“Ah, I remember my first beer.” -Steve Martin’s brilliant response to a heckler
When it comes to seeing live stand-up comedy, it’s widely accepted that everybody is there for a good time, some great laughs, and making some memories. Many comedians thrive off of audience interaction, and this can make for an incredibly engaging evening when spirits are good and the jokes are flowing. But have you ever seen a great routine derailed by an unruly audience member? There is a certain etiquette that folks are expected to adhere to when it comes to live comedy, lest they should find themselves at the receiving end of a tongue-lashing from a professional comedian. Believe us, when that happens, there needs to be some sort of ointment involved for the burns that occur.
Of course, none of this applies to you. You’re a fantastic audience member! It’s the clown you came with that needs this list of dos and don’ts regarding comedy club decorum. In order to spare you — er, your friend — any embarrassment, here’s Gutty’s handy dandy list of things to remember before making your way out to the comedy club.
No Pre-Gaming Your Night Out
Since Gutty’s Comedy Club is a dry bar (meaning we only serve non-alcoholic drinks to keep things all-ages), this shouldn’t be a huge factor. However, we certainly can’t control what you’re imbibing before you show up at the door. Look, nobody’s saying you can’t enjoy a beer at dinner before coming to the comedy show, but don’t show up three sheets to the wind. A lot of comedy clubs that do serve alcohol have something like a two-drink minimum, but that shouldn’t be treated as a personal challenge to see how many drinks you can slam in one evening. Consider a nice herbal tea or a juice box. Sloshed audience members tend to lose their inhibitions about saying something foolish, and more often than not, end up being the butt of the joke they were trying to make.
Learn the Definition of “Rhetorical Question”
I know it’s easy to get caught up in a stand-up routine and possibly think “wow, she’s speaking directly to me!” While your rapt attention is appreciated, voicing your reply to a rhetorical question is typically not necessary. Usually, when a comedian is looking for a response from the audience, they’ll make it clear that they want a reaction. Otherwise, just assume that you’re all being addressed as a whole and don’t feel the need to personally respond to each question.
Brevity is the Soul of Wit
In the event that a comedian does solicit you for a response, keep it short and sweet. As much as I’m sure they’d love to have a heart-to-heart with you in the middle of a comedy routine, there is typically a direction the comedian is wanting to take your interaction, and instead of replying with an overly long mission statement about all of the things you love about comedy, keep your replies brief. Your interaction with them is typically being used as a springboard into another topic, especially if the comedian is riffing or improvising. Don’t worry, I’m sure you have a wonderful life story, it’s just not the reason that everyone came out to the comedy club.
Comedians Can See You On Your Phone
While you may be absentmindedly checking Facebook or Twitter during a stand-up routine, remember that those little screens can become beacons for comedians to hone in on if they don’t think you’re paying attention. And to be fair, if you’re scrolling social media during a performance, you’re not paying attention, and they may call you out on it. Particularly in dark rooms, a phone screen can light up your face like a Christmas tree and at that point, you’re just inviting a witty comedian to single you out. If you need to use your phone, take a call, or check an important text, just discreetly excuse yourself to the lobby. If you don’t… well, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Don’t Command Attention With Your Attire or Accessories
At a clean comedy club, you typically don’t have to worry about comedians needlessly picking on people for no reason. However, if you’re wearing something ridiculous or that demands attention, drawing attention away from the performer, they’d be silly not to call you out. For example, during the recording of Michael Showalter’s comedy album “Sandwiches & Cats” an audience member brought a live cat in a cat-carrier to the show, and sat in the front row. This was not scripted, and yes, the meowing cat caught Mr. Showalter’s attention. It made for a great laugh in the end, and even contributed to the name of the comedy album, but it also resulted in the audience member being asked to leave the performance and receive an epic series of slams. You can watch the exchange at the link above, if you so wish (warning: brief strong language.) It is equal parts hilarious, awkward, and a good reason to re-think something like bringing cats to a comedy show.
If You Feel the Need to Contribute — Don’t
You might be a funny person. You might even be really good at performing stand-up yourself or also do it for a living, but this is someone else’s show. If you’re at a football game, you shouldn’t feel the need to run out onto the field and help out the quarterback. Your role is to sit back, enjoy the show, and leave the jokes to the comedian. Your intentions may be good, but you’re more likely to get trampled by a bunch of linebackers than score a touchdown.
Buy Tickets to the Show You Want to See
The world of comedy features a gloriously broad range of genres, and there’s valid humor to be found in pretty much all of them. That being said, don’t buy tickets to Jeff Foxworthy and expect Lewis Black, or vice versa. Gutty’s Comedy Club has the desire to bring as many people together of all ages to enjoy laughing together, which is why we’re a clean comedy club. If you want a comedian who is vicious or uber-political or crass, there are venues for that, and you’re welcome to explore them, but it’s not for everyone. Just set your expectations correctly, and you’re bound to have a great time no matter where you end up taking in a show.
Take Jabs in Stride
At any comedy show, there’s always a chance that you’re going to be involved in a punchline. For some people, this is all well and good until a comedian trains the spotlight on you. Don’t worry too much, though — at Gutty’s we’re all here to have a good, clean time, so any teasing that occurs will be lighthearted and have no ill-intent. But even then, don’t be offended if a comedian takes it upon themselves to tease you about your receding hairline or ugly sweater you decided to wear. It’s all part of the fun, and if you can laugh at someone else getting taken down a peg, don’t get overly offended when it’s your turn. It all tastes so much better when you’re laughing with everyone.
For Clean Comedy in Indiana Come to Gutty’s!
We hope this cheat sheet for comedy club etiquette has been helpful to you. 2020 was such a crazy year, and we can’t wait to be able to all come together again and enjoy comedy as one big, happy, goofy, weird family. Buy your tickets to one of our shows today, and don’t forget, we also stream comedy online every weekend!
“Comedy is acting out optimism.” -Robin Williams
On the surface, laughter and humor may seem like one of the more frivolous things in life — something that, while good, doesn’t necessarily have any impact on the way you live. But what if there’s actually more to it? Maybe laughter and a sense of humor are more important to having a healthy, happy life than we give it credit for.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there are plenty of things in this world that are no laughing matter. However, that doesn’t diminish the idea that always taking everything so seriously can damage your relationships with the people you care about, diminish your personal joy, and possibly lead to lonely and depressed emotions. Life without humor feels more like survival rather than truly living in a vibrant, meaningful sense.
So How’s Your Humor?
People who are predisposed to be unhumorous are fairly easy to spot, and maybe it’s working for them. But what about the neutral personality? Not a crusty troll devoid of humor, but not necessarily a bursting bubble of joy, either. Does your sense of humor have room to grow? Consider if any of these statements apply to you:
If any of these statements hit a nerve for you, it’s possible that you’re taking some aspects of your life too seriously. It’s time to consider what working on your sense of humor could do for your health and sanity.
Why is Having a Sense of Humor Important?
Did you know there’s an institute that does nothing but research character traits and how they play into people’s personal and professional lives? According to the VIA Institute on Character, “humor” is listed among the 24 key character strengths common among individuals. Not to get all mystical and hippytastic on you, but it’s described as a “transcendent” character strength, in that humor helps people feel more connected to each other on a personal level and collectively.
Humor Helps You Face the Unpredictable
Being in tune with your sense of humor can help you roll with the punches that life throws your way on a regular basis. When you loosen up about the unpredictable nature of life, you can begin to develop a sense of humor that instills self-confidence for facing challenges. Rather than becoming a tightly-wound ball of anxiety when, say, the car won’t start when you’ve piled everyone in for a road trip, you can laugh at yourself, the unpredictable nature of the event, and have more freedom to move through it with greater calm. When all of life’s “what ifs” weigh you down, being able to laugh in the face of uncertainty can provide you with the calm and peace of mind you need to navigate life’s daily messes.
Laughter and Your Self-Image
Picture someone in your life who you know takes themselves very seriously. How receptive are they to playful comments, or the ability to laugh at themselves? To the tightly-wound, humor can be like water on a cat. However, if you’re someone who is prone to taking themselves too seriously at times, developing a healthy sense of humor about yourself can take the pressure off unrealistic expectations. Being able to laugh at yourself is different from being self-deprecating, however. If you can have some playfulness in the way that you think about yourself, you’ll find that it’s easy to celebrate the qualities that are unique to you. Some of those things that you’re self-conscious about? They’re not flaws, they’re features. Humor helps you feel more comfortable in your own skin, and that’s good — ideally, you’ll be inhabiting your skin for a long time to come.
The Boon of Smiling & Laughter
The next time you’re having a bad day, or you’re in a foul mood, try something — force yourself to smile for one minute. Even if you’re totally faking it and it feels ridiculous. Many people have reported that the simple act of smiling, whether forced or natural, can actually improve your mood. Combine this with laughter, and it’s likely that you’ll immediately see an improvement in your demeanor. The presence of smiling and laughter can also improve the quality of your social relationships. I guess that, in this instance, “fake it ‘til you make it” actually works.
Humor and Communication Problem Solving
What’s the best way to get a toddler to eat their vegetables? Should you read them the nutritional information about the health benefits of peas? Explain to them the perils of a vitamin deficiency? What about making them laugh by pretending to pull a pea out of your nose? Which scenario seems more likely to get a positive response, even when language is limited? Humor allows you to enter into a creative space to problem solve and communicate. Take another example — cleaning up the rec room after a serious playtime session. If you can make a fun game out of the process, you’re much more likely to have a team working together pick up all the toys, rather than a miserable chain gang of downtrod children. You’ll notice that both of these examples are from a parent’s perspective, but it applies to other avenues of life. The point is that when you can be creative, fun, and humorous with your problem solving, the wheels of communication are greased, and those very same values can be passed on to the people around you.
People are Drawn to Humor
While your goal in life should never be to simply appease everyone around you, there is truth to the fact that people want to be around people that make them feel good. People want to be liked, and humor is a great way to draw people into your circle of influence that can be healthy. When you exercise a healthy sense of humor, people will naturally be drawn to you, providing some great opportunities for social, personal, and professional relationships to blossom.
Share Your Humor
What good is laughter if it’s only ever experienced alone? Gutty’s Comedy Club in Greenwood provides a family-friendly space for people to enjoy comedy together, either in-person or on-demand through our streaming services. Face life together with joy and laughter, and visit Gutty’s Comedy Club or order a comedy livestream directly to your living room for as low as $10. We can’t wait to laugh with you!
“Humor is just another defense against the universe.” -Mel Brooks
Is laughter a strong enough medicine to stand up in the face of a worldwide pandemic? Humor may not need to stand up to the rigorous testing that is required of real-world medicine, but it is not less potent in its capacity to lift the human spirit. This isn’t merely opinion either — many known psychologists agree, stating that utilizing humor can help people regain some sense of power and control over otherwise powerless situations, as well as provide a needed sense of connectedness with those laughing alongside us.
There’s nothing funny about a worldwide pandemic that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives — but, the way that we respond to anxiety and stressors, the ways we cope, can have a profound effect on our overall state of mind and wellbeing. Whether you’re feeling the effects of fear, anxiety, grief, or even loneliness, being able to experience humor in some form of a communal sense could be just the ticket to put your soul at ease.
How Humans Are Wired to Benefit from Laughter
You don’t need Gutty’s Comedy Club to remind you of the seriousness of what our country is currently going through. Firstly, you get plenty of that from other sources. Secondly, our job is to bring the laughs! Some people cope with stress by binge cleaning, overindulging in snacks, or becoming cat people. We’d like to offer our own method that has been proven to be effective — jokes, wisecracks, tomfoolery, and other forms of repartee.
Laughter releases endorphins into your brain, which is the “feel-good” hormone, while also introducing cortisol, which helps reduce stress. It’s almost as if our bodies were designed by their very nature to respond positively to humor. Some studies even suggest that laughter is good for your immune system, as it’s been found to increase antibody-producing cells in some people.
It’s possible to find that your physical state is also positively impacted by laughing. When you’re wrapped up in a good old fashioned guffaw, some people experience pain relief, an improvement in their mental state, less stress, and stronger personal bonds with those around them. You can cut the amount of stress you’re feeling by almost 50% just by participating in a humorous exchange! You could almost argue that laughter is stress leaving the body one hooting donkey-chortle at a time.
Simple Ways to Infuse Humor Into Your Life
The nice thing about comedy and humor is that, generally, it’s a free commodity. You don’t have to go far to find something that suits your sense of humor. This is an abundant resource that is widely available to anyone, and for the purposes of addressing your mental and physical health, that’s hard to come by these days. That said, here are some great ways to infuse a bit more giggle-juice into your life.
Stream Comedy Online
Comedy venues, just like music venues and performing arts centers, have been hit extremely hard by this worldwide epidemic. However, those who can adapt can overcome, so we’ve taken our comedy to the “interwebs,” as the kids say. While we still host live comedy shows, you can also enjoy live comedy acts streamed directly to your living room every weekend! We can’t wait to have you, your friends, your brother, and the cousin you tolerate, back in-person for comedy, but until then, we’re playing it safe with smaller admission sizes. Join us online so you can still be a part of the fun!
Subscribe to Comedians’ YouTube Channels
YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of comedy, and some of it is even quite good. Many comedians, who make a living by traveling the world doing their routines, have been relegated to utilizing YouTube and other video platforms to keep producing new material for fans, both new and old. If you want a silver lining to all of the time that we’ve spent social distancing and quarantining, it’s this — creative and funny people have kept very busy. Many of the comedians that we’ve hosted at Gutty’s have their own channels where they post new material, the material they’re working on, and their general musings about the state of the world with alarming frequency. Take a few minutes to explore and find a few that regularly produce content!
Share Your Own Comedy
Perhaps you fancy yourself a wordsmith or someone who is quick with the tongue and can dole out the yuks with the best of them. What better time than now to start creating your own material and trying it out in a relatively low-risk environment? Start a YouTube channel, TikTok, or Facebook page and just give it a shot! You never know, people might like the smell of what you’re cookin’.
Build a Joke Library
You may not be able to come up with your own jokes, but if you have an ear for what makes people laugh, start keeping track! Maybe you’re super into lame dad jokes that are so-bad-they’re-good, or you’ve never met a pun you didn’t like. Either bookmark them online or write them down so that you have a small arsenal of japes prepared for a rainy day. You never know when you might be able to make someone’s day with a well-timed existential knock-knock joke.
You’re a Great Resource for Your Own Comedy
There’s something to be said about self-deprecating humor. Not in a malicious or self-hating way, but in the sense that it’s best not to take yourself too seriously, and maybe step back and realize how much of your life is actually quite humorous. What sort of conversations do you have with your dog? What alarmingly disgusting food habits have you resorted to during the pandemic? What did you end up using in lieu of toilet paper during that whole fiasco? You are a great place to start when it comes to seeing the humor in everyday life, and incorporating that into the humor that you share with those around you should be easy.
Watch Live Comedy Together Safely
When this health crisis is in the rear-view mirror and we can safely open up at full capacity again, you better believe that we’d love to pack the house. Until then, stay safe, join us in limited numbers in person, stream online, and don’t forget to laugh in the face of uncertainty.
“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” -Mark Twain
The fact that COVID-19 has disrupted so many lives is widely known, but what about the dead that it has disrupted?
Most of us go through our daily routines without giving a second thought to the spirits around us, but luckily for us, Matthew Montague is not like most. Matthew lives out of an RV most of the year, traveling from town to town helping those being “spiritually assaulted” as he puts it. He says that he doesn't want to help the people as much as the spirits because they are the ones who don't have anyone to fight for them.
“Most of the time, all the spirits want is be left alone, however, in order for them to cross over they have a certain 'quota' of haunts they have to hit each year. As long as they hit that quota before their first one thousand years, they get to cross over.” Matthew explained to us. He went on to say “unfortunately the quota is broken down by how much time the spirit is around a certain person or family. So, with the lock-down in effect, the spirits had to work overtime just to meet their end of the month numbers.”
This was something we had to dig a little deeper on, so Matthew agreed to take us with him on his next encounter — what we learned was both shocking and upsetting.
We pulled up in front of an old brick home we were told was built in the late 1800’s. The fog was rolling in thicker than any of us could imagine and before we made it to the front door, two members of our crew were already missing.
In true haunted house fashion, we ignored this serious situation and went inside to let the story unfold.
The front room of the house was like any other — broken mirrors hung on every wall to reflect the broken family that once lived in this house. Matthew encouraged us all to sit down kindergarten style on the old wooden floor and prepare ourselves for the ghostly interview.
He began his pleading...
“Oh spirits of this disheveled and dilapidated home, hear our cries and hear our pleas as we ask you to show yourselves.”
A hush fell over the entire crew as we patiently waited for a reply. Suddenly a gust of wind blew through the house and a chill settled on each one of us. I began to see my breath as if it was mid-December in Michigan.
In the middle of the circle, a blue flame began to flicker, and the spirit of what seemed to be a man who died in his mid to late 30’s began to show himself. The spirit was uneasy and thrashing his body back and forth foaming at the mouth, his eyes glowed red and his scream sent shivers down my spine. He screamed “Who has been bold enough to command me into the light?! Speak your name so that I may tell Satan who I am sending him!” I could hardly breathe as I looked over at Matthew and heard his reply “I am Matthew Montague, spokesman for the dead and unionizer of the spirit world” The spirit suddenly whipped his head around to Matthew and the flames died down, he settled his feet on the floor and said in a very melancholy voice “Oh thank God you are here, we have been working non-stop day in and day out since this pandemic started.”
We witnessed as Matthew and the spirit went over all the legal documents he brought and when we were able to ask a few questions of our own. We asked the spirit “So how do you feel this pandemic has affected the spirit realm?”
“Oh man, it has been a non-living hell for us, honestly. We typically only have to do two or three hauntings a month to keep our quotas up. People are so busy these days with their 12-hour workdays and all the little league games. But with everything being shut down we are having to haunt at least 10 times a week now! 10 times a week without any of that time getting added to our overall haunt numbers. I think we should be getting double-haunts, honestly, but hopefully, that’s where Matty boy comes in.”
Matthew Montague, a voice for the screeching, a body for the empty, and a saint to the spirits. We walked out of the house to a clear sky with the sun shining down on us. The spirit shouted through the broken front window at us “Thanks again for coming guys. Sorry about the people we took when you first showed up, we would give them back, but you know, works work.” We all had a good laugh about that.
We tend to think of ourselves in these situations, how the pandemic has hurt us. But what about those around us that are going through so much more?
I know before I complain next time, I will think of the spirits around me working overtime without a single cup of coffee.
Jake Ruble is a comedian and freelance writer who offers ghostwriting, copywriting and blogging services. He has been published in multiple formats and is currently available for hire. For information on how to hire Jake please contact him at JakeRuble.com
Man discovers that instructions were included in the package of nearly every item requiring assembly.
A Pontiac, Michigan man was shocked to find that detailed assembly instructions were included with his son’s bicycle that he was assembling for his 11th birthday. Jason, a 34-year-old electrician, was searching for a missing part of his son’s bike when a suspicious booklet fell from the seemingly empty box. To his surprise, this booklet was filled with detailed instructions on how the bicycle should be assembled. Jason began a quest to discover that most items that need assembly from the factory come with these types of directions in great detail.
“Men everywhere could have saved valuable time had they also found this time-saving booklet”; he told reporters.
Jason has begun a YouTube channel where he unboxes items that need to be assembled to see if they too include the detailed instruction booklet. He then will walk the viewers through a how-to-read an instruction booklet exercise. There has been a great backlash, however from dad’s in the community as many of them believe it is unnatural and unorthodox to use such a booklet. One of Jason’s videos shows how to interpret the instructions included with an outdoor swing set, and that video has had two million views but also at least a half a million thumbs down from dad’s everywhere believing you are born with the ability to erect a swing set.
Even with this negative feedback from other men, Jason still believes that using these instructions will make his life better and desires to be a champion for instruction based assembly, rather than the traditional model of, what Jason calls, blind assembly. Today you can find Jason’s children riding bikes, and playing with toys that were assembled to the exact specifications required by the factory.
Hoss Ridgeway is a stand up comedian / writer/ actor/ Senior Minister at Turning Point Church in Franklin, IN. for booking you can find him online at hossridgeway.com
In a sleepy little town outside of Austin, Texas, a Sheriff’s Deputy assumed his day would be like any other… he would be wrong.
As deputy Marshall B. Tucker checked his phone while tending to business, he noticed a new Facebook post from his cousin Shirley.
“It was like a million other posts I have seen,” Tucker told us. “The typical 'why are people always bringing me drama? I hate drama!' and the like. I know my cousin well, and to be honest, she tends to be the one creating the drama.”
So, the fine deputy thought he would do his duty and inform cousin Shirly that if she:
“didn’t want no drama, don’t start no drama.”
And that’s when things got messy.
“I really didn’t think about it before I posted it and now I know that was my downfall. I never think things through much” confessed the Deputy Marshall Tucker.
The next thing he knew it was a four-week confrontation with his cousin over not only Facebook now, but also Instagram. Every post he would make she would find a way to start drama with him.
“One post on Instagram was of my daughter in our church play and my cousin commented “the Christian doesn’t fall far from the chicken tree” and to be honest, I had no idea what that one even meant.
A family now split down the middle and Thanksgiving just around the corner we decided to track down cousin Shirley and ask her a few questions.
“So Shirley, why did you make the post saying you 'hate drama' in the first place?”
Shirley said, “Well, to be honest, it was a while back and I don’t really remember much but if I was to have to guess, I was just bored.”
She was just bored and looking for a little conversation it seems, and conversation is just what she got.
Shirly “Oh yeah I remember saying that on Instagram. I thought it was hilarious to think of a chicken tree, I ain't even sure if they’re real or not”
Should you avoid "drama" bait on Facebook? Do you know someone just like this? Are chicken trees really a thing? These are all questions only you can answer.
Jake Ruble is a comedian and freelance writer who offers ghostwriting, copy writing and blogging services. He has been published in multiple formats and is currently available for hire. For information on how to hire Jake please contact him at JakeRuble.com
Ferris Bueller fueled thousands of teenagers with the notion that faking sick and skipping school was all the rage. “Let’s all take a day off,” they said and senior skip day was born. Is it all fun and games or is there a deeper issue that could come from "playing hooky"?
We spoke with head researcher Dr. Ulfnam at Colombo Labs in New Jersey to see just how much danger could really come from this. “You see the rate of reliability has dropped astronomically since the release of this, "The Bueller" in 1986.” Dr. Ulfnam told us.
“Before the year 1986 not a single person had ever heard of this “Man-Flu” but it wouldn’t be long until it spread like a wildfire.”
So we asked him if he noticed a large spike in Man-Flu cases by the end of 1986. His reply may surprise you. “Oh no, no. You see, in 1986 when the Bueller was released most (if not all) of the first “Man-Flu” subjects were only teens. It wasn’t for another 10 years that we would see the numbers climb.”- Ulfnam
When asked if he could show us the data of just how many cases popped up in the late ’90s and how that number has risen over the years he simply laughed and replied “The issue is that 98% of “Man-Flu” cases go undocumented out of fear of being a "wuss bag" in the office or place of work. Most men just say they went fishing when they come back in.”
All we can say for now is that if you have a teenager who is claiming to be ill, double-check that thermometer before it is too late.
Jake Ruble is a comedian and freelance writer who offers ghostwriting, copy writing and blogging services. He has been published in multiple formats and is currently available for hire. For information on how to hire Jake please contact him at JakeRuble.com