Do you know the penguin joke?
It’s about a penguin who only breathes through his buttocks, and one day he decides to sit down…and he dies.
That was my favourite joke. It has all the ingredients to be funny: it’s short, simple, and absurd. It makes all French people laugh, regardless of age, social status or even religion. And yet… it’s not unanimously hilarious in England. Of all the English people I’ve told this delightful joke to, not one of them has understood. No laughter, but frowns, total incomprehension, and a mental questioning of how they became friends with me.
Despite this I persisted, pushed the cultural barriers even further and tested my good French jokes on an international scale. I think it’s the same in England, but the lamer and simpler the jokes are the more they’ll be a hit… or a total flop. That’s the magic, the risk-taking that everyone experiences when trying to make people laugh. Whether it’s during a discussion… or a performance in front of an audience.
So here I am, challenging myself.
I’ve been in comedy school for two weeks now, with several people from SCA. The program: 6 weeks to acquire the ability to make people laugh and perform in front of a whole audience.
For the moment the challenge seems perfectly playable, simply because I don’t realise how much time has already passed. In truth, the sessions are running like sand, leaving from a small hand.
So, each session is intense in learning. I’m beginning to understand how we can make people laugh without necessarily overused puns, without even necessarily speaking English well: telling our daily experiences.
So yes, it seems obvious, but this statement opens the door to a greater truth.
Anyone can be a comedian!
We’ve all had funny experiences, or experiences that we can comically describe by changing some of their aspects.
It’s liberating to talk about your life in front of an audience of curious eyes. Not only the positive and the funny, but also the negative things you have lived. This sincerity creates a bond with the audience. Because we’re all having similar life experiences as human species. Those who were in a small village will recognize themselves in the insights of a comedian who hasn’t lived in a big city. Or those who have experienced a bad break-up, will cry and laugh over the shoulder of the person who will describe this situation.
But the difference between all stand-up is the individuality of the comedians: what is their own version of their story? This will surprise the audience and make them remember us.
Writing a sketch is therefore a creative process. You have to give a bit of yourself, of what makes you unique, to really make an impact. To be memorable in people’s lives and create a unique connection with them that no other comedian will have.
One last thing…
We are working hard to make you laugh your ass off on the 26th of February, but we’re also performing to raise money for a good cause. So, if you want to support us in our challenge, please donate a little bit for mental health.
See you on stage!