Why I do Comedy.

I've been considering this for a while now, mainly because ever since I decided back in August to take the plunge into stand up comedy, people have asked me "what made you do that?", and I've not been able to give them an answer other than "Dunno, like tellin' jokes an'at, dunn-I?".

And quite frankly, I don't think there's one specific reason why I decided to try my hand it - Actually, I'd imagine that if you asked any other successful comedian why they got into stand up, they wouldn't be able to give you a definitive answer - Unless they'd written a wonderfully decisive and cutting blog like I'm about to.

As a preface to this article, I'm just going to write it as it comes to me, so expect some purely train-of-thought rambling, possibly some contradictions, and, more likely, no insight whatsoever.

For me, at least, there are a myriad of reasons why I will voluntarily climb onto a stage and tell the same embarrassing stories from my childhood to drunken strangers night after night, the first of which is the fact that it's so much fun. Of course, you don't realise this until the first time you do it, and every time before I go onstage my stomach is always turning, but the first time you get a whole room full of people to laugh at something you've said (And not like in school when you called your teacher 'mum'), it's a hell of an adrenaline rush, and you end up pushing yourself to try and get bigger and bigger laughs out of the crowd, just to get your hit - I honestly love nothing more than to watch somebody absolutely hooked on comedy perform - It's more like a dependency than a job to them, and I think the moment they lose that addiction is the moment they start to lose their edge. I quit drinking about the same time as I started doing stand up comedy, and truthfully the feeling described above is more addictive than beer, more addictive than any other drug I know.

What else? Well, you could take the fact that around strangers, I'm actually quite a quiet person. I have this paranoid delusion that if I show people the "real" me before I've got to know them, they're going to think I'm a thundering cretin with pathetic hair - And it can quite often take me a long time to feel comfortable around new people, lest they think me a cock. Put me on a stage, however, and it's a different story - Let's face it, it's basically your job to be a bit of a dick on stage; you're trying to make people laugh, after all! I'm probably about 100% braver when I'm performing than in the 'real' world - consider it a slightly less nerdy equivalent to World of Warcraft; an opportunity to be the person you want to be but haven't got the balls to be in day to day life - Whether that's a wildly offensive comedian or a level 30 Elf.

A lot of people say they got into comedy because they were bullied, and that doing it is a kind of therapy for them - Conquering the insecurites that yes, you might be fat, or ginger, or a bit ugly, but the fact that you can stand on a stage and make people cry laughing is something that not many people can do - And by doing it you've beaten those people that made you feel worthless, because look at you - Even if all you're doing is a 5 minute open slot, for those five minutes, you are the star of the show. People will hang off every word you say... You're the most important person in the room at that time, you're not worthless at all.

Of course, that does suggest that people might get into comedy to feed their own ego, and I think it's fair to say that people like that are the people who don't do very much before they give up. See, part of being a comedian which you don't get in too many other jobs is real time feedback from your audience. Essentially, what that means is if you're shit, they're going to tell you you're shit, and they're not going to have any qualms in doing so. Obviously, that's not great for people just in the game to feel important, or people not willing to admit that sometimes, their material or their delivery just wasn't good enough and that it's time to go back to the drawing board and rework those bits that didn't work too well. Same with thin skinned people - if you can't take a little unconstructive criticism from a pissed up prick with a DIY pritt-stik head, you either need to toughen up, or fuck off sharpish.

The more I think about it though, I think truthfully, it just boils down to one thing:-

Some people like to make other people laugh.

They like spreading a bit of joy, of happiness (And christ knows, in this world we need as much as we can get), and quite often, one of the most direct ways to do that is to stand on a stage made out of crates in a dingy pub in a town you hate, and tell some fucking jokes. You don't have to be some adrenaline junkie, hooked on the sound of human laughter, nor a bullying victim baring his soul to get a few laughs and cleanse himself at the same time. Deep down, really, I think all comedians would admit that the reason they do it, the reason they pick up that mic and step on them boards is nothing more than the fact that at their core, they like to make people laugh.

...Although, thinking about it, that means that really, my answer to the original question actually is "Dunno, like tellin' jokes an'at, dunn-I?".


But, at least now when people ask, I can give them a URL to read in their own time. People are very busy and I don't want to waste their lives with this twaddle.

I'm amazed you're even still reading.

That's it.


Fuck off.


  1. That's awesome dude. Can't actually wait to see you live

  2. Haha spann you still makin me giggle to this day what a legend you are. Luv Cerys x