The Art Of Stand Up Comedy


Stand-up Comedy Workshop

Session 2

Thank You List - (2-3 Minutes Max)

Thank You List

"I'd just like to Thank...."

Thank anyone who has ever influenced you in any way and give the briefest of explanations why or none at all (you can chat on forever but that’s another plot). Thank them with love, thank them with irony, thank them with humour, bewilderment, disdain, hero-worship, anger or best wishes. Spit out their names, drool at the very thought of them, salute them, shout at them one last time, delight at their memory, corpse at the very thought of them. Family, friends, lovers, comrades, politicians from hell, neighbours from heaven, bass guitarists of forgotten punk bands, kids you went to school with who disgraced or excelled themselves, teachers who helped, hindered or humiliated you, priests, publicans, probation officers, shopkeepers, show offs, shit stirrers and all those people that must exist because somebody must have written that ad or road safety jingle that drove you insane or designed that tower that blocks your view of the setting sun.

Mention at least one unfortunate who, there but for the grace etc, and at least one talentless chancer who represents everything that is right or wrong or whatever about the appalling and/or wonderful society in which you live or scrabble about on the fringes off. Get surreal with it, silly with it, serious, seditious and scatological with it. Regress, pontificate, condemn, but keep it personal, make it all about you and your loves, hates, likes, dislikes, fantasies and predilections. Enjoy yourself with it.

Include yourself in relation to each of them. Use the excuse of time to diss yourself and your bad behaviour and thank those who have overlooked it, forgave you and loved you despite it.

Read it out loud to yourself, improvising any thoughts along the way. Express your feelings towards them with emotional emphasis as you speak their name adding the secondary stuff and any extras, as you would sides or throwaway background information.

Tick anything that tickles you.
Cut out the stuff that just helped the process.
Don’t analyse it too much but put it in some sort of order.
Rehearse: read it aloud and familiarise yourself with it.
reminding yourself that it is funny.
At the workshop on Thursday, don’t just read it out, Perform it,
while referring to your notes.

More Exercises.