Six things that should make comedians feel better about what they’re doing

By | September 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm | 3 comments | Features, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s no secret that there is a great deal of personal mental strain that comedians go through– often self-inflicted, despite having “making people laugh” in their job description. While self-help books are often a popular topic for jokes and I’ve surprised other comedians by not having ever entered therapy, any person legitimately doing comedy would tell you that any whisper of encouragement, even if not specifically directed at them, is more than welcome.

Over the last few months, such symbolic “pats on the back” and sincere echoes of “keep at it and believe in yourself” have popped up online and have given credence to the aforementioned claim of insecurity by comedians. The following is a collection of those metaphorical motivational posters in the form of interviews, quotes and videos that might make you feel more comfortable along the road to answering the question: What the fuck am I doing trying to make strangers laugh?

1) Marc Maron’s keynote address from Just For Laughs in Montreal (VIDEO)

2) “At the end of the day everyone needs to just keep going, and if you wallow in self-pity or you focus on negative things that might slow you down you will never get to confront your own Dane Cook on your own FX show. You know what I mean.”

-From a story on Louis C.K. on Videogum about having Dane Cook on Louie

3) Dan Harmon (Creator of NBC’s Community) on meeting George Gallo, writer of Midnight Run, the dilemma of being creative and nominations.

4) “It took me until my 40s to realize it: There’s no destination. There’s no getting anywhere. There’s just the going. The key to life is to make the going really fun. Because people that are like, “If I just get to this, then boom!” And then they get there and there’s this dawning of an afterwards. Whereas I’m just always in the going. And it’s not a frantic going like, “I gotta keep going or I’m gonna go nuts!” I can not do anything for weeks or months if I need to and just sit and read books or watch movies. I’m just as fine consuming and absorbing new art as I am trying to make it. But it’s all in the going.”

-Patton Oswalt in A.V. Club interview

5) Ira Glass, though not strictly talking about comedy, encourages new artists. (VIDEO)

6) Comedian Rob Delaney explains how having his jokes stolen was empowering.

republished and edited with permission from the Comedy Bureau.

About the Author

Jake Kroeger

Jake Kroeger has dedicated his life, for better or probably worse, to comedy. Starting and continually running the Comedy Bureau, a voice for LA comedy, by himself, he also writes and performs stand-up comedy in LA and watches more live comedy than is probably humanly tolerable. He's been a daily contributor to Punchline Magazine, now Laughspin.com because he loves and believes in comedy so much. Said of Kroeger, "...without his dangerously insane, unhealthy work ethic, certain comics would not have any press at all."

  • Brad

    That wasn’t a Louis C.K. interview, it was just Gabe Delahaye’s analysis of that scene. Louis didn’t say that. 

    • Dylan Gadino

      noted. fixed. and thanks.

    • Dylan Gadino

      noted. fixed. and thanks.