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Thread: What IS the ultimate goal for a stand-up?

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    FORT Fan LaughAtlantis's Avatar
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    What IS the ultimate goal for a stand-up?

    It seems like Dat has gotten a lot of flak from other comics for wanting to use stand-up as a jumping-off point to an acting career. But as a member of the viewing audience, I don't understand why that's such a bad thing. So many comics have moved from stand-up to bigger things - Steve Martin, Martin Short, Robin Williams, Janeane Garofalo, Ellen DeGeneres, just to name a random few.

    Maybe other comics don't take offense at that because those guys do still do stand-up, to a certain extent, though Lord knows their big money comes from movies & television. But it all begs the question, what the heck do stand-ups really want to do? What's the end goal, if it's NOT acting?

    More than one person has said that Dave's a better writer than Dat. Is it okay if Dave takes that writing talent to another arena and writes for a sitcom? Is that a respectable goal?

    Or is the goal for a comic just supposed to be 'being a headliner'? And why is it that comics (at least, the handful on LCS) seem to feel that this is the only valid goal to have?

    Maybe this post is best answered by Ralphie, I don't know, but any thoughts?
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    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    I think those are excellent questions. I have no idea what the answers are, but good questions none the less

    I'm curious to see what Ralphie has to say....
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

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    That's a great question, Laugh, and I'm gonna try to answer.

    Comedians work really hard on their act and making audiences laugh. And itís not easy, especially at some bad road gig. But itís the love of the art of stand-up that drives comics. Getting the joke down, having a funny tag line, playing off the crowd, thereís so much to factor in and work on. So when someone says theyíre just doing stand-up as a stepping stone for acting, comics feel that the actor doesnít have the same passion or work ethics.

    Itís not to say that stand-up shouldnít lead to acting or writing gigs. But all of the people youíve mentioned (except Martin Short, who I donít believe did stand-up) still perform stand-up comedy, because they love it. Actors using comedy as a way to get acting gigs donít necessarily have that passion.

    Plus these ďactorsĒ are taking up space at showcases. Their time could be given to a comic who really needs it.

    Great site. BTW, I'm a comedian from the Bay Area, and we are very proud of Bobert.

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    Loaded God Complex MajiH's Avatar
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    I would think the answer would depend on the individual comic. Good question, Laugh, but I don't think there is a pat answer.

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    Transcendental Doctor Mosby's Avatar
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    I am just guessing about this, but:

    Part of the appeal of making the transition from stand-up to movies and television may have to do with the opportunity to take root somewhere. The life of a stand-up often consists of constant travel, and I'm sure that could get grueling after a while. The opportunity to do a sitcom or a movie might mean the chance to get away from the life on the road and to settle down, at least for a while.

    Also, writing only stand-up comedy material might be somewhat constraining. Not every funny idea is appropriate for live performance - sometimes funny ideas might be better suited to a humorous magazine piece, or for a movie script. So switching gears and writing humor for other forms might also have some appeal because it would allow a stand-up to apply their talents to other forms of expression (and make money off that, too).
    "It takes grace to play the second fiddle well" - The Fall, "Strife Knot"

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    FORT Fan LaughAtlantis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob-bed
    (except Martin Short, who I donít believe did stand-up)
    *smacking forehead* Yeah, you're right, I wrote Steve Martin and for some reaosn Martin Short blurted out of me immediately following, like a word association brain fart.

    Part of my interest in the answer to this question comes from the fact that I do improv comedy, which is very much a different artform from standup. I don't know a lot of people who are able to do both successfully, though I know damned funny people in both circles. In improv, it seems like the goal for a lot of people is to learn the art, then move to places where you can be better recognized for it, then move on to acting. There have been a plethora of comedic actors to come out of the Second City training program... but again, improv is such a different art, it's hard to draw a comparison.

    I don't think there is a pat answer to the question of the stand-up goals either, but I'm bothered by the fact that in the the house, there has seemed to be such pressure to have the same goal. I feel like there is an overriding sense that if you're a stand-up, you need to be devoted to not only your chosen profession but also the community and hierarchy within it. Otherwise, why are people expected to "pay their dues"? But ultimately it doesn't matter how many years you've been standing in front of a crowd as long as you're keeping the crowd laughing.
    Joy
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    FORT Fan zapata's Avatar
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    They were just using that as an excuse not to like him. Tess is saying the same thing about her "development" deal and sitcom and you don't see them doing it to her. It's only because HE said it- that's all- I'd say most comics want a sitcom and hate the road- they just hate Dat.

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    Transcendental Doctor Mosby's Avatar
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    Maybe stand-ups regard longevity in the profession as a sign of toughness and they regard moving from stand-up to another form of comedy as a sign of weakness. They may think that someone who makes that leap (to be a comic actor, for example) has proven that can't hack it as a stand-up (and thus doesn't deserve their respect).
    "It takes grace to play the second fiddle well" - The Fall, "Strife Knot"

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    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    that may be it Dr. M, but I still think it's silly.

    If someone offerred Vos or Ralphie a million for a movie, would they say "I'd rather work a night or two in a smoke filled bar"? I just don't think they would.
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

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    If I were in Italy Italian Idol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zapata
    They were just using that as an excuse not to like him. Tess is saying the same thing about her "development" deal and sitcom and you don't see them doing it to her. It's only because HE said it- that's all- I'd say most comics want a sitcom and hate the road- they just hate Dat.

    But I do recall hearing him last night say that he is not going to be the type to "Sell Out". Please excuse me on this one but don't you need to"sell out" to become a sitcom star. Is he going to be the type to say "I'll do this sitcom for let's say $80,000 a year cause that's all I need to make to get by". No one ever says that. They what it and they want it all! Generally speaking that is. I'm not meaning EVERYONE, just a select few.
    "I come from humble grounds. I was never spoiled, so I know how to appreciate things given to me"

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