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Breakthrough in comedy requires hard work

12 Jun 2024

Training local comedians on stand-up comedy script writing is crucial to aid them break through and reap the best reward out of their work, popular comedian and live poet, Godwill Tlokwe has said.

While he appreciated that not every comedian was naturally gifted, and that script writing for a stand-up comedy performance could be a challenging task, he however said there were some tips to help such comedians to get started.

Tlokwe who is also a voluntary coach for stand-up comedy script writing shared the views in an interview saying that stand-up comedy often involved direct interaction with the audience.

Professional stand-up comedy, he said was not about collecting common public jokes and taking them to the stage, but it was the creation of completely new jokes by performers and performing them well on stage.

Stand-up comedy, he said was more than just a performer telling jokes citing that there were factors to consider when choosing a subject. “Comedians must decide what exactly they want to joke about and have the ability to know which joke is suitable for which audience. Performing in a formal gathering is different from performing in a bar,” he noted.

Further, he said performers should remember why they want to be a stand-up comedian and focus on writing good jokes, adding that if their material was solid, confidence must follow.

Tlokwe affectionately known as ‘Goddie the bad’ in the creative circles advised that conducting a thorough research after choosing their subjects was critical citing that if the subject was about a certain individual, they should thoroughly observe the person’s unique characteristics like posture, speech habits, walks and other aspects.

They should then write down their observations and turn them into jokes, adding that comedy simply used a lot of exaggeration. Other factors to consider, he said was sensitivity; advising that comedians should ensure that not many people should perceive their lines offensive.

Comedians, he said should also choose effective delivery techniques. “For each joke, the comedian decides in the most effective ways to perform a joke on the stage. Some jokes many be delivered through a dance of a particular type, a specific vice or music among others,” he stressed.

Rehearsal, he said was also key, noting that it was important to practice the scrip out loud as that would help refine their delivery and timing as well as making adjustment as needed. Tlokwe talked about the importance of re-visiting the script which helps comedians to attend to jokes that did not get much laughter during the test. “Remember, writing a stand-up comedy scrip takes an effort, but with practice and persistence, comedians can create a hilarious and memorable performance,” he added. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : MAUN

Event : Interview

Date : 12 Jun 2024