Stand-up comedy is a comedic style. Usually, a comedian performs in front of a live audience, speaking directly to them. The performer is commonly known as a comic, stand-up comic, stand-up comedian or simply a stand-up. Their performances are sometimes filmed for later release via DVD, the internet, and television.
George Carlin performing his stand-up comedy
In stand-up comedy the comedian usually recites a fast-paced succession of humorous stories, short jokes called “bits”, and one-liners, which constitute what is typically called amonologue, routine or act. Some stand-up comedians use props, music or magic tricks to enhance their acts. Stand-up comedy is often performed in comedy clubs, bars, neo-burlesques, colleges and theaters, but there are no real restrictions on where the craft can be performed. Stand-up comedy is also performed by professional comedians outside of traditional entertainment venues, such as in country clubs, at corporate events and conferences, as charity fundraising events, even in temples and churches.
Many smaller venues hold “open mic” events, where anyone can take the stage and perform for the audience, offering a way for amateur performers to hone their craft and possibly break into the profession.
Stand-up is an art form that is openly devoted to getting immediate laughs from an audience above all else, unlike theatrical comedy which creates comedy within the structure of a play with amusing characters and situations. In stand-up comedy, feedback of the audience is instant and crucial for the comedian’s act. Audiences expect a stand-up comic to provide a steady stream of laughs, and a performer is always under great pressure to deliver. This pressure can be thrilling, but also threatening. Comedic actor Will Ferrell has called stand-up comedy “hard, lonely, and vicious”.
If the performer cannot coax laughs out of the audience, the bored crowd may harass the comedian, a practice known as heckling. One hallmark of a master stand-up comedian is the ability not only to face down and silence a heckler, but to win over and entertain the rest of the crowd with a witty retort. An adept stand-up comedian will nimbly play off the mood and tastes of any particular audience, and adjust his or her routine accordingly. Heckling is viewed differently in different cultures. For example in Britain, heckling is considered to be a normal part of the stand-up experience, and is in fact actively encouraged by comedians such as Jimmy Carr.
The skills attributed to stand-up are diverse, as the stand-up comic often acts as writer, editor, performer, promoter, producer and technician for the act. Many stand-up comedians work for years to develop 45 minutes of material, and usually perform their bits repeatedly, slowly perfecting them over time.
Despite the name, stand-up comedians do not always stand up. Some will sit on a stool; Martin Mull has sometimes used an easy chair. The term “sit-down comic” is usually pejorative in nature.
While a stand-up comedy show may involve only one comedian, most shows feature a “headline” format, or a “showcase” format. A headline format typically features an opening act known as a host or master of ceremonies (MC) who usually warms up the crowd, makes announcements, and introduces the other performers. This is followed by one or two “middle” acts (sometimes called “featured” acts), who perform shorter 15-20 minute sets, followed by a headliner who performs for over 45 minutes (a period mandated by most headline clubs).
The “showcase” format consists of several acts who perform for roughly equal lengths of time, typical in smaller clubs such as the Comedy Cellar, or Jongleurs, or at large events where the billing of several names allows for a larger venue than the individual comedians could draw. A showcase format may still feature an MC.
United Kingdom history
The United Kingdom has a long heritage of stand-up comedy, which began in the music halls of the 18th and 19th centuries. Notable performers who rose through the twentieth century music hall circuit were Morecambe and Wise, Arthur Askey, Ken Dodd and Max Miller, who was considered to be the quintessential music-hall comedian. The heavy censorship regime of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office required all comedians to submit their acts for censorship. The act would be returned with unacceptable sections underlined in blue pencil (possibly giving rise to the term “blue” for a comedian whose act is considered bawdy or smutty). The comedian was then obliged not to deviate from the act in its edited form.
At the end of World War II, many members of the Armed Forces had developed a taste for comedy (stand-up or otherwise) in wartime concert parties and moved into professional entertainment. Eric Sykes, Peter Sellers and the other Goons, and Tommy Cooper all began their careers this way. The rise of the postwar comedians coincided with the rise of television and radio, and the traditional music hall circuit suffered greatly as a result. Whereas a music hall performer could work for years using just one act, television exposure created a constant demand for new material, although this may have also been responsible for the cessation of theatrical censorship in 1968.
By the 1970s, music hall entertainment was virtually dead. Alternative circuits had evolved, such as Working Men’s Clubs. Some of the more successful comedians on the Working Men’s Club circuit – including Bernard Manning, Bobby Thompson, Frank Carson and Stan Boardman – eventually made their way to television via such shows as The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club. The “alternative” comedy scene also began to evolve. Some of the earliest successes came from folk clubs, where performers such asBilly Connolly, Mike Harding and Jasper Carrott started as relatively straight musical acts whose between-song banter developed into complete comedy routines. The 1960s had also seen the satire boom, including the creation of the club, The Establishment, which, amongst other things, gave British audiences their first taste of extreme American stand-up comedy from Lenny Bruce. Victoria Wood launched her stand-up career in the early 1980s, which saw observational conversation mixed with comedy songs. Wood was to become one of the country’s most successful comedians, in 2001 selling out the Royal Albert Hall for 15 nights in a row.
In 1979, the first American-style stand-up comedy club, the Comedy Store, London was opened in London by Peter Rosengard, where many alternative comedy stars of the 1980s, such as Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, Alexei Sayle, Craig Ferguson, Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson began their careers. The stand-up comedy circuit rapidly expanded from London across the UK. The present British stand-up comedy circuit arose from the ‘alternative’ comedy revolution of the 1980s, with political and observational humour being the prominent styles to flourish. In 1983 young drama teacher Maria Kempinska created Jongleurs Comedy Clubs, now the largest Stand-up comedy chain in Europe.
It is believed that stand up comedy was originally performed as a one man show. Lately, this type of show started to involve a group of young comedians, especially in Europe.
United States history
North American stand-up comedy has its roots in various traditions of popular entertainment of the late 19th century including vaudeville, English Music Hall, Minstrel shows,humorist monologues by personalities such as Mark Twain and Norman Wilkerson, and circus clown antics. Comedians of this era often donned an ethnic persona—African, Scottish, German, Jewish—and built a routine based on popular stereotypes. Jokes were generally broad and material was widely shared, or in some cases, stolen.
The fathers of modern American stand-up comedy, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, George Burns, Fred Allen, Milton Berle and Frank Fay all came from vaudeville. They spoke directly to the audience as themselves, in front of the curtain, known as performing “in one”. Frank Fay gained acclaim as a “master of ceremonies” at New York’s Palace Theater and is credited with creating the style of 20th century stand-up.
In the 1950s and into the 1960s, stand-ups like Mort Sahl began developing their acts in small folk clubs like San Francisco’s hungry i or New York’s Bitter End. These comedians added an element of social satire and expanded both the language and boundaries of stand-up venturing into politics, race relations, and sexual humor. Lenny Bruce became known as ‘the’ obscene comic when he used language that usually led to his arrest. After Lenny Bruce, arrests for obscene language on stage nearly disappeared until George Carlinwas arrested on 21 July 1972 at Milwaukee’s Summerfest after performing the routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television“ (the case against Carlin was eventually dismissed).
Other notable comics from this era include Woody Allen, Shelley Berman and Bob Newhart. Some Black-American comedians such as Redd Foxx, George Kirby, Bill Cosby andDick Gregory began to cross over to white audiences during this time.
Stand-up in the 1970s saw several entertainers becoming major stars based on stand-up comedy performances. Richard Pryor and George Carlin followed Lenny Bruce’s acerbic style to become icons. Stand-up expanded from clubs, resorts, and coffee houses into major concerts in sports arenas and amphitheaters. Steve Martin and Bill Cosby had levels of success with gentler comic routines. The older style of stand-up comedy (no social satire) was kept alive by Rodney Dangerfield and Buddy Hackett, who enjoyed revived careers late in life. Television programs such as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show launched the careers of other stand-up comedians.
From the 1970s to the 90s, more nonsensical styles of comedy began to emerge, led by the madcap stylings of Robin Williams, the odd observations of Jerry Seinfeld and the ironic musings of Steven Wright. These comedians would serve to influence the next generation of comedians, including Bill Burr, David Cross, Louis C.K., Hannibal Buress, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Foley, Todd Glass, and Demetri Martin. In 2005, Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, established an archive of comedy to help preserve the history of 20th-century stand-up comedy.
Stand-up comedy around the world
Mohamed Saïd Fellag
In Argentina, the greatest icon is arguably Enrique Pinti, followed by Carlos Perciavalle (who was actually born in Uruguay) There is possibly a bigger icon: Tato Bores. New artists such as, Diego Wainstein, Sebastián Wainraich, Peto Menahem, Fernando Sanjiao, Dalia Gutmann, Malena Guinzburg, Guillermo Selci, Conrado Geiger, Luciano Mella, Cristian Dominguez, Martin Pugliese, Peto Menahem and Malena Pichot are also popular. Vh1 Latin America with Comedy Central usually present stand-up specials by local artists every year.
Naveed Mahbub, an engineer by profession and a funny man at heart, started the first ever stand up comedy club in Bangladesh – Naveed’s Comedy Club – on March, 2010. The club is open to all and requires no memberships. It boasts a mixture of both Bangla and English shows, making it an ideal laughter station for Bangladeshi’s as well as expats. Open mic shows are held every Thursday from 8:00 pm, paid shows on Saturdays and full-English shows on the last Saturday of every month at the same time. Pro-comedians are: Naveed Mahbub, Yamin Khan, Muhammad Solaiman, Nawaf Naser, Max Mystel, Mosharraf Yaafi, Pervez Suman, Istiak Nasir Rajon, Eftekar Alam, Tahsin M Khan and Barrister Aneek R Haque while the amateurs comprise: Tahseen Salman Choudhury, Ahmed Zunayed, Shahryar N. Khan, Porosh and many more.
Belgium, and particularly Flanders, has a rich heritage of stand-up comedians. Several annual contests are held, with the Canvas Comedy Casino Cup as the most important challenge. Winners of this cup are Xander De Rycke and David Galle. Typical to Flemish stand up is that there is a large influence of British comedy, partly due to a number of emigrated British stand-up comedians who perform now in Dutch. Famous stand-up comics include : Gunter Lamoot, Gili, Filip Geubels, Alex Agnew, Kamagurka, Freddy De Vadder, Nigel Williams, David Galle, Wim Helsen, Xander de Rycke, Henk Rijckaert, …
Canada has an extremely rich comedy history with many exports making waves on the big screen. Many famous successful comedians like Jim Carrey, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy,Lorne Michaels, Russell Peters, Howie Mandell, Rich Little, Norm Macdonald, Harland Williams, Shaun Majumder, Tom Green, Jeremy Hotz, Angelo Tsarouchas, Dave Foley, Jon Dore, Jay Sankey and Brent Butt all began doing stand-up at comedy clubs in Canada.
Stand up comedy has been famous in Cambodia for century. But, Cambodian stand up comedy requires two comedians-male and female comedians. The most famous stand up comedian in Cambodia is Mr. Prom Manh.
China is relatively new to stand-ups but Beijing does have quite a few slapstick routines especially on national television. Comedy Club China is the only operating stand-up comedy in Beijing, with routines mainly in English, but performed by the comedians in the local expat community including some more well known comedians as Carlos Ottery (UK). Shanghai’s biggest name in stand-up comedy is Zhou Libo. Shanghai also has a few comedy clubs, including XiaoDao[笑道]aka Lauphilos, which conducts monthly shows with comics like Yuan Xue, Daisong Li, Zhao Xing, Peng Sai, regularly performing. XiaoDao[笑道] also perform with Suhail, a brilliant Toaster Master Speech champion of year 2008. XiaoDao[笑道] is still looking for comedy talents to bring more hilarious shows to the local audience. As a new start up team, XiaoDao[笑道] updates show info on regular basis at Weibo as 笑道文化
There is a stand up comedy T.V show called “Los Comediantes de la Noche” and in it, are different stand up comedians who perform routines. There are also different stand up comedians such as: Andres Lopez, Gonzalo Valderrama, Diego Camargo, Ivan Marin, Julio Escallon and more. People in Colombia are now getting used to going to bars and theatres to watch live comedy.
The nascent stand-up comedy scene in Estonia was established through the Tartu Comedy Festival in April 2010. Since that time, stand-up comedy performances have become regular in the Estonian cities of Tartu and the capital, Tallinn. Shows are now performed both in English and Estonian.
French stand-up comedy often centers around social and political satire, play on words, or imitations. Coluche is considered an icon for his successful career as a comedian, political satirist and philanthropist in the 1980s. Pierre Desproges was known for his highly dramatic comedy, using an absurd humor and playing on the language in a poetic manner. Thierry Le Luron became a famous imitator at that time. Notable contemporary comedians include Jean-Marie Bigard, whose heavy reliance on blue humor had him branded as a vulgar comedian at the beginning of his career; Gad Elmaleh, who draws inspiration from everyday-life issues and clichés about his Jewish-Moroccan background, and whose performances often mix up stand-up routines and musical numbers; and imitators such as Laurent Gerra or Nicolas Canteloup.
ComedyLab is a website that hosts stand-up comedians, sketches and other comic series of videos.
On the 14th of November, in 2011, the 1st Stand-Up Comedy Festival was held in Athens, supported by ComedyLab.
The 1st Comedy Festival of Xanthi was held in Xanthi, November 18–27 in 2011.
Tzimis Panousis often encompasses stand-up comedy performances between his songs during live concerts. His use of profane language and his satirical comments have made him a controversial figure, most notably with the singer George Dalaras.
Stand-up comedy in China is an emerging art form. Hong Kong is the only city in China to offer a fulltime comedy club, The TakeOut Comedy Club Hong Kong, which features both local comics as well as leading international comedians such as Tom Cotter. The Punchline Comedy Club also hosts international comedians once per month. A famous stand-up comedian in Hong Kong is Dayo Wong Tze-Wah, who first started stand-up comedy in Hong Kong in early 1990s.
Seoul’s first English speaking comedy room is “STAND-UP SEOUL” (est. March 2009.) Stand-Up Seoul has hosted several professional stand up shows with comics such as Brian Aylward, Danny Cho, Tom Cotter, James Adomian, Ted Alexandro, and Kyle Kinane. Stand-Up Seoul is held at Rocky Mountain Tavern ( RMT ) in the central Seoul neighborhood, Itaewon. Seoul has established itself as arguably the best local stand-up scene in Asia. Expat entertainment is alive and well in the Land Of The Morning Calm. ( Notable acts: Michael Emms, Rudy Tyburczy, Pat Volz, Jeff Sinclair, Ross Gardiner, Fahad Al-Mutlaq, Erin Weber, Jessica Coyle, Albert Escobedo, Reginald Robinson-Whaley, Janet Kim, Daniel Kennedy and the hip hop improv group, Space Rhyme Continuum. )
There are also weekly stand-up shows at venues like Tony’s Aussie Bar and Bistro in Itaewon, Seoul.
South Korea’s second city, Busan, has a monthly comedy room ” The HA HA Hole.” Hosted by Chris Tharp at Soul Trane ( PNU ).
Songtan is host to a weekly open mic night at “The Osan Lounge” – a bar located a few hundred feet away from the main gate of Osan Air Base. The open mic night was started by Paul Smith, but is currently hosted and maintained by Dirty Boys Radio hosts Les Boyd and Darryl “Seed” Mansel. Also, the local acts come together and perform improv once a month at the same venue.
Ireland has produced many successful and influential stand-up comedians, including Dave Allen, Spike Milligan, Andrew Maxwell, Dylan Moran, Dara Ó Briain, Tommy Tiernan,Ardal O’Hanlon, Ed Byrne and Sean Hughes.
Stand-up comedians were very popular in ancient and medieval India. They were known as Vidushak and were known for their witty, intelligent and jestful acts (sometimes as clowns) in the courts of Indian kings. The King of stand up comedy in India was Mr. Jaspal Bhatti.In modern era many artists have come up and become popular as stand-up comedians, often starting from stage/films and proceeding to TV shows. johnny Lever was one the early popular stand -up comedians who became very famous for his acts and routines.Javed Jaffrey, Raju Srivastava, Dipoo Srivastava, [[Siraj Khan http://www.sirajkhan.com ]], Sunil Pal, Kapil Sharma, Sudesh Lehri, Rajiv Thakur Ahsaan Qureshi, Naveen Prabhakar, etc. are some well known Hindi comedians. Vir Das, Papa CJ, Rajneesh Kapoor, Rohan Joshi, Amit Tandon are some popular English stand-up comedians. TV shows like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge proved to be a highly popular platform for various Indian stand-up comedians. Local events like Fosters LOL nights, Comedy Showdown etc. are also promoting stand-up comedy in India.
Other than TV shows, club comedy is also catching up in India, notably in 3 major cities – Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Delhi is slowly becoming the comedy capital of the country. Various restaurants, pubs and bars are organizing comedy nights. There is virtually a comedy night every week in Delhi, Gurgaon or Noida. One of the most popular comedy nights in Delhi is Comedy Showdown where comedians like Amit Tandon, Zakir Khan, Maheep Singh etc. have performed. Comedy Showdown also provides a platform for amateur comedians by organizing an open mic. Other famous Delhi comedians include Abhijit Ganguly, Neeti Palta, Appurv Gupta etc.
The comedy scene in Mumbai is the oldest. The Comedy Store has set up shop in the upmarket Palladium Mall in the Lower Parel area of Mumbai. While initially the stage was dominated by British comedians, the focus is now shifting towards Indian comedians. While Indian comedians do throw in the occasional Indian language phrase for a comic effect the performances at The Comedy Store, Mumbai are necessarily in English. Well-known names in the business include – Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi, Anuvab Pal, Sorabh Pant, Kunal Rao, Ashish Shakya, Neville Shah, Varun Thakur, Varun Grover, Utsav Chakraborty and Aditi Mittal.
Bangalore is said to be the fastest growing city in India and the same can be said of its stand-up comedy scene. Being IT city, it is not as hot as Mumbai when it comes to show business, so there are only a handful of professional comedians in Bangalore – Sanjay Manaktala, Sundeep Rao, Praveen Kumar, Sal Yusuf, Ahmed Shariff, Shyam Bhat, Raju Choudary and Mark Zubair.
In Indian film Industry with diverse languages, prominent trend setters of stand up comedy, slapstick comedy and situational comedy are –
Hindi – Jonny walker, Bhagwan Tamil – NS Krishnan, JP Chandrababu, Thangavelu, Nagesh, Thengai Srinivasan, TS Baliah, Senthil-Goundamani combo Telugu – Relangi, Bramanandam Malayalam – Jagathy sreekumar, Dileep, Cochin Hanifa
However, even many MUSHROOM comedians appear in recent Indian films, theY are yet to match the calibre of yesteryear trendsetters.
In recent Tamil flim industry Santhanam is working with several Tamil stars giving excellent performance and getting a huge fame in the industry. some of his films that reached the mass are Boss en Baskaran, OKOK, Etc.
Another great entertainer is Sivakarthikeyan started his overall entertainment performance in few vijay TV shows. He has bagged several films individually as well as with some famous stars. Through his very shows he has already become a know face in the comedy industry. Both santhanam and sivakarthikeyan were primarily introduced to the industry by Vijay TV.
In Telugu film industry Brahmhanandam, Sunil, Ali are some of the well-known comedians .
Stand-up comedy has been popular for a long time in Indonesia, Dono, Kasino and Indro were the first generation who popularized stand-up comedy in Indonesia, Taufik Savalaswas the second generation in Indonesia and for the first time he also made a stand-up comedy show on Indonesian television. After that period there had been no new generation, and stand-up comedy hibernated for a long time.
The return appearance of stand-up comedy in Indonesia was marked by the emergence of comedy-themed cafes in Indonesia.
Stand-up comedy in Indonesia began to rise in mid-2011, popularized by a reality show-styled TV program, held by a private television station in Indonesia, following open auditions in several major cities in Indonesia. Since then, more TV stations in the country have already started or planned their own versions of stand-up comedy shows.
The reemergence of stand-up in Indonesia was heavily influenced by social media—Twitter and YouTube–mainly, after two of the country’s most popular celebrities, Raditya Dika andPandji Pragiwaksono started promoting and doing stand-up, and uploading their acts for the public. Currently, stand-up comedy is one of the most popular entertainment in the country. Several major cities have already started their own movements, like Jakarta, Bandung, Jogjakarta, and Surabaya. Several cafes in those cities currently hold weekly open-mikes, and monthly shows.
Some names have already gained a reputation as the country’s new rising comics. Such names as Insan Nur Akbar, Isman HS, Ernest Prakasa, Ryan Adriandhy, Miund, Luqman, and others, started to decorate the stand up stages in the country, and from the looks of it, there will be even much more names to come.
Characteristics of stand-up comedy in Indonesia are: cultural observations, innuendos, sarcasm related to government or politics, allusions aimed at well-known figures. Despite all that, stand-up comedy in Indonesia is still an emerging art form.
In the 1960s and 1970s, there were only a few stand-up comedy shows in Israel. The most prominent stand up performer at that time was Uri Zohar. The Israeli comedian and actorShaike Ophir also appeared in several stand-up shows. However, almost all of the entertainment shows during that period were written in advance, like those of the Pale Tracker trioor Hanoch Levin‘s cabarets. Another prominent stand-up performance in the 1970s was Yehonatan Geffen‘s stand-up performance which was satirical about the Israeli society and was mainly inspired by the American comedian Lenny Bruce.
Since the mid 1980s, and up until the present, stand-up performances caught momentum and many Israeli stand-up performers gained success in Israel. The actor Shmuel Vilozniis widely considered to be a prominent contributor to the rise of Stand-Up in Israel during that period. Vilozni who was originally fascinated by stand-up performances he watched in London decided to established a stand-up club in Tel Aviv. During that period another stand-up venue opened at “The American Zionists” hall. These shows gave relatively anonymous people the opportunity to attempt to entertain the audience for a few minutes and the audience determined whether they will go on or whether they would get off the stage.
During the 1990s, many comedy clubs were established across Israel. The most prominent of which was the “Camel Comedy Club”, in which many Israeli talents, whom later became successful Israeli entertainers, were initially discovered. One of the most prominent stand-up performances at the “Camel Comedy Club” was the “Comedy Store” which began as a stage performance and soon thereafter became a successful comedy TV show on the Israeli Channel 2. Stand-Up performers also appeared in other TV programs such as “Zehu Ze!” (which had guest appearances by Shmuel Vilozni and Debby & Nolly), Dudu Topaz‘s entertainment show (In which Naor Zion was discovered) as well as Yair Lapid‘s talk show (which had guest appearances by Adi Ashkenazi, Adir Miller and other Israeli stand-up comedians).
Malaysia in 2009 revitalized the local comedy scene with the introduction of 2 regular monthly shows. Timeout Comedy Thursday hosts monthly shows, which features young and professional comedians in open mike events. The Comedy Club KL, the counterpart of The Comedy Club Asia, offers monthly shows and has featured some of the best stand-up comedians from around the world with the likes of Greg Fleet, Akmal Saleh, Gina Yashere and Jeff Green in sold-out performances. Local stand-up comedians including Harith Iskander, Douglas Lim, Andrew Netto, Papi Zak, Phoon Chi Ho, Kuah Jenhan and Kavin Jay are regular performers in The Comedy Club KL. In October 2010, The Comedy Club Asia brought stand-up comedy to a new level in Kuala Lumpur by producing a show called ‘Kings and Queen of Comedy Asia’ featuring 5 of the best Asian comics in a sold-out 2,800 seater Plenary Hall at KLCC.In 2011, the show repeated it feat with a total attendance of 4,600. The year 2012 sees more regular open mic shows with ‘Comedy Kao Kao’ and ‘One Mic Stand’ in an effort to nurture more comedy talents. Malaysia held it’s biggest stand-up comedy show in history on 11 & 12 May 2012, when Russell Peters on his Notorious World Tour show sold 16,000 tickets for the 2 days show. Tickets were sold out in 2.5 hrs for each night.
Mexican stand-up and much of the country’s other comedy formats come down from the carpas (tents), which were traveling variety shows similar to vaudeville but with their own roots and traditions; added to this were the traditions of the pícaro (rogue) and Spanish theatre comedy. Until recently, Stand-up in Mexico consisted mainly on telling a standard repertoire of many jokes which have remained basically the same over the decades. Rather than the freshness of the material what is important is the style and manner in which the comedian delivers these old jokes. Among the most famous old school stand-up comedians are Polo Polo and Jorge Falcón.
A mix of Character based Cabaret and Stand-up Comedy has been successful with performers like Paola Izquierdo (her monologue has been translated to English and performed in Chicago and New York), Lalo España and a Pastege Collective (Juan Carlos Vives, Yuriria del Valle, Ana Francis Mor, Cecilia Sotres among others).
Recently, a new wave of stand-up comedians with original material and a more American style (keeping the “picaro” Mexican style in most cases), has emerged, thanks to the effort of cabaret managers Felipe Najera and Jaime Morales who created a Stand Up Comedy Fest and independent producers such as Isaac Salame. In June 2011 many of these new talents and producers created “Junio mes del Stand Up” in which more than 26 shows in different venues with different line-ups were presented. Actors Hector Suarez Gomis, Jorge Zarate, Juan Carlos Escalante and Gus Proal also form stand up comedians by giving workshops and shows in many places.
Singapore has a growing stand-up comedy scene with several active venues although there is still no full time comedy club. The Comedy Club Asia, founded by Australian comedian Jonathan Atherton, offers monthly shows featuring leading international comics such as Paul Ogata, Gina Yashere, Jeff Green, Ted Alexandro and many others.
Venues hosting The Comedy Club Asia’s shows in Singapore include The British Club, DBS Arts Centre, Hollandse Club, China One and BluJaz.
The Comedy Club Asia also produces stand-up comedy shows in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Cambodia. They presented Cambodia’s first ever stand-up show featuring Ward Anderson (USA), Shazia Mirza (UK) and Jonathan Atherton (Aus) at Pontoon Club, Phnom Penh in December 2011. This has since become a monthly event.
In 2010, The Comedy Club Asia hosted ‘Kings and Queen of Comedy Asia” featuring the best comedy talent in the Asian region. A second instalment ‘Kings and Queen of Comedy Asia 2’ (October 2011) became the biggest ever stand-up comedy event held in South East Asia- almost 8000 tickets sold over 4 nights in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The ‘Queen’ referred to in the title is Kumar, Singapore’s favourite humourist.
In 2010 Umar Rana launched Comedy Masala, an open mic show every Tuesday night. Comedy Masala has become a cult night, packing out The Home Club, Riverwalk, every week. It is also a vital breeding ground for local talent.
The phenomenal growth of stand-up comedy in Singapore and the huge number of aspiring local comics has spawned a second weekly open mic room – Stand-Up for Singapore – every Sunday night at China One, Clarke Quay.
In 2012, The Comedy Pimp Singapore launched Fight Comic, a weekly improvisational comedy slam. Fight Comic relies on the comedian coming up with punchlines on the spot, as well as games and rounds based on stand up comedy. Using elements of TV panel shows like Mock the Week, it features news satire based on weekly events, the first live comedy to do this in Singapore. It is currently held every Thursday at BluJaz, Bali Lane.
The Polish stand-up scene is mainly composed of 20-something college grads with backgrounds in media, philosophy, poetry, writing, and film. Currently the scene is limited to a small group of stand-up comedians performing on a regular basis. Almost all stand-up comedy shows are performed in Warsaw. In October 2010 the first season of the Polish “Comedy Central Presents” had its premiere. In 2011 rights for “Comedy Central Presents Season One” was bought by national TV station TVP2. On commercial TV station Polsat in October 2010 the first season of “Stand up. Zabij mnie smiechem” (“Kill me with laughter”) had its premiere. In Poland there is a group Stand-up Polska uniting stand-up performers.
Some famous Pakistani stand-up comedians are Umar Sharif, Shakeel Siddiqui, Kashif Khan and Sami Shah. Hasb-e-Haal, the weekend comedy show starring Sohail Ahmed, is one of the most widely-watched TV shows in the country, frequently topping Television ratings.
In Romania, stand-up comedy started in 2003, but gathered popular attention in 2007, when a video of Romanian comedian Teo went viral on YouTube. Since then, new clubs appeared in which stand up comedy can be performend, and more performers started getting attention. The best stand-up comedy clubs in Bucharest, the capital city, are Club 99, Cafe Deko, Cafe Godot, Prometheus. Some of the most well-known performers are Teo, Vio, Costel, Micutu, Sergiu, Bordea, Radu, Sorin, Badea Bobo and new uprising talentGabriel Gherghe aka Gabi.
In Spain, the rise of stand-up comedy was late in comparison to the Americas. The first related to the comic genre in the country takes place in 1999 with the Paramount ComedyChannel, which included as one of its flagship programs the new comic show, which highlighted monologuists as Angel Martin, Juan José Vaquero and Joaquín Reyes.
In 1999 it started a new TV show called El Club de la Comedia (Comedy Club) where became known comedians such as Luis Piedrahita, Alexis Valdes or Goyo Jiménez. Also include Andreu Buenafuente who had his own late night show called “Buenafuente”. He has also worked on the radio and published several books with his monologues.
In May 2006 Guy Stevens introduced stand up comedy culture by independently creating Switzerland‘s first regular Comedy Club in Zurich called the Funny Laundry (a torturedpun) which since 2007 he has toured around the country for four days every two weeks for 9 months of the year with other regular shows in Geneva, Lausanne and Basel. The very first shows in 2006 brought to Switzerland comedians Brendon Burns, Craig Campbell, Jim Jeffries, Russell Howard, Arthur Smith, Nina Conti and Kevin Bridges. Growing demand and success amongst the international expat and multi-lingual Swiss audiences has since seen the presentation of theatre sized shows with comics such as Ardal O’Hanlon,Stephen K. Amos, Rich Hall, Ed Byrne, Frankie Boyle, and Paul Merton’s Impro Chums.
Comedy in Taiwan is mostly sketched based with a lot of physical humor. In 2007, Live Comedy Club Taipei opened (Taipei’s first comedy club). Most of the acts performing there are sketch comedy and improv comedy. A group of expats also performs there regularly, including Torch Pratt (singer), Tom Levene, and ventriloquist Matt “The Puppet Guy” Bronsil. Lots of acts perform stand-up or duo comedy in Chinese, such as The Stand-up Party, Double Happiness, Strong, Rifat and Yubon Group.
Stand up comedy in Thailand is developing, the most famous comic being Udom Taepanich. ref>[http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=4263016
Stand-up comedy is the focus of four major international festivals: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland; Just for Laughs in Montreal, Canada; HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, CO, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Melbourne, Australia. A number of other festivals operate around the world, most prominently The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, the Vancouver Comedy Festival, the New York Comedy Festival, the Boston Comedy and Film Festival, the New York Underground Film Festival, the Sydney Comedy Festival, and the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny, Ireland. Radio hosts Opie and Anthony also produce a comedy tour called Opie and Anthony’s Traveling Virus Comedy Tour, featuring their own co-host, Jim Norton as well as several other stand-up comedians regularly featured on their radio show. There is also a festival in Hong Kong called the HK International Comedy Festival.
The festival format has proven quite successful at attracting attention to the art of stand-up, and is often used as a scouting and proving ground by industry professionals seeking new comedy talent.
Many of the earliest vaudeville-era stand-ups gained their greater recognition on radio. They often opened their programs with topical monologues, characterized by ad-libs and discussions about anything from the latest films to a missed birthday. Each program tended to be divided into the opening monologue, musical number, followed by a skit or story routine. A “feud” between Fred Allen and Jack Benny, was used as comic material for nearly a decade.
HBO presented comedians uncensored for the first time, beginning with Robert Klein in 1975, and was instrumental in reaching larger audiences. George Carlin was a perennial favorite appeared in fourteen HBO comedy specials.
Continuing that tradition, most modern stand-up comedians use television or motion pictures to reach a level of success and recognition unattainable in the comedy club circuit alone.
One of the newer trends in stand up comedy is to have comedians perform a personalized comedy roast or performance at a party or event, live over the internet via HD group video chat. This is in contrast to the traditional impersonal approach of an audience viewing a pre-rehearsed comedic set. CelebTango is a new venue for comedians and comedy fans to connect on a more personal level.