The Comedy Urban Dictionary

If you find yourself in the presence of stand-up comedians, you might feel a bit like everyone is being really rude to each other. They’re not, they’re just using a few odd-sounding terms to discuss live comedy in Melbourne. Here’s a few for your benefit.

A Night/Room

A night and/or room (Term is interchangeable) is a place or venue that runs a comedy night. That night can be monthly, weekly, bi-weekly with every third week off, etc. A venue will usually outsource the operation of this event to a person or group of people to book, coordinate, promote and manage the acts and the running of the night. These people can be comedians themselves, comedy producers, super cool people that love comedy, or just an old-school comic that is jaded and bitter with a heart of gold.

The night/room is usually given a different title to the venue, to distinguish it from other events at the venue and refer to it specifically as the comedy night. Titles range from obvious — “Chuckle Hut Wednesdays at the Parliament Hotel!” to obscure “Tuesday Hot Ham Water at the Evelyn!”

If anyone wants to start a room called Hot Ham Water, I’m in.

Material

Joke content. Also known as gear.

“Got some new gear to try tonight. Ergh.”

“I have so much material on Pauline Hanson. This is going to be easy.”

Lineup

The order of comedians performing usually scribbled on a precious scrap of napkin or receipt just before the gig starts and then crumpled up in the MC’s hand. Contains the amount of time a comedian has to prepare/sweat profusely about their set.

Break

10–15 minute window in the middle of the show for the audience to purchase as much alcohol as possible to warrant the venue being happy to continue having a comedy night.

Getting up

Literally, getting up on stage. Come on people, some of this isn’t hard.

“Are you getting up tonight?”

“Nah.”

see also: being on

“You on?”

“Yep. 4th. You on?”

“Yep. But I don’t know when.”

“Shit. Gary has the lineup in his pocket.”

Spot/slot/gig

A spot/slot is a place in the lineup of a night. A gig can be the spot itself or the night in general.

“Are you getting up anywhere this week?”

“I’ve got a spot at Hot Ham Water.”

“That’s a great gig. Such a warm room.”

MC

The person that presents the comedians. Will start the night with some material at the top and will then get up after each act and introduce the next act. Also will try and warm the crowd to laughing again if someone hasn’t gone well, i.e mopping the blood off the walls.

Dying

AKA Bombing. Heavy, nuclear silence. The feel a bomb is the stuff of worst nightmares. It sucks the life out of you and spits it at your feet, the rubs your nose in it so you can see the worthlessness of your existence. But, you know, chin up. Worst things have happened at sea.

Killing

Doing really well, AKA smashing, destroying, crushing.

“How did Pete go?

“Killed it”

“How was Chuckle Hut?”

“Crushed it. Everyone smashed.”

N.B however, not “Crushed it in the dick”. Gross.

Kick it in the dick

A good luck offering for a good gig. Usually also said if you’re unable to attend said gig.

eg. 1:

“Are you going to Evelyn tonight?”

“Yep! You on?”

“Nope! I have to do my festival registration. Hope you kick it in the dick!”

“Thanks!”

eg. 2:

“How did you go?”

“Yeahhhh kicked it in the diiiiiick!” *lazy ninja high kick movement*

Variations:

Taking a dick

Often would refer to the crowd being not that into it, so the usually-solid comic is having to work hard through their jokes.

Eating a dick

Again, doing poorly on stage.

“How did they do?”

“…Ate a dick.”

“Daaaaymn”

Taking a shit on stage

Seemingly deliberately fucking up a gig.

Set

Your time on stage.

Tight 5

A strictly 5 minute set of your best material.

“Just a tight 5 tonight, we’ve got a lot of acts on”

…Sometimes said ironically.

“So what did they do? A tight 5?”

“Oh man. They did 35 minutes. Seriously thought I was going to eat my own face.”

Burning material

Any recording of material that is available to the public.

Hack

Insult. The comic uses street jokes, obvious or lazy comedy for easy laughs.

Coming up

Progressing through the comedy ranks.

“Kevin? Yeah course I know them! We came up together”

“Wow, where did Sandra come from? She came up so quick!”

Applause break

The joke does so well the audience breaks out into spontaneous applause.

“Frank killed it. He got 3 applause breaks”

“What? He’s a hack!!”

Crowdwork

Talking to the audience, picking on them, using your improv skills when really you’re just waiting for someone to say they’re a plumber so you can go into your bit on toilets.

Penultimate

The one before last. Theoretically it’s the spot in the lineup that is the easiest to do. Also the word employed by an MC when they feel like being fancy.

Non-Coms/Normies

Non-comedians, Normal people

“Are you going to that party on the weekend?”

“Nah. I’m seeing a movie”

“Who with?”

“Non-coms”

“Boooooring”

Like what you read? Give Lauren Bok a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.