Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Health and Safety Warnings for Comedians

1) Ask other people about themselves. Then listen to the answer.

This is a good guard against self-obsession. Try to remember one or two things about the people you're with, other than their face and position relative to you on the bill.

This is also good advice to follow with friends and family members, and may help to keep them as friends and family members.

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2) Stop talking about comedy.

No really. Shut up. That ashtray looks kinda heavy and I'm on a short fuse buddy.

3) Remember the world is not a stage

For example, on stage it's okay to ridicule the hecklers, but when people talk back to you off stage that's called "conversation" and is allowed. Don't feel compelled to interrupt and insult them. If they shut up and leave that doesn't mean you've won, especially if you're married to them.

4) Just because something is free, doesn't mean you have to have it

This covers free drinks, free food and free love from groupies. Accept everything that's offered you and you'll end up a fat alcoholic on first name terms with the STD clinic. Sorry for anyone I've offended with that one - ie) half the circuit.

5) Try to sleep with someone but don't tell them you're a comedian.

Not that easy, is it?

6) You are not a God walking amongst mortal men

Now I know that a few hundred people clapping and cheering you may make you feel pretty good, but face it: they don't even remember your name half the time. Face it. You're "The short one." or "That Irish guy". You did a good job of work, that's all. Your hotel room will look the same as when you left it, and won't suddenly be made of gold.

If you follow all these basic safety tips, you'll remain a stable rounded human being, assuming that's how you started off. Which, let's be honest, is unlikely, given that the desire to gain approval from a room full of strangers usually indicates massive insecurity and emotional neediness stemming from some childhood trauma.

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