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The Ultimate Guide to Joke Brainstorming - How to Become a Stand Up Comedian

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

5 tips on coming up with comedy premises - the next step on how to become a Stand Up Comedian!

Creating ideas for a stand-up comedy set can be a daunting task. You need to come up with funny, original and relatable ideas that will make your audience laugh. But how do you get all your ideas down on paper?

In this blog post, we’ll look at step by step guide to help you start getting your thoughts out on paper.

comic learning how to become a comedian

Step 1: Find your premise

A good premise is the foundation of any successful comedy routine and can be the difference between an audience laughing hysterically or leaving in silence. With the right approach, you can create a premise that will have your audience in stitches.

The easiest thing to write about that is unique is something about you! This is where most comedians start out because you will automatically come up with a unique angle as nobody will have experienced this more than you!

If you would rather write about something else, think of topics in the news or everyday relatable situations, although these are much harder to find the funny in.

Step 2: Brainstorming

Now you’ve picked your topic, set a timer for 5 minutes and write down everything that enters your mind when you think of your chosen topic. There is no wrong or write answer, just write down everything that pops into your head, even if something isn’t related, whack it down otherwise you won’t be able to stop thinking about it.

Not only will you start to generate ideas that you might not have thought about, you will also free your mind and make space for more creativity to flow through!

Step 3: Finding Themes

Spend another few minutes grouping your output from the previous brainstorm into different topics. Try and find similarities and the key themes and then pick your favourite four, which are most likely to bear comedic fruit.

Step 4: There’s no funny without feels!

Here is where we start to add some attitude! We need your feelings and opinions because if you don’t care, then why should the audience? Here are some ideas of how what takes on a subject will uncover the most funny:

· What is weird about this topic?

· What do you find scary about it?

· What is hard about it?

· Where is the absurdity?

For each of these topics, spend 5 minutes writing down answers to the above. Picture you are having a rant to your friends and getting all your humorous opinions off your chest.

Step 5: Don’t Claim, Demonstrate!

Here is the important part. It is key you don’t just tell us how you feel, you show us!

Only 7% of meaning is communicated through words, the rest is through body language and tone of voice so think of Act Outs or changes in your voice intonation. If you find something scary, show us! If something makes you angry, be livid on-stage!

You can also do this by painting a picture for your audience and giving examples. The most interesting examples come from when you are comparing two completely different ideas, like for example something really big, important and exciting vs something everyday, safe and mundane.

Now you should have some ideas brewing and it’s on to writing some jokes, which we will cover in the next part of this series, where we will cover every part of the journey to becoming a stand up comedian!

If you want to learn more, Grainne Maguire has a brilliant course on this and some of these processes have been inspired by her! She is a fantastic comedian and has read all the comedy books and attended the courses so you don’t have to! Check out her amazing course here -

Other comedy courses worth checking out:

Angel Comedy is the Comedian’s favourite comedy club and institution. They have some fantastic courses available with significant discounts and bursaries for those who need it -

Most of the biggest names in comedy have done a Jill Edwards School -

THE School of Comedy -

Courses for beginners and regulars for both comedy writers and performers with opportunities to showcase your work in London’s West End! -

Want to see how it's done before you venture onto the circuit? We've been touted as one of the best comedy clubs in London, so if you're keen to see the pros in action, slide on down to one of our shows! Buy tickets for Comedy in Your Eye on our main page here!

If you want to learn more about how to become a Stand Up Comedian, check out our other articles here.


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