Stand-up comedy Information

Stand-up comedy is a style of comedy where a comedian performs for a live audience, usually speaking directly to them. It is usually performed by a comedian with the aid of a microphone, either hand-held or mounted. The performer is known as a stand-up comic, stand-up comedian or simply a stand-up.

Stand-up performances are usually short, where the comedian recites a fast-paced succession of humorous stories, short jokes , and one-liners, which comprise what is typically called a monologue, routine or act. Some stand-up comedians use props, music or magic tricks to enhance their acts. Stand-up comedy is often performed in comedy clubs, bars, colleges and theaters, but there is no real restriction on where the craft can be performed. Many smaller venues hold "open mic" events, where anyone can take the stage and perform for the audience, offering a way for amateur performers to hone their craft and possibly break into professionalism. In North America, many comedy clubs feature the now-iconic brick wall as the backdrop for stand-up performances.

Many stand-up comedians work for years to develop 45 minutes of material, and usually perform their bits repeatedly, slowly perfecting them over time. Actor-comedian Will Ferrell has called stand-up comedy "hard, lonely and vicious".

Wikipedia, Stand-up comedy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-up_comedy (as of Apr 7, 2010)

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