Laughter is the Best Medicine

What is Edgy Stand Up Comedy Material? – How to Be a Comedian – Greg Dean

[MUSIC] [APPLAUSE] okay question-and-answer time for
tonight and who does have a question for me? Yep, Jimmy. [O.S.] Some people talks about edgy material, uh, what does that mean? Edgy Material? Yeah, that’s one of
those phrases that gets tossed around a lot. It’s kinda … I don’t think that there is an exact meaning to it in the general, you know, community of comedy. it usually for a lot of people that meant cussing but that was edgy back when George Carlin and and Lenny Bruce were coming up
because then they were saying things that other people weren’t and that’s
kind of lost its power now I mean if just cussing and talking about things
that are inappropriate is edgy it’s easy to be edgy and I don’t think that’s what
it is so here’s my definition just so that there’s kind of a place for all of
you to think about it for me there’s there’s there’s two areas
we’re kind of dealing with when you’re performing okay there’s comedy which is
what we’re after and then there’s a line and then drama every follow okay
comedy and drama and in the middle right here is what I call the hurt line okay
now whenever you cross over from a comedy and cross over that line in some
true hurt because comedy does not deal with the true the real consequences of
hurtful things it always refrains them into something
else that we can laugh at but when for a particular audience you cross that line
you cross over and so and there’s some hurt the audience perceives you’re now
into drama and that’s not why they’re there one of the reasons they’re not
laughing is you’re actually entered the zone of drama for some very specific
reasons now here’s where it gets interesting
that hurt line moves some audiences –all you know you can go
deep into that hurt line with the kind they hurt like a drama area right and
they’ll go along with you I mean Anthony Jeselnik audience and stuff he drops
that line he pushes that line really a far into the very close to the drama in
almost a drama and keeps it going in for some people it does turn into drama they
go I don’t think that’s funny okay and that’s a choice Anthony makes
he knows you know that some people are gonna go with them someone who won’t but
you all need to learn to make that distinction because you know there is I
don’t want to offend any but if you don’t want to offend anybody
get out comedy every joke is going to offend somebody okay so that means you
can’t do any material at all so back to the hurt line the hurt line right here
okay okay so to me when you’re working with a subject matter a topic and
premise whatever it is you want to say that rhymes right at that line right on
the edge of comedy that’s so easily could just fall over into drama that to
me is edgy because you’re right on the edge the pain is almost visceral the
pain that the person is dealing with but they’ve got to handle it really well you
know Anthony Jeselnik whole bit about dropping a baby that’s edgy because that
for some people that crosses over that line for me and I thought it was
absolutely hilarious that’s I laughed really hard at that whole piece but for
me so that’s my definition of edgy if you’re right on that line right on that
line of drama but you’re still able to keep it in comedy that’s edgy because
it’s right on the edge of drama. [APPLAUSE]

2 thoughts on “What is Edgy Stand Up Comedy Material? – How to Be a Comedian – Greg Dean

  1. A good example of this that I found recently is Randy Writes a Novel. He goes in and out of drama and comedy very well, and the ending of it stuck with me

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