Monthly Archives: March 2019

Graphing Your Set.

Great class Monday everyone. Thank you for working so hard everyone. Take the time to review the homework Blogs and REHEARSE and REWRITE you set and TAPE IT and LISTEN TO IT. Remember your energy, keep it positive. Now, graphing your set is a great way to track your material, what’s working and what needs to be worked on or placed further in your set, or removed. We insert the ‘KEY WORD’ of the first joke we’re tracking and the line to the number count on the vertical line.  ( What this means is, we’ve recorded our set and now we’re listening to it. Count the laughter out loud, “ONE, TWO, THREE , FOUR.” And we put the number next to the key word of the joke, and we make a line from the bottom of the page to where the laughter stopped. We’ll end up with peaks and valleys like a stock.) When we record our set and then play it back, we can track our set then know what changes to make.. After your graph your set you will end up with a series of lines that are peaks and valleys that coordinate with the amount of laughter each joke achieved.

We talked about the value of ‘GRAPHING YOUR SET’ and how to do that. In the ‘LAUGHTER COUNT,’ in the column vertical side of the page, we insert the numbers I’d shown you on Monday. If your opening joke doesn’t get more than 5 seconds of laughter, re write it. Try it 3 to 5 times. If it doesn’t get the five seconds, re write it or write a new opener. 2) Take the three jokes that have the highest tracking count in your set and TAG/rewrite them, put them in the circle( Q and A from different perspective and ask and answer the moments in your theme related story. REMEMBER to ask: what’s at stake, and what am I afraid to say.) re write them jokes from sarcasm then  misdirection and then put them in the set.  You want your set graph to be on a steady climb to your closing joke. 3) Your closing joke should get 10 to 20 seconds of applause and laughter.

POOL: somewhere on the page keep track of how fast you talked, if you said something that you could use for an idea later. Create some action plans you can take to make your set better: being more prepared, rehearsing more or pausing and letting the audience laugh. Keep track of how you felt and what other emotion would be better.

Image result for pictures of graphs


you’re preforming Tuesday April 9th at Yuk Yuks Comedy Club. Doors opens 6:30 Show time is 7:30. Tickets are 10$ only at the door. DVD’S of your show Will be available for those who want them. Edited, titled and packaged H-D copies of the night’s performances are 20$

REMEMBER: you can book me for your Christmas Party or business event, company moral boosters, work shops or Key Notes. E mail me for info:

I can be seen on YOU TUBE and if you have the chance, please share my web site and class. I would really appreciate if you’d share my website and class information to others please. Any questions please E mail me:

Class 3: Setting up your Set.

Learning Stand Up means Learning to laugh about yourself so we have the courage to be ourselves.

Alright, first off, I’m really proud of all of you for working so hard in my class. This is my 26th year of teaching Stand Up Comedy so I know when a class is firing on all cylinders. Each class is different, there is no wrong creatively; but this group is doing a lot of the work of my principles right. Thank you, all of you.


For the fourth class on Monday all of  a us will have: 1) five to seven minute theme based set, with at least 3 theme based jokes-( BEGINNING, MIDDLE AND END.) 2) We will also have a 2 minute set that we’ve written from the E mail we exchanged with a class mate. We will create a story/set on this E mail and tag it with at least 3 jokes: opener, middle and closer. ( Remember: an opening joke is our SECOND BEST JOKE. It’s ripe with our theme and gets the audience’s attention. It tells them who we are and creates an identity. Our middle joke is pregnant with our theme. Our closing joke is rampant with our theme. ) ‘Ripe, pregnant, rampant,” three pretty good adjectives, come on, you have to give me that!!!

The story we perform next class will be the set we share for our Comedy Night Gala on April 9 at Yuks Comedy Club. Did I just use the word ‘Gala,?’ Yes I did citizens. Yes I did.

Look at your story , record it and play it back or write it out and Q and A your 3 premises/ ideas. Remember, if your best joke is in the middle, you need to move it to the end of your set! We close with our best joke.  Also, NO TALKING AFTER THE PUNCH LINE ( unless what you’re saying is funnier than your previous joke. Again, this is called a tag.

I want to share foreshadowing a bit and callbacks. The theme that I’m working on that a class mate sent me is: becoming aware. The story premise is a pan catching on fire because I forgot. (I once had a pizza from scratch catch on fire in the oven and I tried to put the fire out with a five pound bag of flower.)

Alright, I’m starting with an empty page and at the bottom of the page I’ve written the word, ‘POOL,’ and underlined it. Any ideas I get that bubble up while I’m working on this set, I’ll place under pool.

REMEMBER: when we ask and answer questions from different perspectives, we ask: WHAT’S AT STAKE, WHAT AM I AFRAID TO SAY? These questions and answers create emotion and emotion is laughs.

So, apparently I was making eggs when the pan caught on fire. (The first thing I thought was 3 minute egg and then 911) I’m not sure how they fit together so I’ll put it under pool. There’s a tendency to ask an audience off the top if they’ve ever burnt something on the stove, but you’ll lose the audience for a few moments as they discuss this. You don’t want that unless you’re really comfortable with ‘working a room.’

I ask, when was the last time I burnt breakfast, bacon, eggs toast? What’s at stake here? burning the apartment complex down. As I asked this I hit an idea. 1)( REMEMBER, I want to mention my theme off the top and remember it while I’m writing jokes. “I need to watch what I’m doing, keep my head in the game. . . I’ve had so many grease fires that fire fighters call me. 2) My 3 minute eggs are, 1 second to crack the egg  and 2 minutes and 59 seconds to put out the fire. What does that say about my cooking when the phone call I’m getting is FROM 911?

I can foreshadow one of these jokes in misdirection: “I’ve had so many pancake, bacon and egg grease fires, that fire fighters call me.” ( I’ve put egg as the last amplifier because now, it sets up the next joke about 3 minute eggs.

CALLBACK: Again, a callback gives your set history. So if you’re only doing three to five minutes, that’s a good thing.

In this set I’ll use this joke as a callback, a reference to a previous joke. “Had to call 911 yesterday. I kept getting Sveen’s place.”

Alright, keep journalling, taping and listening to your set. Be aware of your energy, let it be big, positive, inspiring and certain!!

REMEMBER: I can be booked as a Key note and Comedian. Please share my web site and spread the word about my class please. Really appreciate it 🙂

Class 2: Opening Jokes.

First, I want to thank everyone in this class for working as hard as you are. I really appreciate everyone for encouraging each other and for doing the hard creative work of journaling three pages a day on anything and everything connected to the class: joke writing, tagging, theme, story, set and more. Thank you for pushing yourselves, You will reap the benefits, I promise.

Second: The HOMEWORK for next class: have a 3 to 5 minute set that’s based on your theme THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH 🙂 I also want three jokes in this set: OPENING, MIDDLE AND CLOSING. ( REMEMBER: don’t talk after the punch line. Let the audience savor your material.)

This is the structure of our set: 1) Theme based personal story. 2) Writing jokes that are created from your story and inserting them into the story. 3) Allowing our energy to be huge, positive, abundant, gracious and limitless, and aligned with where we feel most comfortable and reaching where we’re trying to go with our humor. Remember, if we’re scared, the audience is scared. If we’re laughing, the audience is laughing.

Alright, the OPENING JOKE is our second best joke. This joke is directly connected to our theme. We tell the audience our name, wait for the applause to fade then; WE TELL THEM OUR THEME! After that, we open with the first joke of our set! This joke gets the audience’s attention and tells them who we are right away. Because our SET/STORY is based on our theme. SO: Find the theme based story that makes you laugh and record it and play it back, listen to the story and ask the questions and answer them. Here’s an example:

My set next class will be about going to a WATER SLIDE: (REMEMBER: PREMISE: what’s at stake? PUNCH LINE: what are we afraid to say?

I know the story of the water slide. I lived this day. So I’m going to start with the first moment of my story.

“Have you ever been asked to go to a water slide? (What’s at stake here? I don’t feel comfortable in a bathing suit, I’m an adult, it’s for kids. I could drown? REMEMBER: the more emotion in the premise and punch line, the bigger the response from the audience. Also, we want to keep the material related to our market brand/theme and where we’re going. I’m going to choose ‘drown’ for my premise.

They say drowning is the Worst way to die. Wear a Speedo to the pool, death from embarrassment is way worse. (SARCASM) REMEMBER: sarcasm is the first step in MISDIRECTION. We use misdirection because the audience doesn’t see the punch line coming and we can use this genre to foreshadow the next joke.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They say drowning is the worst way to die. I can’t swim, it’s been so long, I might drown. There is a worse way to die, show up in a Speedo,  death by embarrassment.

Now I can take one of the three amplifiers: I can’t swim, it’s been so long, I might drown, and use one to FORESHADOW the next joke.( REMEMBER: this is based on an actual story that happened to me.)

I’m not really afraid of dying. I think my Speedo joke proves that point. ( making fun of ourselves endears us with an audience)

REMEMBER: to look at other perspectives in your story to write material. ( my wife, other people at the pool, friends, my conscience.)  Q and A: what do people think of someone in a Speedo? How out of touch am I? Do I not, have any self respect? I think I wore them because the salesman said they were cutting edge trunk technology. (I like the trunk Idea)

The salesman said Speedos were cutting edge. They came in a tiny package. when I showed the box to my wife, she thought I was proposing again.

So have fun, remember to ask and answer questions about your story and then ask what’s at stake and what are you afraid to say? This will create emotion, which will create laughter. REMEMBER: we’re replacing the original sentence of our story with the joke we wrote. Any questions E MAIL PLEASE:

REMEMBER: I’m a nationally touring Corporate Comedian. If you need a Comedian/ Speaker/ or a Humor Workshop for your event please E MAIL me or talk to me in class. See you Monday kids 🙂