Arts & Entertainment
Lesson time 15:22 min
A strong opening and closing are the keys to a memorable act. Steve talks about the importance of these moments and shows you how to use them to your advantage.
I was always interested in comedian's opening lines. And I saw Richard Pryor when I-- it felt like an important moment, the opening. And I saw Richard Pryor one time. And it was the early '70s. And I was still struggling as a comedian. And he was supposed to do two shows at the Troubadour, one at 8:00 and one at 10:30. And now it's 9:30 and he hasn't even shown up. And finally he walks in, and I'm thinking in my conservative comedy sense, oh, he's made the audience really mad. He's an hour and a half late. He's made them really mad. And he goes on, and his opening line is hope I'm funny. And everyone loved him. And he killed. He was so unpredictable. He was what everyone wanted. He's kind of a, I'd say, Bill Murray quality. You just can't pin him down. He feels like an outsider. It's a great quality. I saw a comedian the other night on this special. I think it was a Netflix special. Reggie Watts, he was very, very good, but his opening was crawling through the audience. And they were seated on the floor, so he just crawled over their heads on his way up to the stage. And it gets your attention. Then I saw Sam Kinison once. He was a great stand up comedian in a small club. I saw him at the Comedy Store in Beverly Hills. And he came on-- it was comedian after comedian after comedian. And he came on and he said, you've seen a lot of comedians here tonight. Some really good, some, you know, nice, OK. But there's a difference between them and me. Them, you might want to see again sometime. And it just set off his show in such the right way-- iconoclast. He also was telling the audience, at the same time, I'm going to say some things here that you might not like. [MUSIC PLAYING] I had several openings. When I got started playing arenas, I opened with the magic dime trick. So I'd be in this vast stadium and I'd hold up, see the date on the dime. And then people would laugh. It's a way to acknowledge the circumstance and how strange it is. I had one where I'd come out-- like I said, I'd stand way off mic and start talking, like I thought I was in front of the mic. And people would laugh. Or another thing I did was I'd say good evening. It's great to be here. And then I'd move a few feet. And it's like, no, no, it's great to be here. No, no, no it's great to be here. It's great to be here. And I'd move around. And these sounds stupid when you just say them, but in the spirit of the moment, they were funny. They were funny to me. It was exactly what I wanted to do. Oh, go away, go away. Oh, they have these things here, good. I have a little bit of a pet peeve for comedians who come out and say, how we doing tonight? Everybody feeling good? First of all, you've blown one of the most important moments of your show, which...
One of Steve’s first gigs was at the drive-in movies. When the audience liked a joke, they honked. In this comedy class, Steve shares insights from performing for cars and humans over a 50-year career spanning sold-out arenas and blockbuster films. Learn how to find your voice, gather material, develop an act, and take your comedy writing to the next level.
My comedy has improved so much around my friends and family and am ready to go on stage!
I chose this Masterclass for the same reason I’ve chosen others: I’m at a crossroads in my life (again!), and I’m looking for inspiration and perspective. Though I have no plans to become a comedian--but who knows?--Mr. Martin’s Masterclass gave me a lot to think about. I’ll probably watch some of these sessions again.
Mr Matins' intelligence is so obvious and complete. I am a musician with 40 years of experience and I am impressed with the parallels between our two worlds. Performing must have similarities despite the discipline. Also the practice, rehearsal and continued editing to make a performance seem spontaneous appears identical. It was like talking to a fellow road-warrior.
It's very supportive and informative information to this beginner right here!!! I'm excited to hear more.