Friend, former roommate, and fake uncle to my child Alex is working on a documentary about stand-up comedy and the potential offensiveness thereof that needs some financial assistance. You should help!
I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy, though I wish there were venues for it in my vicinity. There’s an Improv, and occasionally the big acts will pass through at the House of Blues or some-such, but there aren’t a ton of great dives you can just go to on a random weekend night and see too-soon-for-prime-time comics working on their craft.
Or maybe there are and I just don’t know about them? (Not that I really have time for that anyway.)
Stand-up has a lot in common with flash fiction. You’ve got to refine things to the sharpest, most concise version of this story (and most of the great jokes are stories). The best jokes of all can imply a whole story with just a few words. I think a lot of people overlook the writing portion of being a comedian, but they have to work on that shit. Even if I thought I could write good jokes, I’m not sure I would ever be up to the performance aspect of comedy.
I actually just wrote a story featuring stand-ups and jokes. It’s probably pretty offensive, but my gauge for these things is broken. We’ll see if it goes anywhere.
What I’m actually more worried about more than edgy jokes is that the reader has to project a lot of acting onto the characters. You can only insert so much into the text to indicate how dialogue is supposed to sound. There’s a contract you have to make with the reader – roll these words around in your mouth until you laugh. Emphasize this syllable, not that one. Please time this right. Please make this funny for me.