I had my audition for Comic Strip Live yesterday. Every year or so, the Comic Strip holds a lottery where you get a date to audition for the club. For the audition, you do 5 minutes after the 8:30pm show ends…for the same audience. The first show was over 2 hours long, audience members will leave over the course of the show, and then at the end the host goes, “And now, the auditions! Did I mention there are auditions?” The remaining patrons groan at the realization they’re now hostages. That’s a little over-dramatic, but the point is, the audience is not excited to see you. It’s actually a good system, because only seasoned comics with solid jokes will do well with them (unless, of course, the audience is mostly friends of a comic auditioning.”
That said, I did not pass. I did alright, but it wasn’t a strong set. The things that hit, hit. The things that did not, did not. The booker, JR, gave me the best possible feedback for not passing, I think. He said it was obvious I was creative and had some solid jokes, but needed to be more concise with my writing and edit more. This is what I half-expected going into it, so it was nice to get reassurance that I’m not that delusional on my comedic abilities.
We got to watch some of the regular Comic Strip acts, too, and while watching them I realized I probably wasn’t going to pass. I don’t think many of them were insanely better than me, but a lot of their jokes were soooooo predictable, or at least things I’ve heard variations of previously. I got more and more depressed as I saw what the audience was laughing at, and even saw pros doing jokes I’ve thrown away because I thought they were too easy (I still think they’re too easy).
But then again, I might be too critical. I was watching Jim Gaffigan’s new special, Mr. Universe, and he did a long bit on the Dominoe’s pasta bowls. To me, the bit seems like a variation on Patton Oswalt’s KFC Famous Bowls joke. Gaffigan does something different with it, which should be fine. Logically, both jokes are unique, but emotionally, they feel like the same thing to me. But I’m starting to wonder if anyone would agree with that.