Stand-up comedy deserves to be recognized as a legitimate art form

Published by adviser, Author: Joseph Szalinski - Commentary, Date: April 23, 2015

Stand-up comedy is generally something that everybody loves; yet very few actually respect. Just like any other legitimate art form, stand-up takes time to hone and deliver as effectively as possible. Comics work exceptionally hard, performing the same material again and again, typically in front of crowds that could care less about their performance.

Seen as a medium wherein “bathroom humor” and offensive jokes constitute a large amount of material for the artists, people tend not to give it the respect it deserves. No one wants to hear childish jokes from a professional comedian. Raunchy, dirty and provocative material is what most audience members are looking for in a routine. But there are also those who are quite vocal who take offense at the slightest of things.

People should know what to expect when going to a comedy show. The artists involved are typically damaged people. They tend to have depression, or social disorders or even substance abuse issues. Self-deprecating humor is a way these performers overcome these problems. It’s these people who assume that audience members are aware that touchy topics will be discussed, and certain people may be made fun of. Keep in mind, it’s all comedy. No one takes it seriously. They’re all jokes.

The offended party takes to social media outlets and vent about being offended. People take to either side, and arguments are known to occur; causing stand-up comedy to be ridiculed, being called “something any dumb person could do.”

stand-up comedy not only requires a great deal of bravery to get up on stage and attempt to be entertaining, but also it requires a balance between having an air of confidence and not having an ego, because egos tend to be squash relatively quickly in that field.

And when a comic does try to discuss something pertinent or “important,” even the same people ridicule them yet again for those opinions. Being told that, “It’s not their job to be artistic or have well thought out points. They’re supposed to be a clown.”

All I’m suggesting is a legitimization of the stand-up field. It’s another art form, just like theater or literature, where people can openly and honestly speak their minds. It’s a form of escape. If a comic were to write the same words he or she says in a set, in a book or a play, then the critics of the comic would consider it “art.” Really, it’s all a matter of people being pretentious and too ill equipped to be comedians themselves.

Some comedians get out of line and must be put back in their place by their fellow comics. It’s a demanding and exhausting field that’s certainly worthy of more respect and admiration. Unless one is willing to joke him or herself, just keep in mind that it’s all an act and it’s all for fun.


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