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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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Mar 17, 2016

Are you trying to emulate your favorite comedians? Have you already determined your comedic style before your third open mic? If so, you may be limiting yourself and shortchanging your potential.

In this episode, Dan Swartwout (or “Swarty" as his friends call him) and I discuss how our influences are like training wheels. They help at the beginning, but should be abandoned after you get a little momentum riding the bike. In short, you should experiment early and often, but be sure to let your style develop.

Swarty and I met almost 20 years ago at his very first open mic. Now, he headlines across the country at clubs and corporate events. Also known for his love for THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES, Dan delivers a ton of gold nuggets in this interview.

We talk about:

  • His very first open mic
  • The importance of developing emcee and hosting skills
  • Hosting the Cash Explosion lottery show in Columbus, OH
  • How to deal with a heckler
  • Trends in merchandise sales after shows
  • Finding your voice
  • What to do when a show isn’t going well
  • How a comedian is like a cornerback in football
  • Reading the crowd and delivering the show appropriately
  • And a whole lot more!

Check out Dan Swartwout at any  


If you have beginning comedy questions that need answered just send them in. Email them I will answer them on the podcast or in a blog post.

And frequently asked questions are tackled on our YouTube channel

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