Stand-up comedy

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Stand-up comedy is a style of comedy where a comedian performs in front of a live audience, usually speaking directly to them. Their performances are sometimes filmed for later release via DVD, the internet, and television.

The performer is commonly known as a comic, stand-up comic, stand-up comedian or simply a stand-up.

Contents

Format

Stand-up performances are usually short, where the comedian recites a fast-paced succession of humorous stories, short jokes (called "bits"), and one-liners, which constitute what is typically called a monologue, routine or act. Some stand-up comedians use props, music or magic tricks to enhance their acts. Stand-up comedy is often performed in comedy clubs, bars, burlesques, colleges and theaters, but there are no real restrictions on where the craft can be performed.

Many smaller venues hold "open mic" events, where anyone can take the stage and perform for the audience, offering a way for amateur performers to hone their craft and possibly break into professionalism. In North America, many comedy clubs feature the now-iconic brick wall as the backdrop for stand-up performances.

Many stand-up comedians work for years to develop 45 minutes of material, and usually perform their bits repeatedly, slowly perfecting them over time. Actor-comedian Will Ferrell has called stand-up comedy "hard, lonely and vicious".[1]

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