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January 2013

5 Ways You Won’t Become Famous In Comedy

We all have dreams of making it big. Every comic has entertained the idea of what it would be like to be famous. You may run into the “comedy snob” who says that they don’t care about becoming famous and only do stand-up for the art. They’re lying. I know, I was one for the first year.

Typically new comics don’t have much of a handle on what it takes to become famous… err… successful, in the world of comedy. You can’t plan for fame (that’ll be a different post). It’s easy to let yourself think that you’ll do a few sets at a local club, an agent will see you & sign you, and then you’ll be famous. Not so.

  1. You won’t get famous from one set.
  2. You won’t get famous from the coffee shop open mic.
  3. You won’t get famous from performing once a month.
  4. You won’t get famous from stealing someone else’s jokes.
  5. You won’t get famous from doing just one set in New York City or LA.


The danger for most is that they think one single event will change everything. They think, “If I can just get one show in front of a high-powered agent, I’ll get signed to a big contract.” And who can blame them. That’s what happens in the movies & TV. American Idol (and the like) has destroyed reality for hundreds of thousands of performers.

If you want to work, you have produce a reliable product. Nobody’s going to take a chance on someone who hasn’t proven themselves.

So go prove yourself.

Marketing Yourself In Comedy

If you’re going to try to market yourself online pick the easiest name to remember… usually your name… so you can tell people onstage and off. Say your name is Ed Barnett. Register and sign up for @edbarnett on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Don’t go around using some random twitter handle like @FunnyEd456 or a website like  It’s all about branding & being easy to remember.

You want to  be able to say to the audience just as you’re leaving the stage:

“Check me out at or on Twitter at @edbarnett.”

It’s also much easier to communicate this to industry types (if you’re at this point in your career).

If you can’t get try ( or Hyphenated names ( are less preferable because you’ll always have to remind them to use that hyphen.

Whatever you pick, stick with it.