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cstreet_1986
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I was wondering what do you say when you are trying to make a joke and nobody laughs?

Before you answer, I want to make clear the two situations this could happen in (there a probably more, but these are the ones I'm worried about - especially the second one):

1) You have made an obvious joke which simply didn't make anyone laugh.

2) You have made a joke, but the audience either didn't understand it or, if the joke is still going, doesn't understand the joke/gag

Thanks,

Chris
Mario Morris
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Do you have any examples?
May be your foot note will help
"The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives" Albert Einstein
"Think outside the box -- everyone else is too busy trying to think outside it" De'vo Vom Schattenreich
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constantine
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These are the jokes,folks.
Henny Youngman 1938
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Kozmo
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Do I need to tell you when the joke starts or ends?

koz
BroDavid
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Quick, Look up folks. See it? That joke just went over your heads!

Well, that is really interesting. They got that joke down south (up north... depending on where you are playing) ..

Oh I see, a sophisticated audience eh? You only laugh at dirty jokes. Well you wont hear any from me, so you may as well get used to this...

Come on people, if I have to explain them, I tend to lose interest.

If you didn't get that one, check with the guy over there. He got it!

Come one now. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out these jokes, folks... And audience last week didn't even look as smart as you, but they laughed.

From here on out, if you don't get the joke, laugh anyway. It is good for my ego.

There was a guy once who didn't laugh at my jokes, and I smacked him. Don't make me take you all on.....

These are sohpisticated jokes People! That means that you laugh even if you don't get them....

Ok, if one guy doesn't laugh, I figure he didn't hear it. But if all of you don't laugh the mnext time, I am going to tell that joke, auntil I am sure that you all heard it. (Tell it again. It wil get a laugh, and the worse it si the bigger the laugh...)

OK, enough, I am all tired out.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2004-09-19 13:37, cstreet_1986 wrote:
I was wondering what do you say when you are trying to make a joke and nobody laughs?

Before you answer, I want to make clear the two situations this could happen in (there a probably more, but these are the ones I'm worried about - especially the second one):

1) You have made an obvious joke which simply didn't make anyone laugh.

2) You have made a joke, but the audience either didn't understand it or, if the joke is still going, doesn't understand the joke/gag

Thanks,

Chris


I figure that I either did not tell it right, or my timing was off, or I have a non English-speaking audience.

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Jeff Hayden
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LOL at Bill Palmer. My thoughts were similar.

If you are not getting laughs then you could just
have a really bad/dumb/mean audience. But more than
likely, it is one of two things:

#1) The joke simply isn't funny

#2) You didn't tell it right

If you tell the joke in two different situations
and neither one gets a laugh, it's time to reconsider
that joke.

-JH
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amadrigal
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I say sometimes:
1 "O.K.!!? I'll try that joke in spanish!"
2 tapping the imaginary mic on my lapel, and say "Is this thing on? tap tap... tap tap
3 "Yeah, I'm just checkin to see if you fall for the bad jokes!!!" "?"
4 "Welcome to INSERT NAME's "Bad Jokathon"
you get the point
If you cannot convince them, confuse them.
Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972)
Mario Morris
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BroDavid
That is good stuff, I like it.
Mario
constantine
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If a proven bit falls flat,for any reason,use a throwaway line and move on.Watch how Lino and Letterman handle this every night.Study them like masterclassses and take notes.Danny says you need to have lines for every occasion.Use a line that blames the joke,"that was a throw-away joke"(wad up a piece of paper and throw it over your sholder and keep going",not the audience or yourself.Never stop there are people who are ejoying your act,even if thay arn't demonstrating it the way you expected.
Of course a bit that doesn't work repeatedly needs to be droped,failure to do so is your fault.
What,wasn't it funny?,is a funny line.
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drwilson
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OK, my joke died. Let's have a moment of silence...
Danny Hustle
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Cstreet,

As others have said, it may just be that the joke isn't funny.

But, if you are sure the joke is solid, it may be a matter of educating the audience.

In the early to mid 80's I did stand up comedy. Just local stuff but still you develop a wealth of material that you know is funny. It always gets a laugh.

When I started working the street I would do some of these bits and lines and they got no reaction. This was tried and tested stuff what was going wrong?

Well, I was not working a comedy club where people paid a $10 cover two drink minimum to sit down and have a few laughs.

This audience is shopping, on their way to dinner, or coming back from a movie. They are not in "I am ready to laugh" mode. They are also in public standing among other people in public. Most of us are taught that it is rude to laugh at people in public.

Like when you are riding the subway and some guy comes in with a bag of groceries and drops a can out of his bag. When he bends over to pick up the can he splits his pants. We all know it's funny but we avert our eyes and stifle the laugh.

This is how people react in public. We are not comfortable with laughing. So, it is my job to get them there.

If you think this is the case, you need to educate them that it is okay to laugh

If I drop a joke that I know is funny and I get no laugh I tell them it is okay to laugh. Also doing a warm up where I instruct the audience to clap and cheer puts them in this mode. I want them to be demonstrative and I need to let them know that.

That's my 2 cents.

Best,

Dan-
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Jeff Hayden
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Nice post Dan.

Assuming the joke IS funny and that your delivery
was good, saying "It's OK to laugh" in a lighthearted manner might be all that needs to be said.

-JH
Did you see that?
Pete Biro
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When an audience in a club can see one another the laughs are LESS, in darkness the laughs are MORE.

Also, I don't do jokes, but create situational, comment humor.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
ed rhodes
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Rip Torn;

"You're gonna think about these when you get home and LAUGH!"
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"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
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Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2004-09-20 13:29, Pete Biro wrote:
When an audience in a club can see one another the laughs are LESS, in darkness the laughs are MORE.

Also, I don't do jokes, but create situational, comment humor.


Bingo and bingo Pete. When I work at night here in Harvard I have a street light that shines on my circle and my edge stands in the dimmer area of the pitch. They always laugh more.

I also agree that most of the time the really good jokes and bits are created by the situation and interplay with the spectators.

I know some performers who can do a rope trick while telling a "These two guys walk into a bar" joke and have it play funny but for mere mortals I think it would fall flat.

My best bits have been created by my audience observing my show and commenting on something. If it gets a laugh I'll put it in.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
drwilson
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Pete,

Comedy based on character and situation is worth the work, that's for sure. Dr. Wilson doesn't tell jokes, but people find it pretty funny to see him quietly appear to lift a wallet and toss it into the hat on the floor once the victim is in the thumbcuffs. Plenty of characters are funny because one simple idea, typically a flaw, keeps resurfacing again and again in new situations. I wish more magicians would discover this.

Yours,

Paul
cstreet_1986
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Thanks everyone for your insightful (spelling correct? is it even a word?) knowledge. It is a sort of sarcastic revelation of a trick (which isn't actually a move in magic) in a funny way, but a serious persona is taken on because everything seems so obvious, but it is played as a major secret.

I have had people laugh really hard in situations, but I haven't tried it on the street. I just didn't know if it would work. Thanks,

Chris
Danny Hustle
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Gazzo's book "Read Between The Lines" is now available from Gazzo's website http://beatthecheat.com

It is $22.00 US Post Paid.

It is broken down into sections like one liners, hat lines, walkaways, etc...

Heading each chapter is a section describing when and how these lines should be used.

It is absolutely the most comprehensive gag file ever put together for a street worker. Just flat out awesome, and a great bargain for guys looking for lines and bits. They are all in here guys.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
constantine
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Beat ya', I ordered mine yesterday.
Constatine 49%er
“The way of the transgressor is hard—to quit.”
—Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith
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