I've been kind of hand-wringy about this latest round of controversy about gender, offensivness and censorship in comedy. I get frustrated with the merry-go-round of dead horses we beat over and over again and never get anywhere because so many forces are stacked against an open and understanding dialog. But it seems like this time, so many other folks were having the same frustration that they took the time to actually put out some very thoughtful ideas and conversations. Posts that were nuanced and honest. Nice little beacons of reason in the garbage cloud of yelling
I feel a little redundant writing this after reading Erikka Innes' very thoughtful and even-handed Six Thoughts on Rape Jokes and given that I already wrote a piece about the unhealthy relationship between feminism and comedy the last time we all had this shouting match. I even made this clever infographic about it
Los Angeles still hasn't managed to erase my concept of "seasons" so happy first day of Spring, everyone! Spring is traditionally a time for rebirth & renewal so..um.. yeah, I'm a little sick so I can't even come up with a stretch about how you should renew your love of my writing or something. So, here's some of the cool things I've written recently.
While you were enjoying stovepipe hats and wooden teeth or whatever it is you're supposed to do for President's Day, there was some cool comedy shit going down in the Groupiehood. So in case you missed it:
Bonnie McFarlane has a new documentary out called "Women Aren't Funny." She went around the country talking to guys like Dane Cook, Chris Rock, Doug Stanhope, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Artie Lange and Colin Quinn about the cliche that just won't die. She was kind enough to talk with me about it and it was such a fun conversation, I wish I could have trapped her all day. So, check out my Bonnie McFarlane interview, talking sexism, making the film and being married to Rich Vos.
Tonight The Jeselnik Offensive premiers on Comedy Central. You should definitely check it out, it's going to be a great show. How do I know? I went to the taping! And I wrote up a spoiler-free preview and talked a little about the experience of getting to be in the audience, plus there's a link to free tickets if you want to get the chance to go too!
And of course, Comedy Picks of the Week!
Okay, let's just address what this post is NOT. This is not a list of the handsomest superstars like Chris Rock or Dane Cook. Nor is it a list of the guys everyone already has a crush on like Chris D'Elia, Anthony Jeselnik or Pete Holmes (If you think Old Petey is out of place in that trio, I will fight you). This is a list of guys who aren't yet household names (Hey, Comedy Central's The Half Hour 2014, you could help fix that!), but will be soon so you should start swooning now and be a comedy hipster and tell everyone you were in love with that guy waaaaay before they knew about him.
1. Fahim Anwar - Fahim is my number one choice of crushworthy comedians for about a million reasons. I mean, obviously he's cute and incredibly funny. He's part of sketch group Goatface Comedy, who make some amazing, high quality videos and even made an actual music video for an actual band. That's pretty much the closest a comedian can get to being a rock star. And if you've seen that video or any of Fahim's stand-up, you know he's willing to commit to the most silly and absurd jokes, which is incredibly hot. He also acts - with numerous guests spots all over TV. He's got amazing taste in music, he's incredibly smart (he was an engineer before he did this!), he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and he can dance! Do I sound like his mom, trying to convince you he's "a catch"? Well, because he is.
2. Andrew Santino - Take your anti-ginger bias elsewhere, Santino is adorable. He has a brilliant, fast comedic mind that blows me away on a regular basis. Jokes, crowdwork, silly characters, he can do it all. Did I mention he's adorable. For serious, I defy you (man or woman) to spend more than 20 minutes in a room with him and give him less than 10 hugs. He's on the new PUNK'D and recently guest starred on The Office. Oh, and don't forget, he's adorable... and incredibly sweet. He's also super fun just to have a drink and shoot the shit with.
3. Kevin Christy - Oh, my favorite nerdy looking guy of all time. His rapid-fire delivery barely gives you a chance to laugh at bits just packed with funny line after funny line. For the rest of my life, I'll hear Kevin in my head whenever "the McRib is back!!!" And Kevin's not just a stand-up, he's also an artist, actor and avid therapy-goer. He coined the term "nerderer" (or is it "nurderer"?) after being cast as the creepy geek who turns out to be the surprise killer on a couple of procedural dramas. He also once guest starred on Buffy so I'm gonna stop typing and go ask him to marry me. Oh, and his Twitter. He's SO GOOD AT TWITTER. And in the "Things that impress people who aren't me" file, he hosts one of the best weekly comedy shows in town at the Westside Theater (Neal Brennan and Friends) and appears on The New Normal.
I can't find any current videos of Kevin - this is a travesty, Internet!
4. Jerrod Carmichael - If you don't like Jerrod, there's something wrong with you. The same charm and ease that lets him get away with saying some kinda fucked up stuff on stage is the same easygoing friendliness he embodies offstage. Jerrod has a kind word of support for everyone... and truly means them all. He's got a natural gift for comedy that's made him a standout for some time now. If I sounded a little like a Mom about Fahim, I'm about to go super Mommy here - when I first met Jerrod, he was a cute kid and now he's a handsome man. You can see him on the upcoming series The Goodwin Games whenever FOX decides to start airing it.
5. Byron Bowers Byron's got some of the tightest, most well constructed jokes around that totally trick you, like "Wait, I thought this was a dick joke and now I'm laughing at some deep thoughts on slavery!" He's from Atlanta so he's got that interesting gentleman-player combination vibe going on and he's super cute under that Porsche hat he's always wearing. BTW, he's not just wearing the hat to be a douche or ironic, he drives a porsche and knows a ton about cars. He's got a serious sense of style and - his jokes give it away, but in case you missed it - he's crazy smart.
6. Yassir Lester - Sure Yassir looks like the flavor of the week - skinny light skinned dude with glasses - but he's the original, accept no imitators. Super funny, often self-deprecating humor and had one of the most hilarious, creative and productive on-stage meltdowns I've ever seen. I just mention the meltdown to make him sound tougher. And he's half-Palestinian, so you've pretty much got "pissing your parents off based on their prejudices" covered whatever those prejudices may be. He's adorable and possibly the sweetest non-gay man I've ever met.
7. Nick Youssef I have to be honest, I almost didn't include Nick because he's already got a bit of a fan club going, including a certain 80's video vixen whose been in love with him for years. And why not? Nick's been doing comedy since he was a baby right out of high school. His jokes are great and he's super tall and handsome. He's got incredible taste in music and drives a Prius like a responsible adult (or a hipster, depending on whichever option is more attractive to you). He dresses like a hipster, but at least he gives a damn and has a sense of style, right?
So there you have it - seven totally crush-worthy comics. Do I have a crush on all of them? Maybe. Should you start crushing on them right now? Definitely. Wanna yell and scream that I forgot the joke slinger you're totally in love with? That's what the comments section's for.
While watching Chris D'Elia crush a weeknight spot at The Comedy Store recently, a male comedian turned to me and said "D'Elia is like a dog whistle, only women seem to hear him." That's a bit of an exaggeration - plenty of menfolk appreciate how funny Chris is or he wouldn't be where he is now. But there's no denying that women tune into him right off the bat. Here's why.
1. He's good looking
Sure, put him head to head with Ryan Gosling and Gosling's probably gonna come out ahead, but Chris is better looking than your average guy and MUCH better looking than your average comedian. We all know better looking people get subconscious advantages, and onstage is no different. Of course, for guys, seeing your date immediately lean a little forward and laugh harder than she does at your witty banter can be off-putting. But the dudes secure enough to get over it are gonna have a good time.
2. That girl voice he does
Chris's girl voice - whether it's mocking a drunk girl or a sober, non-sensical girlfriend - is actually pretty harsh. You'd think that would actually turn off women in the audience, but let's face it, girls hate other girls. Especially the pretty, vapid ones depicted in Chris's bits. And it's unfortunately dead-on for more (even super cool) women than I care to admit most of the time. Hell, it's how I'd do a voice for some drunk asshole trying to order fast food from the backseat at a drive-through, too. Guys, you are allowed to laugh at those bits... just not too loudly and definitely not while pounding the table and telling your date "That's just like you!"
3. All those other voices
The Germans, the British, the Gangster.. Chris has a silly over-the-top impression of each of those. And he's obviously enjoying himself while doing them. And that's so winning. Guys will complain that they're somewhat inaccurate, but that's missing the point. Every girl likes a good looking guy (see #1) and loves a good looking guy who doesn't take himself too seriously to throw himself into an impression of a British guy planning a heist of "all the dalmations" or "all the light fixtures."
4. His comedy is very physical
For the same reasons those voices make you think "This guy is all right" his act-outs, including sometimes using the back curtain as a cape, let you know that this guy is here to entertain you whether you think he's cool doing it our not. Win.
5. He's an entertainer
It's not the raw introspection of Louis or the self-deprecating shlubbiness of Patton - the kind of stuff most guys can immediately relate to. It is a well put-together act that can succeed regardless of who he's following, how late it is or what the energy in the room was like before Chris got on stage. And it's not all Germans who have already poisoned you and girls who think everything is random. Some of Chris's newer bits tackle religion and homophobia with a core of truth just as honest as anyone darker or more "serious", just in a delicious candy shell.
So, obviously, I'm a huge fan of Chris D'Elia. How about you? Did I make a believer out of you or did I miss the reason you love him? Have at the comments.
Every year about this time, the open mic ranks swell with hoards of people who made "starting in stand-up comedy" their New Year's Resolution. Sometimes it's to beef up their acting resume, sometimes a last ditch effort to "make it" after producing, writing, club promoting and other forms of "hustling" didn't pan out, and sometimes it's a really earnest desire to follow a dream and Jan 1 was the kick in the ass to do it. No matter why they (or maybe you are one of them, reading this right now) decided to, they're here, it's inevitable and it's annoying.
It's annoying to the folks still slogging through the open mic wasteland after 2 or 5 or 12 years, coming right after the Christmas season of few spots & shows and having to justify how "that little comedy thing" is going to their family. It's annoying that suddenly they have to wait twice as long or not even get a spot while some of the the newbies are going up with zero joke structure and 100% arrogance. And it's especially annoying, knowing half of these people will quit comedy later tonight and the vast majority of the rest will have quit by the end of February.
That said, there's always a silver lining, and here are the Top 5 reasons to enjoy the New Year's Resolution crowd, you bitter old curmudgeons.
1. They're like a real audience.
They have not yet become jaded monsters without a soul who have heard you working on that same bit exactly 17 times this week. They're too nervous & polite to spend the entire time tweeting/ignoring you. Most importantly, they still remember how to laugh. They're the closest thing to a real audience you'll find in any bar or coffee shop in such dire financial straits that they are willing to hold an open mic to help business.
2. New chicks/dudes to scam on
If your sexual diet mostly consists of the low hanging fruit of the Bad Idea tree, then boy are you in luck right now. These girls don't know you well enough to know not to sleep with you or that you've already slept with every other girl at this open mic. And "I'll take you around to some mics and introduce you to people" is a surprisingly effective pickup line. And, ladies, well, you already know that most male comedians will sleep with any girl, any time, anywhere.. and with these guys, you don't have to worry about all that "dating a fellow comedian" awkwardness, because they won't be doing this in 2 months anyway!
3. You can remember what it's like to be that excited about comedy.
Remember when doing 5 whole minutes seemed so hard? Remember when you used to be super excited to make the lottery at the Improv or Comedy Store? How you nervously stood around and made halting attempts at new friendships and eventually found a really cool crew of awesome funny people who will be your lifelong friends/competition? Yeah, that was pretty cool. Why don't YOU stop tweeting/ignoring the rest of the room for a second and look around and soak it in with whatever tiny shred of a soul you've still got left and enjoy the memories.
4. There is no #4
I honestly couldn't come up with 5 reasons, but I don't care for Top Four lists.
5. This is the future.
Yeah, a comedian who starts on Jan 1 is much, much less likely to stick with it than someone who started on April 3 or July 7. But at least one of these punks actually loves the art and has potential. One of them might be your future roommate or the guy who chauffeurs you around when your car's in the shop or the gal who starts a good workout room and lets you drop in and do 15 any time you want. So keep a look out.
Did I miss anything? Got a great tale of NYR open mic triumph or defeat? Have at it in the comments or tweet at me @ComedyGroupie
There are a million "Top X on Twitter" lists out there... and they're pretty much all the same. Yes, you absolutely should be following Patton Oswalt, Rob Delaney and Megan Amram if you've had a Twitter account for more than 24 hours. But if you've been on Twitter a while, you know there are some unsung gems flying just under the radar. So, I've put together a list of 13 comedians who crush it onstage and online that you may not be following yet.
In no particular order:
- Kevin Christy (@kevingchristy) - I first saw Kevin perform at a Tweetcrawl back when he wasn't even on Twitter. But like many late bloomers, he's now surpassed a lot of folks who've been at it before him. If the law would allow it, I'd marry Kevin's twitter feed.
"Burlesque" is french for "I'M NOT A STRIPPER!" Followed by audible sobbing.— Kevin Christy (@kevingchristy) October 2, 2012
- Fahim Anwar (@fahimanwar) has some of the most deadpanly absurd tweets ever.. bonus is you'll also find out about some really cool music you've never heard of.
asking how the car is doing is dad for "i love you."— Fahim Anwar (@fahimanwar) December 13, 2012
- Matt Goldich (@mattgoldich) - hands down, one of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow for the high hit-to-miss ratio and just the right volume per day. You can tell he's been a comedy writer for a while from his dead-on efficient use of words.
Who sings that song that goes, oh never mind I have a phone.— Matt Goldich (@MattGoldich) December 30, 2012
- Moshe Kasher (@moshekasher) Oh, Moshe, Moshe, where to begin with my love for following Moshe on Twitter? Some of the smartest, sharpest tweets out there, dripping with self-hatred, fake hatred of follow comedian/friends and some real hatred for good measure.
Every friday night, in every city in america, the worst people of the town gather together to ruinthe late show at the local comedy club.— Moshe Kasher (@moshekasher) December 29, 2012
- Brody Stevens (@Brodyismefriend) Positive affirmations, absurd photoshops, silly puns and a peek deep inside Brody's brain await you if you follow him on Twitter.
I text on bathroom stalls.— Steven BRODY Stevens (@BrodyismeFriend) December 29, 2012
- Lauren Ashley Bishop (@sbellelauren) - The perfect mix making alcoholism and loneliness hilarious, with the bonus that she loves cute dogs! Also, author of one of my Top 3 favorite tweets ever (Nice try, things without vodka in them!) which I think she tweeted back in 2010.
this salad bar needs more whiskey— lauren ashley bishop (@sbellelauren) December 12, 2012
- Nick Youssef (@nickyoussef) The ultimate hipster is also the ultimate Twitter hipster - he gets it before you do - the rise and fall of #FF, hashtag games, Favstar and all the other stupid stuff we used to think was cool on here - you can be sure if Nick's still doing it, it's cool, and if he's stopped it's soooo over. As is the developing theme of this list, his grasp of the funny that lies in being dead inside is dead on.
"omg so skinny!!" - Girl wishing death upon prettier friend via Instagram— Nick Youssef (@NickYoussef) December 26, 2012
- Justin Martindale (@justmartindale) I hate to pigeonhole Justin as "bitchy fabulous" but, I mean, if the shoe fits... Great snark about everything pop culture and everything else.
Did they find that girls body from the "Baby, It's Cold Outside" song yet? Hope so. Merry Christmas!— Justin Martindale (@justmartindale) December 25, 2012
- Zach Sherwin (@zachsherwin) aka MC Mr Napkins - if you like puns & wordplay, then Zach is the man for you. That is all.
Diagram Hard With A Venn-geance— Zach Sherwin (@zachsherwin) December 28, 2012
- Candice Thompson (@jokesByCandice) Imagine the sassy common sense of the proverbial fat old black lady coming out of the mind & keyboard of a hot young thing and you've got Candice.
Just got banned from Macy's again. Apparently their "Wrap It Up Sale" is not a free condom giveaway.— Candice Thompson (@jokesbyCandice) December 17, 2012
- Grant Pardee (@grantpa) Not really sure how to sum up Grant's Twitter persona, other than "I like it" - mostly smart-alecky snappy patter jokes, sometimes interrupted by some beautiful sincerity. But mostly funny.
I can never remember the appropriate amount of time to wait before saying "I love you" or "the N word."— Grant Pardee (@grantpa) December 12, 2012
- Barbara Gray (@babsgray) Food, sex, guys and weed - all things I like and all things Barbara makes hilariously personal feeling jokes about on a regular basis.
Texting a guy "Sorry I'm crazy" is playing SUPER hard to get right?— Barbara Gray (@BabsGray) December 19, 2012
- Kyle Ray (@thekyleray) I have a kind of love-hate thing with Kyle's twitter. I love it because his brain twists around the same weird ideas in the same weird way mine does. I hate it because he's usually tweeting a considerably funnier version of a premise I just thought of 5 minutes ago.
If your Instagram profile isn't your real name then you'd better be posting pictures of you and your friends doing some illegal shit.— Kyle Ray (@theKYLERAY) December 16, 2012
Yes, I said "Christmas" and not "Secular Winter Holiday That's Been Celebrated Under Many Names Since the Dawn of Man" get over it.
That said, this is NOT a holiday shopping guide (though I'll probably have one of those up in a few days), but rather a nice collection of ways you can support your favorite comedians while buying the gifts you were going to buy anyway. Basically, everyone who has a podcast has some kind of affiliate deal with Amazon, so if you click these links and then do your shopping as usual, you're supporting the podcast and the comedian with a tiny percentage of the sale and you don't have to pay any extra. And you can basically buy any product ever on Amazon, so, you know, that mumu for Aunt Helen can make Pete Holmes a couple bucks, that toaster for your M-I-L can put some change in Ari Shaffir's pocket, I think you can even buy stuff like soap and shampoo for yourself (or your really dirty friend). So, have at it.
Also, if you didn't realize, this is also implicitly endorsing these as my favorite podcasts, so subscribe and listen if you aren't already.
Ari Shaffir's Skeptic Tank has become basically my favorite podcast this year. There's a great episode (and follow-up) with Sarah Tiana about the "Special Forces" guy who scammed her and a bunch of other women. There's a killer two-parter talking to members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous. Great comedy talk with Bert Kriescher, Kevin Christy and Steve Simeone. And some very deep episodes about self-cutting, childhood molestation and Brody's trip to the UCLA psych ward.
So, listen in and support Skeptic Tank on Amazon.
You made it Weird with Pete Holmes is basically my other favorite podcast. The two faves are very different, but strikingly similar in their honest and funny exploration of basically the human condition. I already wrote up why and which episodes are my favorite so check that out. And I'll add the recent Bret Ernst episode was super fabulous.
The Crab Feat with Jay Larson & Ryan Sickler. Listen for the bahstin accent alone! This one is only about 6 months old, but it's charming, funny & fun with lots of great guests (I'm a big fan of the Tom Segura & April Macie episodes, especially).
Okay, and since this is an implicit thumbs up on these podcasts, just know there are others I love dearly and listen to regularly, they just have other sponsors. And really, what are you doing Christmas shopping at Stamps.com?
Hey guys, here's what I've been up to this past month - more awesome interviews with some amazing comedians.
I talked to Kate Flannery (Meredith on The Office) about her improv show The Lampshades, hosting StandUp in Stilettos and so of course a little about women in comedy.
I drove poor Laurie Kilmartin crazy talking about women in comedy and she laid down some serious knowledge about keeping the crowd on your side and being disciplined about comedy writing.
I also talked with Ian Edwards about his take on being disciplined as a comedian, how he got into comedy, getting your representation to believe in you and how he doesn't think he's as cool as the rest of us think he is.
And check out Carmen Lynch's great appearance on Letterman. I interviewed Carmen and roommate/costar Liz Miele a little while back about their joint album taping.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I've been doing a bunch of interviews and some articles for AmericasComedy.com. In case you missed them, here's some of my most recent ones:
Tom Segura and I ostensibly sat down to talk about his new album White Girls With Cornrows but mostly shot the shit about how great podcasting is, especially when you have Deathsquad on your side. We also made fun fo Brandon Walsh a little. So have a read of my Tom Segura Interveiw.
I interviewed Paul Morrissey about his album Paul Morrissey's Back and we actually did chat a lot about the album itself and what aspects make a live album feel live. Plus, I tried out a new concept and stuck a mini-podcast episode in there.
And a little while back, I profiles three of my favorite up-and-coming shows around LA.
You Made It Weird has become my absolute favorite podcast to listen to. For a while, it was on equal footing with Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank and Marc Maron’s WTF - I’d listen to at least one episode a month and sometimes go back to one I’d missed if enough other comedians insisted I had to hear it. And I always skipped the Live from... episodes (same with WTF) because I’m spoiled and if I want to hear a bunch of funny people approximating what they think is “conversation” by sitting around and riffing.. well, that’s basically every day, all the time for me. I like the one-on-one, the intimacy, the depth. And now that it’s hit a kind of stride, that’s where YMIW shines.
Tammy Pescatelli's assault by an audience member in Florida came hot on the heels of a heckler interrupting Daniel Tosh's set and causing a feminist blogospere furor by posting up her account. Add that to events around Los Angeles in the past month - Erik Griffin was charged onstage by a large, drunken audience member at The Comedy Store at almost the exact same moment that a very disruptive audience member was being chastised by Russell Peters down the street at the Laugh Factory. The audience member went so far as to wait outside until after the show to continue his war of words with Peters. More recently, Sam Tripoli was spat on by an Armenian man in the crowd who had been heckling and then couldn't take it when Tripoli engaged him to quiet him down.
Put that all together and you have to wonder, is this a trend? Have audiences forgotten what it means to be part of an audience?
Comedy is a unique art form in that sense. Good comedians make every performance look spontaneous, to the point where casual audience members often believe that they make up entirely new sets every time they take the stage. Comedians are trying to make a connection with the audience, many premises and tags come in the form of a question, and audiences are encouraged to get drunk while watching the performance. You put those things together and you often get hecklers who don't understand that they are heckling. They either believe that their input is actually desired by the performer on stage or think they are "helping" him in some way.
And that's where the trouble begins. It's also compounded by the unwritten rule that it's the comedian's job to take care of a heckler. Disruptive audience members at a play or a movie get spoken to or escorted out by an usher or manager, but when it comes to comedy shows they tend to only get involved once it's escalated. But, again, casual audience members probably aren't aware of this. What the comedian sees as doing his job and proving he has the skills to handle a heckler, that same uninformed audience member will take as a personal affront.
So, yes, audiences have either forgotten how to be audience members... or they never knew how to be in the first place. So, what's the solution? Better audience education - how? More rapid intervention by staff? Or should hecklers start to be prosecuted by the law as an example and deterrent?
TJ Miller's Hangover Brunch at Cinefamily is exactly as weird and brilliant as you'd think it would be. It's pretty much everything I like all in one single event. There's brunch, with plentiful mimosas (and when they ran out of champagne, intrepid bartender Brendt switched to screwdriers), stand-up and old movies. For the July edition, the main feature was The Forbidden Zone, which felt like a John Waters version of a Max Fleischer cartoon. So fittingly, the show opened with two of Fleischer's Out of the Inkwell shorts, with TJ riffing after each. He then turned it over to a great host, whose real name I didn't catch because he was so committed to hosting as Forbidden Zone character Squizit Henderson. TJ and Robert Buscemi then each did fairly short sets and we were off. At one point, I wondered if everyone else had thought to take mushrooms before coming. That would have been a good idea, but was totally unnecessary to have a fantastic time.
If you heckle a comedian, the comedian engages and you leave in a huff, demanding your money back, you're wrong. Even when it all started with a rape joke.
Everyone has a subject that hits close to home - jokes about race, gender, disability, DUIs, overdoses, pedophilia and almost any other topic can seem completely unfunny to someone when it touches on something horrible that has touched them. But life is horrible. Awful, tragic things happen all around us every day. That's why we have comedy - to poke fun at those horrors so they become a little more bearable.
If you find a comedian's material distasteful, the appropriate response is to let a manager know. I know someone who can no longer perform at a certain club because of a single complaint about a racy joke. When you start disruptively shouting mid-act, you lower your legitimate concerns to the same level as the idiot guy who hurls a chair because the comedian dissed his sports team.
And for the record, I think 99% of all "jokes" about rape are unfunny ramblings of the guy onstage's issues with women and power or a very cheap way to shock the audience into laughing. I saw Daniel Tosh working out that bit a few nights ago, and it's about a pedophile getting raped in prison. And it's funny. Comedy Groupie lough out loud funny.
It's the "Voldemort" of comedy - you'll rarely hear a comedian actually call another comedian "not funny." Between fear of it getting back to "that hack" and ruining your career when he makes it before you do and fear of the instant karma that someone's saying the same thing about you right now, it doesn't happen in mixed company. Instead, we've developed a code that let's the person you're talking to know you mean "I don't think you are/he is/she is funny" without having to say the actual words.
Here's a sample, got any of your own I missed?
"You look really comfortable on stage"
"She's the nicest person"
"He does well with audiences"
"She produces really great shows"
"You know, he gave me a spot on his show...."
"I like that idea"/"You've got some good premises there"
Cowardice or just being polite human beings? Okay, probably not the second thing, we are talking about comedians.