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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

Questions? Email us at 

Nov 17, 2016


Today we celebrate our 100,000th download with a special episode stand up comedy how to start from scratch. This is a great episode if you have yet to get started because you just feel it's all overwhelming.

I bring in my co-host Gavin Miller to walk through a few “first steps” I recommend to new comedians. Gavin, by the way, just saw his baby girl take her first steps this past week. And, before Gavin took his paternity leave, he had started to dip his toes in the stand-up world. All that changed with the baby. But now he has a little time to start back into it.

Starting comedy form scratch isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Waiting for the right time to begin is a mistake. Because the right time was yesterday. The first step is grabbing a notebook and start accumulating the “seeds” of stories and jokes you will one day tell onstage.

The major points of the STAND UP COMEDY HOW TO START episode are:

  • Realistic expectations as a beginning comedian
  • Deciding what to give up in order to pursue comedy
  • How long it may take to get traction doing stand-up
  • Deciding when to “buy” and “sell” your comedy career
  • The types of comedians you want to hang out with offstage

Specifically, we talk about:

  • Taking an inventory of your life experiences
  • Finding a writing place where you can be isolated and focussed
  • Taking stock of the stories you like to tell at parties
  • The importance of putting yourself in the stories and jokes you tell
  • Gavin’s “leg up” experience from his childhood
  • Using other people in your stories to say the controversial things
  • How a lot of stories can help you avoid writer’s block
  • Gavin’s most recent embarrassing moment
  • Asking friends what stories you tell that hey think are funny
  • Making notes when you make people laugh in conversation
  • Changing the stories and altering facts to make it comedy
  • Avoiding judging your writing AS YOU WRITE
  • Silencing the critical voice in your head
  • The benefits of writing first thing the morning, while driving and before bed
  • Deciding what to give up in order to pursue comedy
  • Why Gavin was folding another man’s underwear
  • The pro’s and con’s of the open mic scene
  • How many shows it takes to “get your feet wet” in stand-up
  • Why now is the best time ever for you to start stand-up comedy

If you would like to get more specific information on getting started stand-up comedy, I recommend the following blogs and podcast episodes:

Overcoming Stage Fright

New Comedian Questions

Top Mistakes New Comedians Make

How to Write a Joke

If you would like to take an online stand-up comedy writing course to help you get things started in the right direction, please click HERE

This episode is brought to you by PATREON SPONSOR JOHN CHARLTON, and by Audible. Visit for a free audio download and 3o day trial!



School Of Laughs

Club 52

"Club 52" is a 52 week, email based stand-up program. It will include a weekly challenge designed to help you become a better comedian. This year long program will feature an email every Friday from me. I will ask you to take a serious look at some of your business practices, writing processes, performance techniques, branding, marketing and a whole lot more.

The program starts the week you join and continues for 52 weeks as long as you are still supporting the podcast through Patreon at the $7 a month level.

Questions? Email me (Rik) at Or call 1-888-895-8549. Or, if you are ready, head on over to to get started.