What's Doing Comedy Like?
People ask me, "What's doing standup comedy like?"
The language used to metaphorically describe standup comedy is rather dire. If the audience like them, the comedian "killed", and if they don't, they "died". Comedians say "You smashed it" and deliver "punchlines". The language tends to be conceptually similar to a battle between the comedian and the audience.
But is comedy like a battle? And is it useful to think of comedy this way?
To me, comedy is like doing little word puzzles and sharing them with others. Sometimes these puzzles may be impossible to complete, and sometimes they may be possible but not aesthetically pleasing to others. Often, the puzzles work just right, and when shared the right way are enjoyed by most people. Sometimes an audience will like whatever puzzles they see, and sometimes audiences just don't like your kind of puzzle.
And there's little point getting overexcited if people really like your puzzles, or disappointed if they don't. They're just puzzles for gods sake.
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