If you have visions of being the next Roseanne Barr or Jay Leno, here are some comedy tips gleaned from watching the first graduating class of Salt Lake's Comedy Academy:
- Try not to say "I was going to do another joke, but I forgot what it was."- Try not to recite your routine as if it's a book report or a bad Utah commercial. "Make them think you're just thinking it all up extemporaneously," says Bill Bronner, co-producer of the Comedy Oasis.
- Save the puns for close family and friends.
- Be subtle. If you have to explain a joke it probably doesn't work.
- Talk about what you know about. But stay away from overdone topics like pets and air travel, says Bronner.
- Develop a stage persona that sets you apart from other comedians. "I also encourage people to be vulnerable on stage," says Bronner. This tends to get the audience on your side.
- Don't rush through your material. Learn when to pause by listening to the audience. "A pro, even if a joke dies, will wait and let the thoughts sink in," says Bronner.