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Old 01-30-04, 07:12 AM   #1
busterjuggler
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Default Street performing one liners

Hello i was just wandering if anyone out there would be able to help out and tell me a few good jokes and one liners for the street...i do a juggling act/ bed of nails
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Old 02-05-04, 10:25 PM   #2
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The best answer I can give is, write your own material.

The most practical answer I can give is, if you want to steal material, at least do it properly. Go to a festival, see every show you can, and when you steal a line at least drop a buck in the "creative consultant"s hat afterwards.

The most satisfying (to me) answer I can give is, fuck off, you lazy asshole.

I think that pretty much covers it...oh, and say something about 'balls' while you juggle. The preteens will giggle, if nothing else. Unless you're old, and then it's just a creepy, skeevy thing to do, so don't.

*nods to self, satisfied with the depth and throroughness of answer*
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Old 02-06-04, 12:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
say something about 'balls' while you juggle. Unless you're old, and then it's just a creepy, skeevy thing to do, so don't.
That's no way to talk about Robert!
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Old 02-06-04, 02:20 AM   #4
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Well hmmmm...

It would be VEEEEEEERY difficult for me (and most of the pnetters here) to write jokes for you because most of us have never seen you or your act.

From experience I have learned that the jokes that work best are the ones that fit your CHARACTER and personality. The jokes that comment on what you are doing (i.e. bed of nails) often get groans or even if they are 100% original, they "feel" like old jokes.

Another thing I have experienced is that if you do jokes that comment on what you are doing, you are VERY VERY VERY likely to come up with jokes that have been done before.

There WAS a joke in my show that I had come up with entirely on my own and imagine my HORROR when I saw this of the joke being performed by a juggler who I am certain never saw my act and I had never seen his before. Then I found another joke I had come up with ENTIRELY ON MY OWN in the book "How to be a Goofy Juggler." That's when I realised I needy to learn more about comedy...

When I was in England last year I discovered an advert in 'The Stage' for a comedy writer who would write you 25 jokes for £150. He had work for some of the biggest TV shows in the UK so I sent him the cash and spoke to him at length on the phone. I told him what I did and what I was looking for. I asked him if it would be possible to come see my show before he wrote for me, but he was in Blackpoole and I was in Bognor Regis (a shit hole) and he refused to come down even if I paid for his trip and hotel.

To make a long story short, the jokes he wrote for me were AWFUL. There was one joke that I liked so I used it in my show and the response from the audience has always been the same:

UUUUUUuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggghhhhh!!!!

Here's the joke:

I'm balanced on the free standing ladder with a tuba in my hands about to play a song


"It may seem kind of strange to stand on a ladder to play the tuba... but it's how I hit the high notes!"

I sometimes still use the joke, but then I tag it with jokes making fun of the joke, because, yes, that joke SUCKS.

ok I'm starting to ramble. So here's my point, busterjuggler:

Go to your library and get a book or two about comedy writing. READ IT. Then DO IT. It is hard work, but you have to do it. You can't rely on other performers across the internet to do your work for you.

You could also try finding a local improv theatre company and try joining up.

I HIGHLY recommend this and I do it myself. It is FUN. You meet really fantastic and incredibly funny people this way. I worked with ComedySportz in Washington DC, Les Pros d'Impro in Paris and I've just now started working with ImprovAsylum here in Boston.

Anyway... good luck. Comedy is not an easy road to take, but it is an incredible journey!


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Old 02-06-04, 09:42 AM   #5
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Try "Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy" by Greg Dean, with a forward by Steve Allen.

From the Contents Page:
The Secrets of Joke Structure
What a Joke Does: Expectations and Surprise

Joke Writing: The Joke Prospector
The Joke Map

available from http://heinemanndrama.com/

And "The Clown Star - Five Points to Guide You Toward Continual Progress" by David Bartlet. Quote: "Surprise, Exaggeration and Wrong are only three beginning categories and do not include all comedic situations and strategies"

While there is some overlap in the two books, the styles are very different from one another.

Available from http://mrrainbowtheclown.com/

Both books are trade paperbacks.

Both will stimulate your thinking if you apply yourself.

Your book report is due on the first.
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Old 02-10-04, 08:30 PM   #6
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Stock lines...
I used to use stock hat lines (take five out of your wallet, give me the rest...), until i heard a lady in the back give a chuckle, and tell her neighbor she'd heard that one before.
Pretty devestating.

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Old 02-12-04, 02:16 AM   #7
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devastating? That's retarded.

You should have an arsenal. Steel all the lines you see any street performer using. It doesn't matter. They're probably not his. If they are his, and they're funny, who cares. If he didn't want to be stolen from, he shouldn't have said it. Five people out of every audience use those jokes again and again in their everyday lives to make them not so everyday. That's great.

You can help some people feel happy too. Here are some jokes that I've heard and used. These jokes are not all mine, but if I would claim to have made any of them up, I'm sure someone else will claim the same.

Walk-by jokes:

-You sir, you're ugly.
-Excuse me, could you hook me up with that friend of yours... oh, sorry, could you hook me up with that girlfriend of yours.
-Please take your hands out of your pockets, I'll do the entertaining around here.
-(empty stroller) Are you looking to buy? You can get a black kid on the black market, or if you're looking for a super kid, there's a market for that too. Go to the re-produce section.
-(empty stroller) The baby fell out.
-(walking a dog) Real funny, making fun of the blind!
-(man with bullet wound)See, a real samari would have caught it in his teeth
-(someone with binoculars) I recognize you, binoculars, I'm getting curtains.
-(binoculars) are you looking for birds? Let's all give'em some birds to look at
-(fat man)Come back here! Police! that man ate my grocery store!
-(jogger) You can't run from old age.
-(man with huge balls) No need to get testy with me.
-(kid in stroller) look, how cute, a midget in a wheel chair.
-(man puking profusely) I told you to spit
-do the curtains match the drapes?
-Quit folowing her, stalker.
-See you at home
-How much have you had to drink?
-Is that your wife, or just hired help?
-Hey guys, have fun at the hotel.
-You can hold hands, no one will care.
-Now, I recognise you, not until I saw the back of your head.
-Are those kids stupid, or did you pay them to hang out with you?
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Old 02-12-04, 02:47 AM   #8
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I did a gig at the Comedy Store in Chicago and a very prolific stand up comic (who will go unnamed) said this to me:

"If you remember it, it's yours!"

etienne

p.s. I disagree.
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Old 02-12-04, 03:39 AM   #9
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On the subject of comedy writing books:

Greg Dean's book-- I found this one very cold, clinical and more concerned with comic formula than what was actually funny. It made me think of the expression "to disect a frog, you must first kill it." This book made me think more "how" to be funny, than to actually be funny.



books I recommend:

Comedy Writing Step by Step
by Gene Perret (and Carol Burnett)

First off, Gene Perret is one of the most successful writers and producers in the comedy industry. Second, this book is actually funny. He writes what he is teaching. The book is filled with a lot of abstract exercises, but it really provokes you to create what makes you laugh. Gene recognizes that the creative process is not always linear and he has a great approach.

other books:

Impro by Keith Johnstone

Theater Games by Viola Spolin

Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen

The Empty Space by Peter Brook

Le Corps Poetique par Jacques Lecoq (it's just been translated into english)

also:

on DVD, Jerry Seinfeld Comdien. You should own this dvd and watch it at least once a week. This is it.

I also recommend reading actual comedy. I have a huge collection of joke books, stand up comedy records, tapes & CD's, DVDs, videos.

One guy you MUST listen to:

Bill Cosby.

The funniest man EVER. He makes your face hurt because you can't stop laughing. Yeah, Bill Cosby.

If you can understand French (and I mean FRENCH, not Quebecois!!!)) then I recommend 'Coluche' and 'Les Inconnues.'




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Old 02-12-04, 04:26 AM   #10
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Default a slight tangent.

Several extracts from an incomplete essay.

The majority of the lines rely on the element of surprise, the unexpected twist at the end of what seems like a normal statement to causes people to laugh.
ď(setup expectation) If you canít afford five dollars, (twist expectation) ten is fine.Ē

Rule 1: Humour is surprise.

How then can you justify to yourself going onto a pitch straight after another act and doing the same lines knowing that the element of surprise that made them successful the first time round has already been used up? This problem is exaggerated tenfold in a festival environment when the audiences are savvy to busking shows and more often than not have made a special outing to go and see a number of shows in one go. Once the surprise is lost so is the majority of the humour, this is what leads to the groans and the reputation that busker comedy is terrible:
ď...It may be a long time before you hear jokes as bad as these again.Ē Singapore Buskers festival program 2003

Is this the reputation that a group of people want when their promotional material, almost without exception, contains the word hilarious?

Rule 2: Spontaneity is funny.

Many of the lines are so successful because they give the illusion of spontaneity. To be spontaneous is to conquer one of the greatest social phobias, not knowing what to say. People like this.

Sometimes saying anything is all that is needed. Not something particularly clever, just something.

Ö

When did you last laugh at another street show? Was it when they said ĎDo you have a backstage pass?í or was it when some total random shit ejaculated out of their mouth that you hadnít ever heard them say before and that obviously had just floated off the top of their head? Those are the moments that make this job worthwhile and of artistic merit, without the give and take between the audience and the usage of the potential comedy offered up by the less than ideal surroundings we are simply dodgy variety acts.

Itís not compulsory. There are no rules that say when someone walks through the stage you MUST say, ďDonít worry itís just a stage youíre going through.Ē
Yes using the lines works, they have been used successfully by hundreds of people for the last twenty plus years. But not using the lines also works and you get to be all sanctimonious and superior about yourself. And you canít put a price on that.

Rule 3: Humour is two conflicting ideas.
Humour is the juxtaposition of two sets of contradictory rules.

Ö

ďBut Daniel if I make up cool new lines then other people will steal them.Ē
Thatís true they will. But thatís ok because you know how to make lines up and will inevitably come up with better ones. Also they will never do them as well as you could because they will be out of context. You are an integral part of your lines. Also you are cool and they SUCK ASS and THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE, HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?

Stock hat lines I can deal with. Itís the money lines and firing off on tangents and unrealised trains of thought can totally mess with the business of getting paid. If you are going to do stock hat lines though at least have the decency to see if the person on before you is doing them and do different ones. Remember humour is surprise.

Are you the spontaneous, original, funny person your promo says you are? Or are you doing a show by numbers with material from every other performer you ever saw and convincing yourself that you arenít because hey theyíre the stock lines, everyone uses them?
Then change it.
Enrich the artform, give something back instead of taking the easiest bits out and using them to make cash. Show some respect for the people that are paying your wages and let them see and hear something they havenít seen before.

And if I hear anyone else say throw your baby in the air Iím going to punch them in the face.
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Old 02-12-04, 04:47 AM   #11
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Comedy:

"hey Dan, I really like this song who is singing it?"

"Bik."

"WHO??!!??"

"Bik."

"????!!???"

"Bik.... uhhh... oh... BECK."

Damn kiwi accent.



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Old 02-12-04, 09:28 AM   #12
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NO! no! no! Not YOUR baby, the other kid!

http://www.stiltwalker.com/aurora-stiltwalker.gif
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Old 02-12-04, 10:00 PM   #13
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Scot...
It was two years ago, when i was starting. I was pretty shy, especially about talking. I was trying to work in these lines that were 'tried and true' to build my confidence. With this mentality, sure it seemed "devestating". My crowd was small enough that i could hear the back row...it sucked.

Ive been working reallly hard lately to put together an original show (and succeeding I feel). It's a lot of work to make something original when you could go for the cheap laugh of someone else's overused joke. Its my own opinion that if we all went for the stock lines, eventually the whole audience would be whispering to their neighbor about them.

It's easy for you to be flippant. You have a funny, and undoubtedly original act. I'm assuming you went through the sucky parts making it, testing it out, etc, so now you can can screw it, i dont care if people take because if they take from me i'll have the satisfaction of knowing my line was good enough to steal.

My two cents,
Eric
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Old 02-13-04, 11:42 AM   #14
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A few weeks ago I wrote my thoughts on original material versus stock jokes and see that people are still thinking along those lines. It can be a pretty touchy subject. Out in L.A. at a famous comedy club I have seen fights almost started over lines that were supposedly stolen. There is one guy, who shall remain namesless, who makes good money traveling around the world using other people's jokes. HIS ENTIRE ROUTINE! He is despised by his fellow comedians. Everybody has his own take on it, but I made a decision at the beginning to either succeed for fail with my own material. It is a personal choice. Also I have the luxury of doing a vent act, which makes it more difficult to steal!
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Old 02-13-04, 12:17 PM   #15
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Barney - What is a "vent act"?

My opinion is that if you're not a clown or comedian, you do not have to be funny. It's that simple. Many performers think they have to be funny, cute or clever instead of improving their talent, skill & rapport with the audience. Blue Man Group does not have sold-out shows in four states because they tell jokes.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. Happy Valentine's Day.
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Old 02-13-04, 12:59 PM   #16
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If I may answer for Barney--"vent" is short for ventriloquist.

My two cents--comedy is essential for creating audience rapport. It puts the audience at ease and creates an instant connection not only between the the performer and the audience, but between the members of the audience as well.

And I'm not asking this to be snide, but have you seen Blue Man Group? While they do not tell jokes, they are *very* funny.
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Old 02-13-04, 01:14 PM   #17
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Yes, I've seen BMG, and you're right - they are funny. But the humor in their show is not a crutch or cliche like it is in other acts. It greases & balances the flow of the show without becoming "shtick".

So I agree & disagree with you. Depending on your act, comedy is important but not essential.
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Old 02-13-04, 03:31 PM   #18
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I always feel that it is the UN-rehearsed doggerel that simply responds to the "Moment" which wins over "stock" lines / gags / bits of "business" every time!!

.... It's interesting to note that some performers, whilst practised in the art/s in which they display their skills, often appear terrified when it comes to speaking.

When I am interacting with my small circle of audience, I love the fact that my bumbling, absent-minded Wyzzyrd character takes over from my non-performing "self".. This creates an immediacy and intimacy which draws audiences in, and involves them with what is going on inside the circle which we have created together, and inside which we work our collective magick.

I kind of psych myself up prior to performances and allow the Balloon Wyzzyrd to simply "appear".

Impromptu, "quality encounters" then ensue, as I conjure up multiple organisms of the latex variety .. along with memories for people who leave feeling valued and included

It's like giving yourself PERMISSION to say what you WANT to say.......... and MOST comments are acceptable to most people.. AS LONG AS YOU REMEMBER TO RELAX AND SMILE DURING DELIVERY..

Have FUN out there!!
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Old 02-14-04, 10:12 AM   #19
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Yeah, vent is short for ventriloquism.

Having a puppet say something extemporaneously and wonder where the hell that came from is one of the neatest mysteries around. I write novels and sometimes pick one up to read a couple years after it is finished and my first thought is WHERE THE HELL DID THIS COME FROM? It did not exist and now it is an energy force all its own. Pavoratti once said his voice is not his own; it comes from somewhere out there. He is like a medium. Spontaneous humor can be like that.
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Old 02-14-04, 03:06 PM   #20
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Default Back To Basics.

Just wanted to be the first visitor ( I think) to post in color!

Of course, it's very good to good to begin with comedy. It sets the scene and gets everyone comfortable with you. Even speakers who are going to expound on some really dull subject will usually start off with a joke.

Especially in regard to American audiences. Ya gotta make 'em laff!

But seriously. it's shouldn't be just about comedy, but how comedy is used. It's about creating emotions. The act shouldn't just grind on at the same level. There should be peaks and valleys to keep the audience attention and build the excitement.

So if you've just wowed them with something clever or dangerous, (a peak) then it's a good time to throw in a funny one liner to ease the tension, and create a valley so you can build them up to the next peak.
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