Stand-up comedy

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Under stand-up comedy or number comedy is meant a predominantly spoken solo performance of a comedian or comedian than cameo or evening program, as opposed to physical comedy . See also number (performing arts) .


Stand-up comedy usually consists of rehearsed numbers that are often performed in the same or similar manner over years, but spontaneous, unprepared elements can also be found in the performances. Some stand-up comedians also perform completely improvised numbers, which is rather the exception and also requires a certain preparatory basis, which enables the use of certain patterns, which then seem to have been invented in the lecture at the moment. Nevertheless, the spontaneous element of stand-up comedy must not be confused with the own division of improvisational comedy , which is based on elements of impromptu theater , in which an ensemble of actors develops spontaneous stories based on previously rehearsed patterns.

The boundaries between stand-up comedy and cabaret are fluid (although cabaret usually includes socially critical content). Acting and theatrical elements can now also be found in stand-up comedy. The spectrum ranges from comical everyday situations to the pointed representation of people, stories, public events and complete, full-length productions.

People and events

Stand-up comedy has a long history in the United States and other, mostly English-speaking countries, with stars like Richard Pryor and George Carlin . A stand-up culture has also developed in Germany since the 1990s, with a growing trend. This can build on older models such as Karl Valentin , Heinz Erhardt or Jürgen von Manger .

In addition to television formats such as the Quatsch Comedy Club , NightWash and Fun (k) haus , complete solo stand-up shows are produced and broadcast for the stage, some with great commercial success (e.g. Mario Barth , Michael Mittermeier , Atze Schröder ). Stand-up clubs can now be found in many cities in German-speaking countries: open stages ( open mic ), where laypeople can also try out, and so-called mixed shows (for advanced or established artists), where several artists perform in one evening and Present excerpts from their programs and try out new numbers.

Competition forms such as the Comedy Slam are also establishing themselves as a further format , in which the audience decides which of several comedians will win an event.