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School Of Laughs

Welcome to the School of Laughs podcast. I am your host, Rik Roberts.

My goal is to help you get bigger, better, and more bookable as a comedian. Use the search tool at to find episodes on your favorites topics within comedy.  Be sure to subscribe and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Feb 1, 2019

Its time for the ever popular "After School Special"! Today I chat with a few students after a Stand-Up Comedy Level One: Writingclass in Nashville. They ask insight fun questions about choosing the right material for the right audience, how to include the opposite sex in your material, and how to survive the politically correct atmosphere that has chewed up and spit out so many of today's comedians.


Michael, an EMT, asks about how you find your audience, how long does it take to develop your niche and how you write material specifically for a type of audience.

June, who works in special education, asks “What do guys think is funny?” Specifically, are there some topics that guys are naturally uncomfortable listening to?

We talk about including the guys by writing tag lines or using analogies that make the material accessible. My approach is to include everyone every five minutes. I don’t stay on a topic that is so exclusive that it alienates part of the audience for more than a few minutes at a time.

Amy, a real estate broker, asks about how older folks can get into comedy. Is it easier, harder or how difficult is it to become a comedian when you are a little bit older. My advice is to find the people who want to listen to what you have to say and go to them. Sometimes hoping they find you is just not going to cut it. I give specific advice on how you can connect to your potential audience and start from where you are now.

Judgemental "PC" Audiences

Michael asks a mother question, this time about the political correctness in comedy today. Has it ruined the ability for a comedian to say what is on their mind? Don’t audiences realize they don’t have to watch a show if they don’t like it?

My take is that if you present yourself as an authentic comedian, it is hard for the audience to separate your comedic angle from your true point of view. So write a joke that explores all angles of a topic. Be aware of potential animosity and write to address those audience members.

It comes down to intent. You must make that clear on stage so that the joke can survive. I don’t like the judgmental / TMZ type of audience member who is looking for a scoop on your bad behavior to share on social media. But, if you make yourself clear you should be able to avoid winding up in their cross-hairs.


This episode is brought to you by Scott Love and CLUB 52.

Club 52is a one-year program designed to challenge you to get bigger, better and more bookable. You will be prompted to examine your material, performance and business practices via email each week.

Club 52 patreon


You will define your stage persona, style and point of view. You will learn how to create expectations through your marketing, branding and introductions. From nailing your elevator pitch, to refining your value proposition, you will learn how to make it easier for bookers to hire you.

Meet comics from around the country during a quarterly online “hangout”. As a group, we tackle our top struggles and how to approach overcoming them. Think of it as your personal monthly mastermind group. Over the course of the year you will learn how to get more gigs, and leverage every opportunity that comes your way.

Sound good?

Club 52 is available to anyone supporting the podcast through Patreon at $7 a month or more. To learn more about Patreon, just click here. Or go to