More Realistic Sitcoms About a Stand-Up Comedian

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The Eternal Return of Steve Brady

In 1993, after he had a great set the night the club owner was in town, Steve Brady got passed as “the long-haired comic.” Steve Brady’s intro credit says he was on Kimmel, but he was actually a panelist on The Man Show in 2002. He’s been doing the same set to tourists for fifteen years. All the waiters can recite his crowd work, and he absolutely murders every time.

Somehow Has a Sitcom

Chloe runs the best bar show in Brooklyn at a venue whose name is transgressively gay, even by 2019 standards. She has never performed at a comedy club in Manhattan. Chloe is successful because she figured out that open mics and clubs are a waste of time compared to a unique brand, effective social media, and a community that supports you. And dating the son of the CCO of William Morris.

Stan Carmichael, Comedy “Teacher”

They say that if you can’t do, teach. Luckily for Stan, as a stand-up comedy teacher, he gets to do both. When Stan’s not running classes at $350 a piece, he’s headlining his own bringer shows. Stan lets his rising stars perform on his shows, but once they get too good, he blacklists them. Stan makes $90,000 a year and doesn’t pay taxes.

Everybody’s Best Friends with Bobby

Bobby even has a girlfriend, Sarah, who is also a comedian. She’s going to be more successful than Bobby because she works harder and takes nothing for granted. But Bobby’s got friends, and that’s nice too.

Mary’s Glamorous Podcast Comeback

The road. The clubs, the bars, the motels, the lonely life of a working comedian. Yep, making it as a comedian isn’t all that glamorous. Sometimes it’s just straight up bleak and depressing. Except when Mary starts an intimate, surprisingly popular podcast about nothingness, emptiness, and existential yearning. And when her Patreon rakes in six figures a month, all of a sudden, holy shit, comedy is really fucking glamorous.

Former Judd Apatow Film Intern/PA/Producer Steps in Front of the Camera!

Working in Hollywood, it’s hard to take charge of your own creativity. That’s why after working/interning/producing several Judd Apatow comedies, Angela/Simone/Judd is pivoting to stand-up comedy. Doing stand-up requires its own sense of community. Instead of the usual community of coworkers on set, Angela/Simone/Judd’s new coworkers are actually the audience members. And the half-hour special producer, Sharon. And the camera people, Alice and Tim. They’re coworkers, too.

Mike, King of Open Mics

To help get booked in NYC, Mike started doing open mics whose audiences are mostly other disaffected, white male comedians. Say the most offensive thing you can, you get the biggest laughs. Mike does mics all day, every day. It’s called putting in “the work.” Mike gets so good at mics that he finally gets booked on his friends’ shows. But that’s the thing about being great at open mics. The audience at a show hasn’t put in “the work,” so they don’t get the jokes that kill at mics. And when Mike retreats to mics, “the work” suddenly feels a lot more voluntary.

Brandon Sells Weed

The most important thing to do in stand-up is to make friends with comedians through common interests outside of comedy. Then, get people who are successful in comedy to owe you thirty bucks. The third and fourth most important things in stand-up comedy are working hard and talent. Brandon’s not sure which is third and which is fourth.

YouTube Comedian

Shane has never done stand-up comedy live. Like Clark Kent, thinks Shane, his non-internet life displays a quiet, nebbish counterpart to his secret, superhero internet persona. Nobody in his personal life has any idea that he has 29,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. His parents assume his newfound wealth is prescription drug money. In fact, very much like Bruce Wayne, dreams Shane, nobody has any idea that aloof, wealthy Shane is actually the empathetic hero in the YouTube series: SeanJuan O’Sanchez, the Mexican Leprechaun.

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