So You Want To Do Standup Comedy

I’ve been doing comedy in New York City for a couple years now, and recently, some of my friends have asked me what it’s like. Instead of answering lots of individual questions, I decided to write a sort of conversational guide to getting into standup. This should clear up any questions you might have, but if not, sound off in the comments!


You: Hey Jake, I want to get into standup comedy. What do I need to do?

Me: Well I don’t know. They say the most important thing is to hustle, but make sure you don’t get burned out, but do at least two sets a night, but you have to live a life worth talking about, but if you’re under thirty you don’t really have anything to say, but it does help to start young, but make sure to write with a strong point of view, but you need to question your assumptions, but trust your instincts, but kill your darlings, but write what you know, but never go with the first joke, but be in the moment, but please be working on something, but let things happen organically, but try to make friends with the right people, but don’t be gross about networking, but it’s all about who you know, but connections don’t matter without hard work, but nobody likes a try-hard, but earnestness is really in right now, but it’s not cool to be eager, but you should say “yes” to opportunities, but you have to know when to say “no” to an opportunity, but really you should make your own opportunities, but none of it matters if you’re not funny, but whether or not you’re funny, you gotta hustle.

You: But…

Me: Exactly.