There’s an unscientifically proven fact in the comedy business that the toughest crowds to perform stand-up in front of are “industry crowds”; more specifically- a room full of other comedians. There is, however, a small percentage of the comic population who thrive in this environment. They are known as “comic’s comics” and they are universally adored by their contemporaries. At the same time, because they’re often too “insider” or “alternative”, it’s not uncommon for them to struggle in front of “regular” crowds. But, of that small sub-set of the stand-up comic population as a whole, there’s an even smaller percentage of comic’s comics who are also hilarious in the eyes of mainstream audiences. Basically, out of every 10,000 comedians, there’s Louis C.K..
My point is not that such comedic phenoms should be revered and adored for wearing tired jeans and a flimsy black T-shirt on stage at a show for which you’ve paid $90. It’s that even the extremely uncommon, über funny comic who can kill it in front of both the public and their peers, like Louis C.K., would die a horrible death performing for my kids.
In general, my kids are mortified and embarrassed by the very fact that I exist. But, they’re particularly repulsed by my attempts to be funny. When I attempt humour in front of their friends, guests at our house, or within earshot of random strangers, this disgust is amplified in their still developing, adolescent bodies to seizure-inducing levels. My kids are the ultimate “tough crowd”. Of course, if you’re a parent, you have to work your own crowd of in-house hecklers. But, if you parent like me, there is a positive correlation in the amount of anguish they feign and the amount of joy you experience.
Here’s another installment in my groundbreaking, lifestyle, human interest, parenting, docu-social experiment, innovative digital media series, Translating “Teen” to English. This one I call, “Son Joke”, and it’s about how your teen son expresses his admiration for your creativity.