CLASS 1. January 30. 2017. Paul Sveen’s Stand Up Class.

Thank you everyone for choosing my Stand Up Writing Class! I really appreciate your passion and talents. Thank you for being in my class!

HOME WORK FOR NEXT CLASS: Choose a five minute story from your life and write jokes from the first, middle and last sentence. Take a risk and choose and ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM STORY FROM YOUR LIFE.

REMEMBER: Ask a question and answer it. The question is the premise the answer is the punch line. The more honest you are and the more emotion in the premise and punchline the bigger the laughs. Example: Why am I such a slob? bad habits, I’m depressed, it’s in my DNA, my parents passed hoarding onto me. So now I add the amplifiers: “Why am I such a slob? I stumble around cigarette cartons, empty liquor bottles and subpoenas, I guess my parents live on in my garbage.”


Use the circle exercise, put a premise in the middle, a sentence for next week’s class, anything, how you feel, ( this is a great idea, Q and Aing how you feel.) writer’s block, have fun with it! Just remember to use four different perspectives, one from each corner of the cross you made though the circle.

Journal three pages a day and I guarantee your Stand Up will benefit exponentially. I promise you.

Rehearse out loud, speak your set into a recording device and then Q and A the set.

REMEMBER: I can be booked to speak at your company event as a Comedian or Key Note. I can also share my workshops. You can see me on my Web site, face book and You Tube. You can also purchase my novel off my web site. Have fun everyone, laugh, don’t get stressed, keep your energy positive and limitless. Remember, your humor heals, those that will hear it and you, the person that is putting yourself out there. If you have any questions, E MAIL ME:

The outline to my January 30th Stand Up Comedy Class.

There are five principles we’ll be covering in the five weeks in my ‘Stand Up Writing Class.’ The goal of my class is to put a confident you in your set with the skill set to create material that is powerfully funny as well as healing and fiercely original, all this and also able to attract your audience. I’m going to work on an unexplored premise as I write this blog, ( as I write this I don’t know what the premise is or the joke is. I’ll discover it with you as I share the outline of my class. I’m sharing this to show the value of emotion in material and our theme.

1) Story! Everything in stand begins and ends with story. The story we’re looking for is your story, the moments that authentically reveal who you are! My theme is, “My dysfunction is normal.” All my stories have this theme. If you boiled the pattern and theme in all your stories down to three words or less what would those words be? ( I’m thinking about a premise, it’s grounded in relationships.)

2) Theme! Our theme is our market brand, our unique take on story separating us from everyone else. Our theme also hold all the keys to Stand Up Writing mechanics: emotion, originality, marketing. ( I’m leaning toward a joke about marriage.)

3)Tagging! When we write jokes they can be from the news, or something you heard BUT the best material is within us! When we tag a premise or work or develop an idea why would you look outside your life? The moments of our life are treasure, they’re gold! ( I think I’m going to work on a joke about how I’m being assimilated by my wife.

4) Framing and Rings! A frame is the main story we choose to share on stage and the rings are the secondary stories that we INSERT into the main story! (I developed this technique because of the POWER of STORY. This seems simple but the random unconnected jokes are not as effective as story and not just any story, YOUR STORY!

5) Writing mechanics! Misdirection, sarcasm, callbacks, Tagging.  (Misdirection is the most powerful form of joke writing. It’s the unexpected punchline. I teach this genre in my class which is beginning MONDAY, JANUARY 30TH at Yuk Yuks in Edmonton. If you’re interested please E MAIL ME AT:

MY JOKE: Emotion in material is why it’s funny. The greater the emotion the greater the laugh!

“My buddy’s wife Tammy, makes him spray perfume in the bathroom after he uses it. He said, “men don’t spray perfume. Men spray cologne and not any cologne, classic colognes from the NINETIES! Polo, Stetson, Drakkar! Sure out there it’s 2017 but over my toilette it’s 1998, the day before I met her.”

I created this joke while I created this blog. I’ll dissect it in class at Yuk Yuks on Monday January 30th. You can see me on YOU TUBE and FACEBOOK. I’m available for Corporate Workshops as well as Key Notes. I’m also available to perform at your Company event. Please E mail me for all enquirers:

Please check out my novel:

The Joke Writing Process.

Thank you for reading my blog. Really it took me a few moments to jot down what I wanted to say and then put it up here on, “Ramblings of a Confused Mind,” but you could be doing a gazillion things and you chose to read my words. I’m humbled and honored and appreciate you being here! Thank you!

I’ve often said that when I began all those years ago, that I thought there was a formula a secret creative combination that I could figure out to harvest the deepest secrets of Stand Up Comedy! There isn’t, not really. Like everything else it’s hard work, persistence and mostly the courage to be honest. The last part is the real key. If in my first set ever if I would have just told them how I felt, my fear and maybe a few of the vulnerable reasons I had taken to be on that stage. That would have been a quantum leap forward in my personal creative journey way better than the street jokes I did and the absolute terror that I pretended wasn’t happening. And now all these years later after epic bombs and failed attempts of leaving the business, ( I’m more of a Stand Up Salmon,) I swim out to sea to a day job or or to write another novel or play) and then navigate open mikes and one-nighters so I can spawn in another comedy club! The point I’m making is, it’s in my DNA. I love the process of writing Stand Up and I mean through, performing, writing and teaching! Here’s the process I went through to write my latest joke.

Alright I’m going to be honest and that’s the key to everything, being honest is how we find our voice our creative market brand! So here’s the premise: after I use the washroom my wife makes me spray perfume. I said it’s really difficult to tinkle and spray, ‘Ode du Joan Crawford,’ a perfume she bought at an Estate sale at the same time. She said, “not when you piss, when you take a dump!” I knew what she meant I just wanted her to think I didn’t. As a man there has to be a price she has to pay for her agenda of slowly turning me into a eunuch! I thought there has to be a chunk here somewhere? Do you know what I mean? It’s as if there’s an energy pull toward a premise! All of us are drawn to our own creative wells of Sand Up. Mine are usually in the creative desperate silent unspoken moments of a relationship! “Really? I have to spray perfume after I use the can? Why didn’t this come up when we were first started dating, when we were negotiating the ground floor of our relationship? “Alright, I watch foot ball and hockey, I love pizza on the weekends and sponge baths every other day. Also,  I’d like you in a red and black maid outfits and one last thing, I like the manly stench of my scat!

It never came up and because it didn’t, we negotiate by me agreeing to everything!, five hour Kostco shopping sprees, CHECK, binge watching The Waltons , CHECK, going to the mall and making a day out of finding THEE candle, CHECK! I observe these moments and really locked onto the task of spraying perfume into the toilette! One day while I was actually doing this I saw the material and here’s the chunk!

“My wife makes me spray perfume after I use the abode! I’m a man I don’t spray perfume I spray 20 year old cologne: Drakkar, Polo and Stetson! Out there it’s 2017 but when I use the can it’s 1998, the day before I met my wife!”

My next class begins at Yuk Yuks Edmonton January 30th at 7 PM. If you’re interested E MAIL ME AT:

To BOOK me for an event, workshops, Key Notes and Corporate Stand Up for you company event, E MAIL ME AT: paulsveen@shaw.a

Please checkout my novel “The Angel’s Claw,” on my web site, my FACE BOOK page PAUL SVEEN and PAUL SVEEN videos on YOU TUBE.



My Next Comedy Class January 30th.

I’ve always loved Stand Up, the sound of laughter and the effects story telling had on an audience. Sometimes I felt the roof was about to explode off the building when a comedian was hitting on all cylinders! I loved the process of learning Stand Up, from listening to advice to being on stage, watching other comedians, reading and studying everything I could. The real learning curve though came when I began teaching Stand Up. If you want to learn something teach it! I’d been performing for about seven years when I taught my first class n 1993. I prepared the class by looking at the material I was performing at the time and wanted to show the students in the class how I happened onto the material. I walked into the classroom in Victoria Composite High School and 21 students and froze!

A few years ago I was performing at The Saint John’s Comedy Festival and a combat veteran walked up to me and said: “I’ve been watching you comedians, watching how you pace and get nervous before a show, how comedians start talking fast when they’re scared and then after the show, the way you guys drink! My point is, comedians’ have the same symptoms of post traumatic stress as us combat veterans.” I thought about this. I think the comparison of heroes being compared to comedians is a stretch but I do agree with the effect that speaking in public can have on a speaker, especially comedians!

I know what it feels like to not make a connection to an audience and then have the performance disintegrate.  I was once working at an event and the comedian on stage before me had this cowboy walk on stage and threaten the comedian. I told the bouncers standing beside the bar to get the moron off the stage! The bouncers went on stage and grabbed the comedian! The point I’m making is the energy I felt when I waked into my first class and the struggles I had in learning the craft of Stand Up are all sources of energy, negative and positive, negative when I wasn’t using my strengths and being myself and positive when I was telling my story and being myself!

All these years later (24) I teach the craft of Stand Up, story, writing mechanics, theme and the art of being yourself! I wasn’t myself any of the times that I wasn’t doing well on stage. What I didn’t know then that I know now is to walk into the fear and create with it, not avoid it. In my first class I went over my set and looked at a few jokes and how I wrote them. I wasn’t as prepared as I am now. Now I work on an outline, my FIVE PRINCIPLES of Stand Up and  my strengths, my story, the moments of my life that shout, this is who Paul Sveen is! This is what I’ll work on in my next class January 30th at Yuk Yuks Edmonton. If you’re interested in working on your creative strengths, exploring your story and learning the power of emotion and energy embedded in your humor, join me and my class at Yuk Yuks on January 30th. I promise you’ll have the time of your life. E MAIL ME AT:

What’s bong with this picture?

The first time I made someone laugh I was gobsmacked!  (I didn’t know then that I had an addictive personality) the feeling I received from making someone laugh felt like Oxycontin! (I’ve never done Oxycontin but once I was offered some by a doctor and said no. I told a friend, they lost their mind! “Are you kidding me!” They shouted. “I can sell them for 30 bucks a pop on the loading dock!”                                                                                              My Dad laughed when I was ten when I imitated my mom. I didn’t see the rule then, (never make fun of someone who has control of your life has access to wooden spoons and can spit in your food.                                                                                                                                                                                          I’d made buddies at school laugh ( the old, stuff my face with food and try talking chunk and throwing tomatoes against a wall) and later the guys in the rock band I was in: ‘Herman Smitszoid and the Trucking Zombies.’ I’ve been sober for seventeen years, haven’t smoked or taken an Aspirin for thirty but back when I was seventeen, I’m not going to lie, I did a lot of drugs. When I bought my parent’s house I found a thirty year old quarter pound of pot on a plate stuffed onto a vent. Once I bought a pound of pot to sell to my friends and keep the rest for my own stash. I hid the pot under my bed. I came home and my stash was gone! I asked my mom where the brown paper bag was that was under my bed. She was largely deceptive and passive aggressive. I wasn’t a cop but my spidy senses were tingling! I began to think she scoffed my pot because I made dad laugh at her! Seven months later Herman Smitszoid and his Trucking Zombies were standing under the eve’s troughs of the garage and my base player, “Jerry,” looked at me and asked, “Dude, is that doobage growing in your back yard?” I looked and the back yard was filled with six feet tall pot plants! Well we solved the case where my mom hid my pot!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A few years later I abandoned a Pontiac in the back yard. I’d bought the car a few years earlier and drove the hell out of it. Once I went camping and was trying to back up closer to the tent and had my foot matted on the gas and the car wasn’t moving . So I pulled forward and slammed it in reverse and matted the gas again, nothing. I tried a couple of more times and finally the car lurched backward! I hear an ungodly “squealing!” I look to my right and my drivers door had been open and a tree was wedged in the open door. I kept gunning the gas until my door almost ripped off! I took hours to slam the door closed. I could never open it again. After that I had to climb through the passenger door. After a year of me putting my hand and all my weight on the center of the seat so I could crawl behind the wheel the middle of the bench seat was soft and the springs were crushed and the seat bent down toward the trunk. Anyone who sat in the middle was literally staring into the ceiling! After a couple of years in the back yard the ca sunk into the ground and there were flowers growing in the back seat! I still remember the two guys who came to reposes the car. The one guy tried to open the driver’s door. He reefed on the handle and then slipped in the mud! His buddy started laughing and figured out you had to crawl through the passenger door. He slides in and gets behind the wheel and opens the hood. The guy in the mud pulls himself onto the grill and primes the carburetor. The guy turns the key the car turns over and a small mushroom cloud explodes out of the carb and numb nuts falls of the grill back into the mud!

These are real events from my life. I love the craft of Stand Up, tagging, choosing misdirection or sarcasm adding frames and building off the process of becoming the best comedian I can be but this is the show. The business is taking the stories from our lives and inserting ourselves, polishing the stories of our lives. When we do this, we’re original, we connect to our audience all because we’er walking into the miracle of simply, being ourselves.

Stand-Up Comedy reveals the laughs but just as important reveals the Comedian.

Thank you for reading my blog!!! I’ve been away, I apologize. I had an accident and have been on crutches and something wonderful called ‘Naproxen!!!’ I’m back though, still limping but better. More good news, my next ‘Stand Up Class’ begins Monday January 30th at Yuk Yuks in Century Casino. ( any questions on my class E MAIL please: What I’ve been teaching for 22 years really is the art and business of being ourselves. When I started performing Stand Up I thought there was a formula a metaphysical combination that once discovered I would open the Comedy vault and then hold all the secrets to Stand Up Comedy and the treasures Stand Up offered. Nope, no secret, just plain and simple hard work and the continual evolution of ourselves as entertainers in front of an audience!

BUT, when I look at all the lessons and pitfalls as well as growth spurts over the years and look at everything this ONE REVELATION really sticks with me. I was 2 people, the Paul that was terrified and excited unprepared and seat of your pants guy, his habits of putting things off and doing the same habitual things over and over always staying stuck. And another Paul, the one who knows I habitually need to passionately gather as much information on Stand Up and Craft as I can, be organized and have goals and steps to those goals as well as mining my secret self and my stories within me that reveal the UNIQUE ME the vulnerable Paul and take this template and keep sharpening my saw achieving the goals of this self. This is the creative self I would choose to feed.

What I do know from my thirty years of Touring and twenty two years of teaching Stand Up?: The creative courage we’er able to share from within determines what we attract and achieve. Being ourselves is the goal of my class the “SHOW and the BUSINESS” :SHOW: your material, your energy and emotion,passion and story! Feeding the laughter inside. BUSINESS: writing mechanics and craft, genre and rehearsing, feeding the student inside. These two things together will give my students the foundation to achieve what creativity is supposed to achieve: discovering our true limitless selves and in doing so the attracting the opportunity aligned to our authentic selves and allowing our humor to attract our audience through being ourselves and in doing so, revealing to others that being yourself and feeding that creates the life we’ve dreamed. Humor heals, it creates breaks down barriers and really works when it’s aligned with our hearts. Our humor reveals to others that their normal is normal and to get on out there and celebrate that!!!!

Please E mail me with any questions:

I can be booked as a Speaker, to share my Work Shops and to perform as a Corporate Comedian for your events:

Please visit me on YOU TUBE and FACEBOOK.

Set Outline.

Alright, first, great class on Monday Gentlemen!!! The idea is to have two performances each class but we broke the class into one performance and then writing mechanics! Well done. The three of you are realizing the value of emotion in the jokes and also using a story as the FRAME for your set!

THEME ( Make sure you’re FRAME and TAGS and RINGS  are based in your theme. If you don’t know what your theme is yet, look at your material. What does all of your ideas have in common. The idea that runs through your material is your theme!

MISDIRECTION: 1) chose a premise/idea: I don’t know what I’m doing. (my theme) 2) Ask how you really feel about your premise: (I’ve never had a plan, I’m going to be homeless, all the good DNA was used by my older siblings, I don’t think my mom knew what she was doing when she had me. ‘I like this punch line. I kept looking at ideas until I found this one.’ 3) Now we create 3 amplifying statements that are attached to the premise! 4) Here’s my finished joke. “I don’t know what I’m doing. Then again, my mom married my dad because he had dream to move to Edmonton to teach the polka. I don’t think my parent’s knew what they were doing either.”


  2. TAG your FRAME three times, OPENING, MIDDLE and CLOSING JOKE.
  3.  Insert a SECOND short THEME based story/RING into the middle of your FRAME.
  4. Write 1 short joke RELATED TO THE PUNCH WORD of your THEME, FRAME OR OPENING JOKE and use it to introduce your second story/ring
  5. Record your set and listen to it. Rehearse it as many times as you can. Have fun with this guys!

REMEMBER: I can be booked for your staff party and can bring my work shop and key note to your work or event. You can see me on YOU TUBE and FACE BOOK and My WEB SITE. Please check out my Novel on my web site! Our Comedy Night is OCTOBER 24. Lets fill the club!!!

Class 2: Theme + Story = success.

Hello gentlemen! The last class was great! I saw the lights go on when we did some writing exercise. As we continue in my Stand Up Writing class I would like you to be conscious of your theme. What’s the pattern running through your jokes and stories? This pattern should be in the set we’re developing. Your theme is money! The jokes you’re writing are deposits! Your story is the bank!

REMEMBER: For class this Monday please have: A story from your life that you’re passionate about or at least a little excited about. (Don’t share a story you’re worried might offend or don’t care about. The more you care about your story the more your audience will care about it also!) Write 3 jokes for your story: an opening joke, middle joke and closing joke.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE: (My story and theme with 3 tags. A tag is turning a sentence or idea into a joke: OPENING JOKE 1: “So get this! My buddy Frankie asked if I wanted a treasure map! Right away I’m thinking plunder, diamonds, gold, Pirate Treasure! Not so much. I got a map to Blue Berries. I tell Frankie, I might be an idiot but I don’t want the freakin map and Frankie says not thinking blue berries are treasure is an anti-oxidant waiting to happen! MIDDLE  JOKE 2 Sold! Frankie convinces me, not with stats, facts or proof, he sells me with the most wicked of all sales pitches, the rare produce section PUN! CLOSING JOKE 3 SO I spend an hour dragging my bike and two five gallon pails down a thorn encrusted hell, what’s that place called again at the end of 167, behind the Giant Tiger, by those trees? Ho yah, VIETNAM!!!”

REMEMBER: Begin with a story you like. If you love it that’s even better. Rehearse your story know it. If you have any doubt, TAG AND BAG IT. Write a joke about the doubt and insert it in your set! Write THREE JOKES beginning middle and closing! If you want to write more, go for it!

MISDIRECTION: Write out the premise: I carried a bike down a hill infested with thorns. 1) What do we feel? Locate the emotion of the premise?  What’s the emotion here? Stupidity, anger, confused? SECOND, What’s the point of this premise? Why didn’t I think it through, why didn’t I leave the bike? Boy am I dumb! 3) Make sure the 3 amplifying statements are connected to the set up not the punchline. REMEMBER: the punch words is the one word in the PUNCHLINE that triggers the joke. We want the punch word as close to the end of the joke as possible!We begin the joke with the SET UP: Blue Berries are 5 dollars a pound. AMPLIFIERS: I carried a bike and two pails down a thorn infested hill for an hour to pick blue berries. PUNCHLINE Which means I get 5 dollars an hour for my work. (PUNCH WORD IS WORK.)

REMEMBER: I can be booked for KEY NOTES and WORKSHOPS and for CHRISTMAS PARTIES. You can see me on YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK AND MY WEBSITE. Our Stand Up Grad is OCTOBER 24. Invite your friends and tell them about my class please. Share my website please!!!

Class 1 Stand Up Writing.


First, I want to thank all of you for taking my Stand Up Writing Class! The goal of my class is: 1) We locate and creatively mine your theme, the pattern that’s embedded in your humor and stories. This pattern is your market brand and is what makes you unique and stand out as a stand up! 2) We’re going to take TWO to THREE of your theme laden stories and combine them into one, SEVEN to TEN minute set. ( the first set is called the FRAME. Other sets embedded in the FRAME are called RINGS. We will start and end on one set and insert two other sets within the first. 3) We will tag ( create jokes from the content of our three stories and amplify our theme and humor.

HOMEWORK: For our next class have one story from your life that you feel tells us something about you, Rehearse this story, know it. Then take a second story and put it in the middle of the first story, start and finish on the first story.

TAGGING/ WRITING A JOKE: “Someone told me where I could pick quarter sized blue berries.” ( This is going to be the FRAME for my set, the outline set that I begin and end with. My theme is: I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m doing it anyway.) TAGGING a PREMISE: The first thing we do is locate the key words in the premise: SOMEONE, PICK,QUARTER SIZED, BLUE BERRIES. ( I like to write down everything that comes to my mind that’s connected to my PREMISE: Safeway, produce, friends, neighbors, fruit…. Talk it out, start by brainstorming around your idea! FIRST JOKE: “Picking berries in the wild is an awesome adventure in the forest, hiking along a path, kneeling by a creek, going into anaphylactic shock getting medevaced like you’re in Iraq and going to a trauma center because of multiple wasp bites!”  (Notice how the beginning of this joke is different then the end of the joke? This is called misdirection. The beginning is serene the end is terror. See if you can create some misdirection for class. A joke is three things: Premise, the idea, the punchline, the set up the middle of the joke and the punchline, the end of the joke that holds the punch word, the ONE WORD that creates the laughter. What’s the punch word in the joke I wrote?

Look at each sentence in your story and tag it. Insert a second story in the middle and start and finish on the first story. Any questions E mail me at:

REMEMBER: to start telling all your friends and family about our comedy night in October. (date to be decided.) Also, YOU CAN BOOK ME FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS PARTY. See me on YOU TUBE My WEB SITE AND FACEBOOK.  Have Fun. See you Monday.

We are on the Stage what we are off it.

We are on the stage what we are off it. This statement might be difficult to understand the way I phrased it but the statement and it’s meaning have been boiled to it’s core meaning: the face we’re sharing with the world will be the results we achieve under the lights. What we do, hope, are courageous about, insecure and desperate about, our addictions and the things we reach for off the stage, are the same results we’ll either achieve or repulse when we’re on it. We are on the stage what we are off it.

Stand Up Comedy is 2 things: show and business. THE SHOW is everything creative: craft, writing, rehearsing, reading, listening, sharing advice and ‘the more.’ The more is not making everything about us in an arena that makes everything about us: donating your humor to make a difference, taking a new comedian under your wing and helping them, being present in conversations, forgiving yourself for bombing and forgiving the audience. Seeing the trees when you’re on the road and tasting the food when we’re at the gig, breathing in the audience and connecting to them through our vulnerability. Stand Up is an activity that TAKES a lot. We owe it to ourselves to GIVE something back, without payment.

The second thing in Stand Up is THE BUSINESS: The business is everything professional: knowing your set and having the courage to be outside of it, spontaneous. Remembering the audience is half the relationship, so, considering them as if they’re sitting across from you on a first date has to be in our attitude. Not being high or drunk when we’re on stage. That space we call the stage is our office. Treat it like one. Dress in clothes that are clean and pressed, clothes that make you feel good but also say you’re large and in charge! Have a plan. Have a plan when and how you write and rehearse. Have a plan for the week, month, year, five years. Return phone calls as soon as you’re able. Video tape all your sets and graph them. Also, tag the five best jokes in each set, each and every time!

Stand up is Show and Business. The one element that connects the two, is energy. What we feel is what amplifies both, the show and business. If we’re angry, insecure, tired or ecstatic, the emotions we feel are also part of what we’re either attracting or pushing away. Being vulnerable, honest, sharing our secrets and simply ourselves, treating others the way we’d like to be treated, are the pathways to what we’re working toward. Being desperate, jealous, vindictive, are the sure way to repulse what you’re actualizing. We are on the stage what we are on it.

My next writing class begins September 12 at Yuk Yuks Edmonton. If you’re interested, E MAIL ME: