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  • Bombs Away!

"Where Do You Get Your Material?"

Female comedian performs at the Taproom On Ludlow in Cincinnati, OH

So you’ve made it to an open-mic night, you are excited to perform on a comedy show or at a comedy club one day, and now you realize you need to actually write jokes. One question I often get asked is where do you get your material. The easiest place to find material is in your own life. But at the end of the day material is whatever makes the audience laugh when you want them to laugh.

1️⃣ What stories do you tell people when you first meet them? Pretend you’re camping with a group of new folks, what are the first 3 stories about you that you are telling them? Those stories often become a comedian’s first jokes. Write down these stories and find the parts that people usually laugh at. Get to the funny parts in as few words as possible.

2️⃣ Make note of what people laugh at when you talk to people in everyday life. This does not mean to try jokes out on random people, but if you have a good laugh with a friend, write it down and see if it works on stage.

3️⃣ Write every day! Even if the words you write are never said on stage, carve out 15min a day to write. Define ideas you already have, free write about your day, challenge yourself with jokes about certain topics. Any comedian will say they get their material from writing everyday. Your favorite comedians are incredible writers, and they had to practice at that. There is no shortcut.

We can give all the tips on writing jokes, but one of the best comedians ever, Gary Gulman, has already given comedians 365 of the best writing advice ever offered, and it’s completely free. We strongly recommend reading and using these tips when writing. All 365 of Gary Gulman's Tweet-Sized Writing Tips for Comedians, Open-Mic'ers, Writers, Humans

All it takes to Get Started is to take that first step. Find an open mic, tell some jokes, and remember, have fun! Comedy is supposed to be fun.

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