Stand- Up Comedy

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  • Topic: Comedy, Stand-up comedy, Saturday Night Live
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Stand-up comedy
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Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2006) B. J. Novak in a stand-up comedy routine at Olde English sketch comedy in June 2007. B. J. Novak in a stand-up comedy routine at Olde English sketch comedy in June 2007.

Stand-up comedy is a style of comedy where the performer speaks directly to the audience, with the absence of the theatrical fourth wall. A person who performs stand-up comedy is known as a stand-up comic, stand-up comedian or more informally stand up. It is usually performed by a single comedian, with the aid of a hand-held microphone. The comedian usually recites a fast-paced succession of humorous stories, short jokes (called "bits"), and one-liners, which comprise what is typically called a monologue, routine or act. Some stand-up comedians use props, music or magic tricks to enhance their acts. Stand-up comedy is often performed in comedy clubs, bars, colleges and theaters. However, there is no real restriction on where the craft can be performed. Many smaller venues hold "open mic" events, where amateur comedians perform comedy before a live audience, offering a way for such performers to hone their craft and possibly break into the business. In North America, many comedy clubs feature the now-iconic brick wall as the backdrop for stand-up performances.

Many stand-up routines are similar to one-man shows, with the main difference being the expectations of the audience, who, in the case of stand-up, expect a relatively steady stream of "laughs". This in turn affects the aims of the performer, who is under great pressure to deliver those laughs. If the performer cannot coax laughs out of the crowd, sometimes the crowd will poke fun at the comedian, a practice known as heckling.

Stand-up comedy is difficult to master partly because the performer is at the mercy of the audience, which is an integral element of the act. An adept stand-up comedian must nimbly play off the mood and tastes of any particular audience, and adjust his or her routine accordingly. Stand-up is an art form that is openly devoted to getting laughs from an audience above all else(unlike theatrical comedy, which creates comedy within the structure of a play and with character and situation). The skills attributed to stand-up are diverse; it is often necessary for a stand-up comic to simultaneously assume the roles of a writer, editor, performer, promoter, producer and technician.

One hallmark of a master stand-up comedian is the ability to not only face down a "heckler", but win over and entertain the rest of the crowd with a witty retort. Many stand-up comedians work for years to develop 45 minutes of material, and usually perform their bits repeatedly, slowly perfecting them over time. Actor-comedian Will Ferrell has called stand-up comedy hard, lonely and vicious. [1] Contents


* 1 History
* 2 Stand-up around the world
o 2.1 United States
+ 2.1.1 New York City
+ 2.1.2 Los Angeles
+ 2.1.3 Boston
+ 2.1.4 Detroit
+ 2.1.5 San Diego
+ 2.1.6 San Francisco
+ 2.1.7 Texas
+ 2.1.8 Washington, DC
+ 2.1.9 Atlanta
o 2.2 Canada
+ 2.2.1 Toronto
+ 2.2.2 Montreal
+ 2.2.3 Vancouver
+ 2.2.4 Influences
o 2.3 United Kingdom
o 2.4 Australia
o 2.5 Spain
o 2.6 Hong Kong
o 2.7 The Netherlands
o 2.8 Germany
+ 2.8.1 English-speaking stand-up
+ 2.8.2 Festivals
* 3 Comedy festivals
* 4 Other media
* 5 See also
* 6 References

[edit] History
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