Me at the Comedy Cellar
As promised, here’s video of me performing at New York City’s Comedy Cellar for New Joke Night!
Huge added bonus: Famed comedian Andy Haynes immediately improvises some hilarious jokes about me. Just watch to the end. My funniness is debatable, but his is not.
Main reflections on the experience:
How did I do? Good. 70th percentile of my expectations. Everyone else on stage was a profession comedian, and I wasn’t obviously the worst.
Transfer of Learning from regular public speaking to standup, though pretty high in absolute terms, is lower than any other kind of public speaking I’ve tried. Normally, I memorize nothing; here, I felt that I absolutely needed to know my routine by heart.
Since Netflix comedians don’t use notes, neither did I. But most of the other comedians actually did. I blanked on a couple of sentences in the second paragraph, but otherwise I was able to stick to the script.
Best advice I got when I practiced: Involve the audience. I habitually do this in other talks, but I got so caught up in memorizing the routine that I was talking at the audience instead of to the audience. Fortunately, I rectified this before showtime.
Though I started by making fun of college admissions, I avoided actual academic topics. I give enough lectures.
But since I am an academic, let me point out that the violation of Social Desirability Bias is the heart of comedy. Even though comedians love hyperbole, they use their hyperbole to expose - not obscure - ugly truths.
I would definitely try this again. In fact, I’ll probably do a longer version for Capla-Con. Other attendees are welcome to try their hand, too.