10 Things Not to Say to a Comic, by Leah Bonnema

Leah Bonnema, a NYC-based stand-up comedian seen in clubs, on radio/podcasts or TV via WeTV, Logo and VH1, offers this list of things people say to comedians but really shouldn’t ever say.

In general I believe people mean well. And I should be so lucky that anyone was interested in talking to me at all or listening to my stand up. BUT… I get the idea that people don’t realize comedy is also a job. And that that job entails putting very personal things out into the world. AND that people have spent years working on a single joke. AND also that coming up to someone and saying something mean isn’t funny. The below lists of comedy-don’t does not include heckling, that is a whole entire list until itself.

  1. “You know what would be funny…”
  2. “I bet you are going to use this in your little skits.”
  3. “Tell me a joke.”
  4. “Oh, you went to college?”
  5. “Maybe you should have….” or “Rough one?!”
  6. “How do your parents feel about this?”
  7. “I could totally be a comedian.”
  8. “You don’t look funny.”
  9. “You are so funny. You should be doing more. Why aren’t you on ___. “
  10. “I really liked you but ____ was horrible”
  11. Bonus one for female comicsĀ “I don’t usually think women are funny, but you were great…”

Read Bonnema’s full explanation and responses for each of the “10 things not to say to a comic” in Crazytown.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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