m36s This is the new version of the tubes joke as I decided to get rid of the second line about “triple layered chocolate suffle cake”, move the third line to the second, and add a third one. All three punches missed so bad that I decided to skip the “he just gave you a look like, your tubes are kinda large” line.

3m42s Good save

3m51s Proof the model joke works well even in the middle of my set, doesn’t have to be my opener.

4m27s All 75 people are completely sober

4m35s This is always a risky joke to do, especially early in a set

5m27s Add “you look like” before “you might know the slogan”

5m57s I noticed that “nature’s draino” gets a groan, so I now admit to going too far, and then go further. It usually works better than here.

6m18s I like the morning after pill joke but need to figure out a way to get the audience to like it

6m25s I exaggerated his answer on purpose

6m38s I’m not kidding

6m47s I meant to do this joke before the morning after pill joke

7m39s That’s funny (although mean), even if they didn’t laugh

7m55s I improvised the “branching out of the Caltech dating pool”… I should try a similar tag in the future like “I’m just trying to branch out of the usual dating pool”

8m04s Rare that this didn’t get a laugh

8m32s Calling people out works better if I look at them during the joke

8m45s No reason to share my name again

Part 2 of my opening set


0m32s Who gets married from a Denny’s date?

0m56s I need to make this punch line clearer

1m38s None of the small punch lines worked on the way, but this one got a response

1m49s If I’m gonna say what someone looks like, I should follow it up. A “can you get me tickets to the price is right?” joke would’ve gone well here.

This is me doing material between comics


0m15s There were enough people here to volunteer an answer, but I decided not to push an interaction and just went into the joke

0m55s Maybe I should do this joke more often, as this line gets a great laugh

More material between comics


0m43s Try “that is so art deco” instead of “he is so art deco”

1m05s I got the lines backwards, it should’ve been “most of you are like, woah he wasn’t lying, that IS his job”

1m27s The line should’ve been “at the Econmetrica convention”

More time between comics


0m11s Referencing his joke

0m22s I hate hearing “awws” on this joke

0m31s The aww train continues

0m45s I didn’t think this was a mean joke until 30 seconds of awws and silence… I need to figure out how to turn that to laughter

0m55s At least the last line got a laugh, if it hadn’t, I would’ve gone into another joke before bringing up the next comedian

Last joke between comics


0m14s I should’ve suggested a costume for him

0m20s My attempt at a segue

Overall: As a show, it was a great success. I did my job as an MC by warming up the crowd as they were laughing hard at all the comedians I brought up. That said, I could’ve done a lot more crowd work, and the crowd work I did needed to last for 2-3 exchanges at a time instead of a one liner and back to material. I also need to learn to be funnier with crowd work. Also, I only had three solid laughs where 90% or more of the audience was with me (“Igor likes this”, “it costs money” and “you must love sweaters”). As the MC, you’re not expected to kill with laughter but I should be getting more laughs.

Also, I felt that the audience perceived a lot of my jokes as “mean.” I can think of three ways to get past this: 1) Work on my stage persona so that I can get away with more mean jokes. 2) Change the order of the jokes where I do more self deprecating stuff upfront or 3) Somehow convey that I’m kidding, or that it’s okay to laugh (which is part of stage persona I guess). Most likely it’s a combination of these three ideas and other things I’m not yet aware of.

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