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I went to school with Steven Wright, who was the shyest guy I knew, and one day someone suddenly told me that he was in a club doing standup comedy. I went down to his club and he was great. Another friend of mine, who was pretty much a thief by trade, was hosting the show. So I thought, 'If these guys can do it, then so can I.'
I have an ElliptiGO. It's a standup bicycle. You don't pedal; you stride on it. It allows me to have the same striding motion as running without the impact.
As a standup comedian, you have to develop a sense of fearlessness. It's really important for your livelihood and your well-being. And if you don't do that, you're going to fail; you're never going to be able to stand up on the cliff and jump off.
You know, I guess there's enough information out there to support that I'm a crazy, wild dude and rock and roll and this, that and the other. And there's enough information to support that, you know, I'm a single father, that, you know, has been a pretty standup guy in his community and pretty private about that stuff. But it's on both sides.
Anybody who's done standup will tell you that there's nothing like it. The show starts at 8:00, the curtain goes up and there's nobody else except you and the audience, and you just perform for them for two hours. Nobody yells, 'Cut!' There are no retakes. That is still the most exciting medium for me, and I love it.
As a standup, I try to change the world. As an entertainer, I try to entertain. And as a lesbian, I try to pick up the prettiest girl in the room.
The misconception is that standup comics are always on. I don't know any really funny comics that are annoying and constantly trying to be funny all the time.
I don't have a specific plan except for as long as people want to listen to me talk, I'm going to keep talking. I can't imagine a life without doing standup.
Until I started doing standup, there were some very bleak days.
People always come up to me and say, 'you should do standup.' It's nice to discover things about yourself. That keeps everything lively and fun.
I don't want to be a spokesman for family values, but that's the way my standup is perceived.
I always thought that if I got no love at all early in my standup career, or I was god awful, I thought I'd get into psychology.
I had a great time on News Radio, I got to make tons of money in relative obscurity and learn a lot about the TV biz and work on my standup act constantly. It was a dream gig.
No one goes into standup to make money. The frustration and rejection are just too much.
I first did standup at a lesbian bar. I didn't know it was a lesbian bar at the time, but the lesbians loved me. I was huge among the lesbians and am to this day. I'm thrilled with the lesbian support.
The demand for standup in the eighties was created by how easy it was to exploit 'comedians' and create very cheap television programming.
Whether it's writing a monologue or writing standup or writing a screenplay or writing a play, I think staying involved in the creation of your own work empowers you in a way, even if you don't ever do it. It gives you a sense of ownership and a sense of purpose, which I think as an actor is really important.
When I finished my residency in New Orleans, I went to L.A. where I would work as a doctor during the day, and then at night I would actually go to The Improv and do standup, all the while kind of cultivating my comedy resume.
When you go to standup, there seems to be a common denominator of some form of need or want for validation from the audience that maybe you were lacking as a kid.
I would call it a comedy variety show. We have some people just doing straight standup. We usually try to have one musical act of sort. So its just people being funny in different ways, not just sketch, not just standup, not just characters, all of those things.
I've skewered whites, blacks, Hispanics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, gays, straights, rednecks, addicts, the elderly, and my wife. As a standup comic, it is my job to make sure the majority of people laugh, and I believe that comedy is the last true form of free speech.
In my standup work, I always do these characters, older people who are just off to the side. It's easier to write a story about the guy who made it to the top, but the middle is so much more interesting, so much more murky.
'Deal or No Deal' works nicely with my ADD/ADHD symptoms. I show up, meet the contestants, and move around the set. I'm not stuck behind a pedestal reading trivia questions. I've always had problems sitting still and listening for long periods of time. The show spares me these challenges. I can live in the moment. It's like a standup act.
Over the years, I've realized that I have as much in common with the performance artist, the standup comedian, the screenwriter, as I do with the theologian. I'm in an odd world where I make things and share them with people.
Actors, you have to wait for people to give you work, or you have to make your own stuff. But standup, I could just say, 'I want to do standup in 30 minutes,' and I can go do standup. Or I could just say, 'I want to do standup in a few weeks in this city.'
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo da Vinci
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.
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