The Art Of Stand Up Comedy


Stand-up Comedy Workshop

Burdalls Yard, Bath Spa
6.30pm - 9pm

(Current Autumn 2019 workshop is now full.)

Session 4

Homework for 24th October - Embarrassing Situation OR Just Me Then

Embarrassing Situation

Corpse your way into describing your experience of an embarrassing situation. If necessary use the distance of time to diss your own behaviour. Consider and discuss the situation, personalities and the moral dilemmas involved. Speculate on an even more extreme version of the scenario ie: “It could have been worse of course if…”

Try it again and reduce the text to essentials.

Describe only yourself, the other essential players and the pertinent elements involved. Then quickly cut to the chase and the denouement. Try to show rather than tell.

Embarrassment is something you do to yourself.
Humiliation is something done to you.

Just Me Then

In 1980 the ‘just me then’ routine was a bit of a stand-up comedy cliché, - a piece of observational humour concerning personal behaviour that starts off asking the audience… “You know what its like when…” but then gets a little bit too personal and finishes with the line “No? Oh! Just me then.”

The original parody was Alexei Sayle’s. He used the structure and assuming a shared culture asked the audience confidentially – “Do you remember what it was like when yer parents went out and you’d go into their bedroom, stand in front of their mirror and take your clothes off? Yeah?”

In less than two minutes he is describing having poured a saucepan of warm baked beans down the front of his underpants and rubbing it into his groin, wearing some of his mum’s clothing, putting on his dad’s crash helmet, bashing himself over the head with a baseball bat and shouting at himself in Welsh – “Yakkee Dah! Yakkee Dah! Yakkee Dah!” Lost in the reverie he finally catches himself out and acknowledges the audience; and then mildly embarrassed answers the question he asked earlier “No? Oh! Just me then.”

There’s the structure. Now fill in the text to express an extreme version of your own alter ego - past or present.

Start in a confidential tone with lightweight observations and become increasingly more bizarre, dark, pedantic, obsessive, surreal or Over-The-Top while all the time seeking the audience’s collusion – “You know what I mean don’t you?…” “We’ve all done it haven’t we?” “It’s like that isn’t it?…” Take it wherever you fancy and for the sake of the workshop finish with punchline “No? Oh! Just me then.”

Session 3 homework - The Inner Nerd

Session 2 homework - Thank You List

Session 2 - The Voice of Truth

As promised by Tony in session 2, an example of The Voice of Truth. Pained pleading "This is important to me!" (Starts at 1m 22s.)