Standup Comedy Ruined My Life

Funny People
Funny People

I started doing standup comedy 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve lost friends, family and even my dog. My own mailman won’t even look me in the eye. Every time I get on a stage, every time I write a new “joke,” it’s just another painful reminder of my shrinking relevance in a universe too cruel and too big to care.

And for what exactly? Validation? Drink tickets? So I can maybe spend a week giddy about middling for Rory Scovel at the Cackle Hole only for all of my non-comedy friends to ask “Who the hell is Rory Scovel?”

It doesn’t matter anyway. Because no matter how funny you are, no matter how many jokes you write or contests you win, at the end of the day all anyone is ever gonna wanna ask you about is Louis CK.

“Have you heard his bit about flying?”

And you’ll want to erupt. You’ll want to tell them that comedy is a much more expansive and diverse world. It’s an industry brimming with talent and imagination that extends far beyond the neurotic ramblings of Louis CK and Marc Maron.

“Really though, have you heard his bit about flying?”

And if you have any sense of decency or restraint, all you can say back is:

“Of course I have. It’s… it’s incredible.”

And sure, it all looks fun. It looks really fun. And it is ­– for a while.

One night you’re crushing for a sold-out crowd at the Chuckle Hut. The next night you’re not crushing for a sold-out crowd at the Chuckle Hut. Why? Because that’s just “the way it fucking is, man” (at least that’s what Denny, the club owner, told me anyway).

If you’re thinking about pursuing standup comedy, do yourself a favor and don’t. Go to law school, find love, build a family and mow the lawn every Saturday. Just live a long, secure, boring life and live it until you die. But whatever you do, don’t do standup comedy. Don’t throw it all away like I did.

My girlfriend? Gone. My parents? Gone. Dignity? Lets not talk about it.

Standup comedy ruined my life. Then it saved my life. Then it ruined my life again. I guess you can say “standup comedy ruined my life.”

But I can’t stop. I won’t stop. It is highly unlikely that I will stop. Standup is the only thing I have left. It’s the worst best ­– no definitely the worst ­– decision I ever made.

I used to have dreams. Now all I have is a drinking problem. TC mark

PS: can you sign me up at the open mic? I’m running a little late. Thanks, man! 

Related

More From Thought Catalog