My adventures in Cooldom started when I was seven. From age 0-7 I wasn't very cool, but at seven I developed a three point plan to turn it all around and become the Emperor of Cooldom. And here follows that plan.
The class were presented with a school project titled "Summer Fun is", in which we had to choose something that we considered to be fun to do during summer, and then draw a lovely picture of us doing that summery fun activity. The other kids were choosing the most predictable things, like "Summer Fun is Swimming", and "Summer Fun is Playing Rugby", yeah I know, yawn. I had a brilliant plan that would not only make me stand out, but also showcase my future predictive abilities and came up with "Summer Fun is Playing Computers". Because although playing computers during the summer was tragically uncool back in the mid nineties, I proved that I was way before my time as now in the 2015s it's quite common and not so nerdy to play computers during the summer. 50 cool points to Richard and he was now entered into the realm of Cooldom.
The second phase of my adventures into Cooldom was deciding to play a musical instrument, because that's the ultimate of cool, being a musician. But I didn't want to be just any old musician, I decided upon a three-pronged approach of learning THREE different instruments. And not just the usual instruments either, like the guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, nar that's way boring. I chose three different woodwind instruments; the flute, the piccolo, and everyone's favourite, the recorder. I spent every night practising rather than going out and doing things with "friends". I particularly excelled at the flute, which lead to my biggest foray into Cooldom which was being the first boy ever to get into the all girls flute choir. Some suggested I might have done that in order to spend more time with girls, but no, it was in the pursuit of fluty excellence. I was now steadily raising up the ranks of Cooldom.
Fast forward a few years into the mid nineties and Strictly Ballroom was a huge box office hit in New Zealand. Although in New Zealand, all that "box office hit" means is the more than 100 people went to see it. But still it was a big thing. So started the next phase of my plan of Cooldom which was to emulate Paul Mercurio and become a ballroom aficionado. So I started to frequent a local ballroom studio, as did many other young people at the time. Heck I even hung it out until after the hype of the movie died down and all the other teens had quit. I became so popular with the ladies, in fact whenever I went to the RSA to do dancing practise they were lining up to dance with me. Well not exactly lining up, but sitting down, as at their age their arthritic hips couldn't handle standing for long.
And that's when Richard graduated to being Emperor of Cooldom.
Going to a comedy show is a bit like going to a fairground. You generally know what you're in for, you know that it is likely to be safe, you expect it to be amusing, and you expect there to be variety and surprise.
You may not like every ride. Some rides will be for you, some won't. Some rides might be more suitable for those with less of a nervous disposition, some family friendly, some horrifying. There may be some rides that you are familiar with and yet still enjoy, and others which you have not experienced before. You might like these unfamiliar rides, you might not.
The comedians are the tour guides, and the rides are the jokes. The comedian has to entice you onto the ride by making it look interesting and worth the time and bother. The ride then has to be enjoyable, and have a level of surprise. Some rides are like a long winding entertaining tale that ends in a sudden enthralling drop, so are enjoyable along the way and surprising at the end. Others are more short and abrupt, and just as you are getting used to the ride it goes off in multiple different directions with many surprises.
If the comedian gets it right by enticing you onto the best rides, keeping it interesting, and keeping it surprising, then you will know they're in a safe pair of hands and trust them enough to go on more of their rides. If the comedian misjudges and entices the you onto a ride that don't suit you, you might not want to go on another one. If the rides are too long without being interesting along the way, you may lost interest and want to get off before the surprise. If the rides don't have enough of a surprise element, you might not bother getting onboard another ride.
So to sum up my magical fairground theory of comedy, the comedian's job is to: