Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Old 01-31-16, 07:46 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MANBREASTS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 406
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Ever since I was young I have had people telling me I should do stand up. But I have never considered myself to be smart. Isn't that one of the requirements. Are there any comedians out there who are successful but are simple and uneducated?
Old 01-31-16, 09:55 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Reviewer/ Admin
 
Adam Tyner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Greenville, South Cackalack
Posts: 21,879
Received 8 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

'Smart' is about as meaningless a word as they come. Forget about that. Being observant and being dilligent are two far more important qualities.

Put together a few minutes' worth of material and do open mics wherever you can...and get in front of an audience as frequently as you possibly can. Don't fret if a bit doesn't get a laugh. Don't fret if an audience doesn't respond. You just gotta stick with it and keep honing what you're doing.
Old 01-31-16, 09:56 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,785
Received 17 Likes on 9 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Education, no. Richard Pryor was expelled from school and went to work at age 14. Redd Foxx left home and started performing at 13. Not surprisingly, both of them had emotional problems as adults due to their desperate childhoods.
Old 01-31-16, 10:00 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East of Ypsi
Posts: 8,897
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Damn it OldBoy! Oh wait...
Old 01-31-16, 10:04 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,785
Received 17 Likes on 9 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

If you're interested, you can take classes in performance and comedy. I've heard that there is a giant difference between being a funny guy and being able to write and perform fifteen minutes of material.
Old 01-31-16, 11:30 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
mrhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,163
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post
Being observant and being dilligent are two far more important qualities.
The observation thing is true. I use to know a lot of professional and upcoming comedians when I worked in L.A. and that is the one thing they all had in common. They always related to whatever the make up of the audience was. Race, creed and color was always the best topics everyone can relate to when they were doing their bits. The comedian always made them laugh at their cultural idiosyncrasies.
Old 01-31-16, 12:44 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Living Dead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: The Graveyard
Posts: 3,211
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Education, no. Richard Pryor was expelled from school and went to work at age 14. Redd Foxx left home and started performing at 13. Not surprisingly, both of them had emotional problems as adults due to their desperate childhoods.
The best comedians are often unhappy people who perform comedy simply as a coping/defense mechanism. Here's an interesting article about it.
Old 01-31-16, 01:16 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
davidh777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Home of 2013 NFL champion Seahawks
Posts: 42,281
Received 13 Likes on 12 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Being able to adjust and think (literally) on your feet would also be important.
Old 01-31-16, 01:31 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 22,391
Received 9 Likes on 9 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Being a comedian is the ability to understand your audience. Most of them hone it with the first audience they have growing up, namely their own family and friends. They often call it finding your own comedic voice, but what it really means is finding an audience you naturally connect with.

Some comedians clearly get by more on personality than any gifted ability to write funny material.
Old 01-31-16, 01:59 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Why So Blu?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 30,998
Received 13 Likes on 12 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Taking free Toastmaster classes will help immensely - if you have trouble speaking in front of people.
Old 01-31-16, 02:48 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

The only way to find out is to do it.
Old 01-31-16, 03:12 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MANBREASTS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 406
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Thank's everyone for your responses.
Old 01-31-16, 03:15 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,617
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Originally Posted by Living Dead View Post
The best comedians are often unhappy people who perform comedy simply as a coping/defense mechanism. Here's an interesting article about it.
Well, that's depressing.

But still hilarious!
Old 01-31-16, 03:15 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite
Posts: 1,952
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Originally Posted by MANBREASTS View Post
Thank's everyone for your responses.
I don't get it?
Old 01-31-16, 03:17 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
 
davidh777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Home of 2013 NFL champion Seahawks
Posts: 42,281
Received 13 Likes on 12 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Originally Posted by Talkin2Phil View Post
I don't get it?
Tough crowd.
Old 01-31-16, 03:31 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Max Bottomtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Torrance, California
Posts: 4,789
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 7 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_D0bxhTB6bg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 01-31-16, 04:30 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 30,145
Received 8 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Nope, just look at groucho and Dork.
Old 01-31-16, 09:51 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shannon Nutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 17,007
Likes: 0
Received 12 Likes on 10 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

If by "smart" you mean drugging women to sexually molest them for over 40 years and getting away with it, then yes.
Old 01-31-16, 09:54 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Troy Stiffler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Under an I-10 Overpass
Posts: 21,514
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Here's a really good discussion about stand up comedy (and the evolution of working in showbiz). I watched it a couple years ago and think about it frequently.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XiZwlltsJ8c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 01-31-16, 11:10 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Norm de Plume's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Toronto
Posts: 15,712
Received 11 Likes on 8 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Look at Steve Harvey. As dumb as a used Maxi pad.
Old 02-01-16, 12:08 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Formerly known as Groucho AND Bandoman/Death Moans, Iowa
Posts: 17,074
Received 9 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Old 02-01-16, 01:56 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
fumanstan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 55,344
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 1 Post
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Weird question, surprised anyone would think intelligence plays at all in to being a comedian.
Old 02-01-16, 10:53 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Mikael79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: IA Now, From MN
Posts: 5,907
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Originally Posted by auto View Post
Damn it OldBoy! Oh wait...
Ha - exactly what I was thinking!!
Old 02-01-16, 01:15 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Shoveler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA, USA
Posts: 4,723
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

I've heard the best way to learn standup comedy is to go to a lot of shows, interact with the comedians during their act, make your own jokes, throw them off their game so you can see how an experienced comedian handles it. You should do this as often as possible, best way to hone your skills.
Old 02-01-16, 01:29 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 39,330
Received 20 Likes on 16 Posts
Re: Do you have to be smart to be a comedian?

Being quick and being smart aren't always one and the same, and being quick seems to be much more important with comedy.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.