Ways To Know You Have The Mind Of A Stand Up Comedian


Everyone with a pulse, loves to make people laugh. It is in our very nature to want to make others feel good, and laughter is a huge motivator. Not everyone, however, wishes to do this standing on a stage, in front of strangers, trying out original material written for the sole purpose of creating laughter. But, this does not mean that a person does not have the heart, or mind, of a professional joke teller. The following is a list of things that typically identifies those people who, without knowing it, have the mind of a Stand Up Comedian:

  • If you are typically the quietest, most withdrawn person, at a party: It is kind of strange to think that the most introvert of people would actually be one of the funniest, isn’t it? One of the most incredible traits of a stand up comic is that they are amazing at simply and quietly, observing the world around them. Word of caution; when you get these to people speak up, watch out! Hilarity may ensue and some feelings may be hurt!
  • If you remember watching Looney Toons in absolute silence: Although cartoons can be rather humorous, a stand up comedian watches them with a discerning mind. We know that cartoon is funny, but we try to figure out why?? The mind of a comic is extremely analytically geared and figuring out why something is funny only adds to that enjoyment, even if we don’t express it outwardly. I can still remember my old man walking in to the living room while my brother and I watched cartoons. Seeing what we were watching and not reacting with laughter, my dad yelled, in Spanish, “Rianse’, tontos!” (“Laugh, dummies!”)
  • You find the humor in even tragic events: In the mind of a comic, it is never “Too soon” to think of something funny in the face of tragic events. Although it is “Too soon” to express those funny thoughts audibly, a true stand up comic has the patience to find the levity of the situation, and use it at a more appropriate time. It may actually never be appropriate, but we’ll be damned if we don’t share those inner thoughts before our heads explode. Here’s an example: A father finds out that his 14-year-old daughter has already lost her virginity. Although devastated, the father can’t help but think, “Well, at least I’ll save a ton of cash not having to pay for a Quinceanera.”
  • You prefer to drive without the radio on: Most stand up comedians are entertained more so by the thoughts running in their heads than by One Direction playing on the radio. Even if the radio is on, chances are, we don’t even know what’s playing.
  • You talk to yourself…and answer back: Countless of times, during the day, a stand up comic has conversations with themselves. Often times, we are only replaying an actual conversation we had earlier with someone, that we felt could have gone much better. Perhaps we could have used more wit, or thrown in a funny one liner, but we missed the opportunity! How do we improve on that? Practice! Next time, it will only come out more effortlessly.
  • The only people who can make you laugh are children, your parents, or your significant other: It’s not that we don’t find other people funny, it’s just that we appreciate things for different reasons. In the case of children, we love the fact that they speak their mind and never filter their thoughts. Who better to find the fault in anything that a kid! In the case of our parents, it is more so that we have known them all of our lives and we know what to expect. Then one day, they do something totally unexpected and it cracks us up! I remember that I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I ever heard my mom say “shit!”. I’ll call that the “Betty White” effect. Oh, and let’s not forget our significant other. Let’s face it, you picked them because they brought a smile to your face, and there is no one better to laugh with than the one that shares your heart!
  • No humor is off-limits: Sure, you can’t joke about anything with just anyone! Sometimes you’ve got to know your audience. While it may be okay to joke with your best bud about serious issues, it would not be wise to joke that way out in the open where someone would actually get offended. Like it or not, everyone reading this blog has uttered inappropriate jokes with someone close to them. We will just leave it at that, okay?

I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but I would love to read your suggestions!

I hope you enjoyed this blog! :~)

How To Tell That You Are Still A Momma’s Boy

Momma's Boy

I’ve always been a Momma’s boy and I’m not ashamed of it! I remember that my friends used to make fun of me when they found out that I would shower with my mom. I remember the last shower I took with my mom. I got out of the shower, all upset and was like, “Mom, I don’t think it’s a good idea that I shower with you anymore. My friends are making fun of me!”

My mom was like, “That’s okay, mijo, I understand. You’re getting older. Now hurry up and get dressed or you’re gonna be late for work.”

Here is a top ten list on how to tell that you, or someone you know, is still a Momma’s boy.

10. Mom not only still irons your clothes and lays them out on your bed every morning, she chooses what you wear.

9. Your mom parks her car by the curb because she’s converted her garage into your bedroom.

8. Your Mom calls your boss when you’re feeling too sick to work.

7. Mom Still gives you an allowance at the same rate it was when you were a teenager; $20.

6. Mom still buys your concert tickets to go see Motley Crue and drops you off at the show.

5. You’re using mom’s second car so that you don’t have to buy your own.

4. Mom knows your Facebook login information.

3. Mom refers to the woman you’re dating as your “little girlfriend”.

2. Mom accidentally walks in on you and your “little girlfriend”, while in your garage/bedroom and rather than walk out, says, “Do you have any dirty clothes or underwear you need me to wash, mijo?”

1. You blog about your Mom.

Dating in El Paso, Texas

The last girl I dated was a stay at home mom. Her ankle bracelet didn’t let her go more than 10 feet away from her house.


Headlining At The Comedy Spot In Scottsdale, Arizona


My Feature performer, Iggy Samaniego, from El Paso, Texas, destroyed the room before I took the stage. All I had to do was RIDE THE WAVE!

C’mon Baby, Just the Tip


As a stand up comedian, the subject of tipping comes up on a nightly basis. It’s no secret that show goers should be tipping their wait & bar staff. Most of these hard working men and women make an hourly wage of approximately $2.15 and hour and some make even less, so tips are necessary to help them keep their financial heads above water. But, are these the only people deserving of a tip? Here’s a small list of the people you should be tipping but never think to do so:

1.   The Tire Place Guy: In this case, I’m referring to the tire shop off the side of the road that operates as a Mom&Pop shop. If you frequent these places, to simply patch up or buy a used tire, you will typically be charged anywhere from $10 to $25. This is just a charge for the tire and you will typically never pay for any labor. If you’re being economical in having these guys fix your flat, throw them a bone when they’re done. If you make it a habit of ruining tires, the tire guy will always recognize you as a “tipper” and will probably offer you the best deal when you come back.

2.   The DirecTv/Cable/Internet Installers: Like servers & bar staff help make your entertainment more pleasant, your installers are doing much the same. They’re constantly trying to make sure you’re happy with their work and are trying to be as expedient as possible in getting you connected. Some of these workers are making a pretty nice wage, but are grossly underpaid in relation to the blood, sweat and tears they pour in to their day. If they have done an outstanding job for you and have brought a smile to your face knowing you are now connected to the world, then you should show your gratitude accordingly. These workers are often racing the clock to make all their appointments in time and rarely have a moment to stop by for something to drink or eat. Slip them a cool $5 to $10 and they can make their quick dash to a 7-11 or drive through to make their day easier. Plus, if you ever get the same installer back, I promise they’ll not only do the work, they’ll customize it for you!

3.   The Tattoo Artist: Look, these people may be running their own shop, but their art work carries an even greater value. Then again, not all of these artists are in business for themselves and most likely give up a big portion of fee to the shop they work for. In any case, these people are making sure that their work is the best it could possibly be and if you intend on coming back to the same artist, why not make them remember you and guarantee yourself some incredible lines each and every time?  Their work may come with a price tag, but their art is priceless.

4.   The Traveling Stand Up Comedian: What?! Really?! Yeah, really. Why not? Allow me to give you a glimpse in to the life a traveling comic, and this applies to both the Feature and Headlining acts. Chances are these two comedians work a regular 9 to 5 job when they are not on stage. Unless the comics have national notoriety in the form of Tv, radio and movie credits, they are probably living paycheck to paycheck, just like everyone else. When an act comes to town, they are probably making enough for the gig to cover travel and food expenses, and sometimes even hotel expenses for a 3 to 5 day stay. This comic is trying to make a name for themselves and when the gig money is barely helping them make it, they must resort to selling merchandise at the end of the show. They’ll usually sell DVD’s or CD’s of their act, or try to hock some t-shirts with some really funny stuff on em’. Most show goers have already spent too much on drinks and a tip to want to buy anything else, so it’s understandable when they just want to bypass the comic selling their merchandise by the door as they would if they were passing by a homeless guy holding a “Hungry, please help” sign.  If you’ve got a few dollars left, meet the comic, shake hands with them and give them the cash and let them know, “You’re worth more than that, but I hope this helps in some way to keep you going and bring you back. You were awesome!” I realize this is not done often, but I have seen it done and the gratitude a comedian feels far outweighs the laughs they worked so hard to get.

One final word on tipping your wait & bar staff; If you are at the show on a budget, for crying out loud, don’t spend it all on yourself! Set a little something aside. Your server is working under some of the hardest conditions. They are working in the dark, carrying a tray full of drinks, serving multiple tables and trying to take orders in the quietest way possible. This is more than a skill, it’s an art! Yet, people will leave a show and not tip a dime. If you enjoyed the show, make sure to tip the people who helped make it a great night for you. They’re never in the spotlight, but always help you enjoy those that are.

Humility With a Name Like “Iggy”

I don’t consider myself a professional stand up comic yet. I’ve been in the business for 7 years now, and in that time have earned well over…six hundred bucks. I know a little more than the comic who has done it for a less amount of time but I have a TON more to learn.

Comics are self centered. Some comics won’t even take advice from others and certainly not from comedians who haven’t been in the game too long. Sure, we would all like to get advice from people like Louie CK or Jerry Seinfeld or Ralphie May, but those opportunities may never present themselves. There have been times where another comic will ask me for advice and I’m only happy to share it. I may not know a lot about stand up but what I do know, it is my pleasure to share.

Two years ago, I saw a guy perform  at an open mic. The guy killed and had great jokes! None of them were hack and I could tell that the guy knew how to actually write material. He not only got the laughs, he did it in front of a bar audience. There is no tougher crowd than that! After the show, I went up to the new comic and asked him how long he had been doing stand up. He responded with, “This was my first time.” That floored me. I had to give credit where credit was due. I told him, “If you can do that at a bar, (make them laugh) you will kill them at a comedy club.”

Since then, I have been working with him at other bar shows and events around town. In that time, he has never thought that he was more than he was. He has remained humble and committed to the stand up craft. He will often times ask me for advice and I share things with him that seem mundane but are such an intricate part of the business. The best thing a fellow comic can do is help pave the way for those that are treading on ground that they’ve already walked on. I’m not “Headlining” material yet, but I have Emcee’d shows and I have Featured at comedy clubs, and the things I’ve learned are things that others have taught me. In this profession, everyone wants to stand out above the rest with little to no help, while others realize that to stand up above the rest can only happen when you help others to do so as well. That is quite a contrarian way of thinking, but it has it’s purpose.

This week, the comic I’ve been writing about will Emcee for his very first time at The El Paso Comic Strip. This will be his first professional gig. He has been working his set at all the local open mics, at bars, at school gymnasiums, at restaurants, at private parties, at charity events, at coffee houses, you name it! He has earned this opportunity not just by being funny, but by humbling himself to the advice of others.

He refers to me as his “mentor”, but he has been my mentor as much as he considers me his. I’ve learned from him just as much as he’s learned from me. Ask for his advice and he will be quick to invite you over to his house for beer and a joke writing session. I’ll be there on his first opening night and I will be there for his first Feature appearance and I will be front and center at his first Headlining spot.

Congratulations, Iggy! Kill em’!

A Joke in its Infancy


It always amazes me when a new joke comes out of the gate and works! This bit has a lot of the joke writing elements to it that are crucial to its success. Rather than get in to the technical aspect of the joke, I’ll let you just enjoy it!