June 26, 2008

Note to self: Never do that joke again

As a follow up to this post about bombing, here's some more Eddie Izzard technique.

I've never seen a comedian make so many jokes about his own jokes not working. And of course, when the audience doesn't get one and he acknowledges it, he gets even more laughs.

At one point in his show "Glorious," he plays two characters who have a 2-minute conversation about why a joke didn't work.

But the funniest approach was, when a joke bombed, pretending to write a note to himself:

"No one got that. Never do that piece again."

"Lost everyone. No one understands."

"No one ever gets that one."

"Where is that bit going?"

As a bit in itself, the "note to self" redeems a failing joke and gets additional laughs in the process.

Most speakers don't try this hard to be funny. But if you're clearly telling a joke and it bombs, there are ways to redeem yourself, besides the old rule to act like you weren't telling a joke. Why not show that you can take the hit and have a little fun with it?

Now I realize I keep talking about Eddie Izzard, but I've never posted a clip. So here's a bit about an evil giraffe from "Glorious."

If you can't see the video, click here to view it on YouTube.

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