Kill your best material

February 27th, 2014

Moving to NY I’ve been getting more into the local comedy scene, by that I mean the consumption of not the contribution. Although the dollars in the door is a contribution of sorts.

There are a lot of analogies in the joke writing process, Chris Rock notably tests his material in indie stand up venues before taking them large, Seinfeld edits his over time but focuses on always writing and perfecting a joke but Louis CK has an interesting one.

He evolves his season to season but what he does is to disarm himself of his best material he does last years closing joke first. That means he’s put his absolute best material up front and so… he needs to top it. He needs to do better, he needs to work harder on it…. and he’s got absolutely no choice.

Because if he doesn’t…. he’ll bomb.

What I like is that each have their own little processes that work best with their jokes, their personalities & style.

It’s very similar to the business rule of only hiring people smarter than yourself. It means over time the organization (or set) only gets better and better.

Killing your best material to lift the game… again.

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