Stand-up comedy in the Lone Star State has been a mainstay for years. While more associated with the clubs in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, many great stand-ups got their start right here. You have to look no further than the Blue Collar Comedy Tour to see the influence that Texas has had on the nation's comedy. Not to mention Sam Kenison, who started his comedy career in Dallas, or the innumerable others.


It is rare now that someone has never seen Stand-Up Comedy. The most common forms are seen regularly on TV, including the opening monologues of such greats as Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, etc.

Likewise, stage performances of one man controlling an audience with their comedy is usually "Stand-Up". This includes Dave Chapelle, Dennis Leary, Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Elayne Boosler, Rita Rudner, Kathleen Madigan, Laurie Kilmartin, Judy Tenuta, and many, many more.

One man, or woman, is on stage with a microphone and telling jokes and humorous stories in front of an audience. Literally, he is standing up and doing comedy.

Different clubs have different standards for lengths of material.

Some open mic nights have as little as 1 minute for a performance. 5 or 10 minutes is more common.

Generally a comedian should have 3 five minute sets prepared. These sets should be able to be performed back-to-back to make a 10 or 15 minute set.

20 or 30 minute sets are for more experienced stand-up comedians. Of course, if you have that experience, you probably aren't asking this question.

The simple answer is yes, you can. That doesn't mean that you will be able to do it well, though.

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. The journey to comedy is more complex.

You need to find your voice. What are you trying to say with your comedy?

You need to find material. What strikes you as funny? Keep a notebook and write everything down.

You need to find your angle. How are you going to approach your audience?

You need to find a club. Where are you going to find an audience to practice with? That means open mics and as many spots as you can get.

You need to fail... a lot. You learn more through your failures than your successes.

You need to critique yourself. Video yourself when you can and review what went wrong as well as what went right.

You need self-confidence. The audience smells blood and will not be impressed by you if you aren't impressed by yourself.

You need to get up and perform... and perform... and perform...

You get the idea.

An open mic is an opportunity for unscheduled performers to get up and present their material in front of a live audience. This means that the mic (short for microphone) is open to those who ask.

These nights have become extremely popular and most stand-up clubs offer open mic nights. If you would like to perform on an open mic night, you should ask in advance as to the rules, etc., regarding the open mic night. Often you have to reserve your spot, or they draw from a hat at the club.

Many of the greats of comedy got their start at open mic nights. Many others use the chance to try material that they will later use in front of their paying audiences.

Many stand-up clubs have programs that allow you to learn how to perform, generate material, and will put you in front of an audience at the end of the classes.

Simply contact your local comedy club, and ask them to help you find a teacher who can help take you to the next level.



We remember those who have helped to make the comedy landscape what it is today.

Improv Comedy


Improvisational comedy has been a great way for people to bond and to see something that only the people in the room can share. The show couldn't be repeated even if the performers tried to.

Stand-up Comedy


The traditional form of comedy where someone literally stand-up before an audience. The comedian tells stories and jokes to entertain while possibly speaking towards a specific theme.



Find locations around the state where you might find comedy. This can include cities, towns, and areas in various regions. These can include public shows and private parties.



Learn a bit of the vocabulary used by comedians to communicate with one another. It can help you understand the process and the people who have chosen comedy as a vocation.