Leap Of Faith

That Phil Schwarzmann is a clever dude. He made an observation about my jokes the other day: "the audience often has to make a leap to get your joke". Which I actually take as a compliment, hopefully it means I’m writing something which makes them think. When the audience needs to piece my two obscure references together, they feel satisfaction in getting the joke. The other side of that is if the leap is too large and audience cant quite make it.

I felt I had a good show at Manala the other night and on at least 2 occasions my joke was met with silence from the 70 strong crowd. If you tell a joke and its bad, usually some drunk will laugh half heartily and you will hear something but on these occasions I was greeted with an amazing, deathly silence. I kind of like these moments, to me they are liberating as a comedian as we can stop and talk about why this happened. To me, when there is utter silence, its not just a bad joke, the audience didn’t even grasp that it was actually a joke at all or they could feel it was a punchline but the leap was waaay too big for them to make.

Getting the right mix takes time. I have a few other gags which take the audience about 2 seconds for the joke to sink in. They are some of my favorite, there is that scary wait after the punchline has been delivered, that faith that in 2 seconds the penny will drop for these good people who have paid to see a decent comedy show. That 2 seconds can feel like an eternity on stage.  With luck it comes. If it doesn’t, you better have something else to say real quick.

By Louis Zezeran

Louis Zezeran is an Australian Stand Up comedian and comedy promoter based in Tallinn, Estonia. He was the co-founder of Comedy Estonia, Comedy Finland and Comedy Latvia. Louis writes, does gigs and performs at private events through the Baltics and Finland

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