A hero who makes us laugh – stand-up comedian
Did you know that most, if not all, of the superstars in the comedy arena used to be rubbing elbows with audiences in comedy clubs? And some of them were indeed booed offstage by the audience. Stand-up comedy can be a very funny business, although, if you don’t have what it takes to be a stand-up comedian, prepare yourself for an ego-busting experience.
A stand-up comedian is a person who presents solo comical acts onstage using a microphone in front of an audience. This typically happens in comedy clubs, theaters, college venues, or just about any place where an audience is able to listen to someone cracking punch lines, funny stories, or monologues. A stand-up comedian may use props, background music, acrobatics, tricks, etc., to make his acts rib tickling.
Since stand-up shows are basically one-man shows, a stand-up comedian is placed under extreme pressure to deliver the audience’s expectation of incessant flow of laughter. For novice stand-up comics, some venues offer “open mic” events to give an opportunity for amateur comedians to perform before a live audience. Comic star Dave Chappelle once recalled the audience booed at him on his first stand-up act.
A stand-up comedian becomes an artist of his own by performing his craft artistically that is able to delight the audience or make them drool down with laughing. Stand-up comedy requires huge amounts of talents and artistry. The stand-up comedian needs to compose a sort of script and organize so the performance will seem continuous and flowing. It is a fact that many stand-up comedians takes years to compose an effective 45-minute material.
Comedy superstar Eddie Murphy’s career began when he was only 19, as one of the performers on NBC’s Saturday Night Live shortly after graduating from Junior-Senior High School. His stand-up routines in the 80’s were reminiscent of the late Richard Pryor, characterized by criticizing gays and too much swearing. A stand-up comedian may look up to a comic predecessor but originality and ingenuity plays a big role when presenting onstage. Otherwise, the audience will have that I’ve-seen-that-thing-before feeling.
Rowan Atkinson, the man behind Mr. Bean was a stand-up comedian who performed in theaters before he became the Mr. Bean. But Atkinson is more than just a performer, he also wrote comedy revues at the Oxford Playhouse and eventually at the Edinburgh Fringe. His writing prowess of comedy revues launched him to stardom.