Stand Up Comedy RECAP: Hollywood Fringe Festival
First of all, thanks to everyone who came out last week and saw me perform stand up comedy at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. I’m performing again this coming Saturday night (check the sidebar for info)
Performing stand up comedy can mean a lot of things, as there aren’t many rules.
Loosely, the only rules are 1) make the people in the room laugh, and 2) don’t do that with other people’s jokes.
Important as it is, even the second ‘don’t steal jokes’ rule is relatively new in the art of stand up comedy. I’m certainly not defending joke theft, but there was a time in the Borsht Belt of the 1950′s and 1960′s when stand up comedy jokes were treated more akin to music, where songs would be performed by many performers on different occasions, without musicians accusing each other of theft. As stand up comedy has become more personal, using material generated by others has gradually (and rightly) slid from fashion. As stand up comedy rules go, correct, one shouldn’t steal jokes, but more importantly than that (regardless of the decade) is make the people in the room laugh.
That’s what this comedy festival has been about — making the people in the room laugh. Anyway, the point is, I was performing stand up comedy last week at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and the guy performing right before me’s big closer was to strip naked, tuck his nutsack behind his asshole, and bask in the universal group discomfort that immediately followed — and then the hosts had to come back on stage and introduce me as the next performer.
This is Eric Toms, not me:
Problem is, that’s my ’naked ball tuck’ bit! Okay, just kidding, but, I figured that’s the only way to raise the stakes of Eric getting naked in front of people who weren’t expecting it — that on top of it, he stole the idea! You can already hear the stand up comedy Tumblrsphere blowing up with jealous whispers.
Is it art? You’re god damn right it’s art. Remember: stand up comedy is an artform with only one real rule, and that rule isn’t ’keep your underwear on’, it’s make the people in the room laugh. I love stand up comedy during festivals, because what the hell else am I supposed to do. This is the job, so I fucking love it.
Is this a recap of what has actually happened during the Hollywood Fringe Festival? Barely. This is a recap of what I was actually thinking during the festival, though, which counts kinda.
Much more importantly, I’m performing stand up comedy at the fest again this Saturday night at 11pm. Come one, come all, come clothed.