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04/08/2010

A Storyteller Walks Into a Bar… On Storytelling and Comedy

Watching a recent comedy show by Turae, a Philly comedian you should definitely check out, made me think. It is very hard sharing a story! Let’s face it; being on a stage isn’t easy. There are those bright lights, strange faces plus that initial awkward silence that can seem like an eternity.


Turae on his basketball career and student loans



Yet somehow comedians get on stage night after night and not only share stories, but share ones that are aimed to get us to laugh. And anyone who has told a bad knock-knock joke knows how hard that is. 779498_f260
(Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?)


What I might find hilarious might only make you chuckle. So it is up to the comedian to mix together the experiences that we both may or may not have to get it a big belly laugh for both of us.


My favorite example is Jerry Seinfeld. His stand up is based on every day experiences and life stories. The things every adult has noticed despite age, race, or social standing. His observations are so funny he got nine seasons of a “show about nothing.”


Jerry Seinfeld on Letterman



When you think about it, comedy may be the hardest form of storytelling. If you want to watch some pros tell a funny story, Helium Comedy Club always has a good mix of comedians; many from notable television shows.


Ever think your stories are good enough to try some stand up? The Comedy Cabaret offers an affordable humor workshop and comedy class. With what you learn you could try your new material out at Laff House Comedy Club’s new comics corner on Wednesdays. Maybe your more of a SNL or Who’s Line is it anyway type. Philly Improv Theater offers improv and sketch comedy classes.


So when you’re at a StorySlam, relax. You can pride yourself on knowing that your story doesn’t have to make us laugh, you just have to share it. Your next chance is on April 12th at World Cafe Live. The theme is Perfect Storm. Doors open at 7:30, slam starts at 8:30. Admission is $10, $8 for members. Our host is Philly comedienne, writer and director Jen Childs of 1812 Productions, Philly’s all-comedy theater company.


-Tiffany Thwaites

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