Comedy podcast hosts are increasingly finding themselves with a new challenge: how to be funny.
With the proliferation of online comedy services, the number of comedians who have the same kind of audience as themselves is growing rapidly, and it seems to be having a profound impact on the way comedy is viewed.
It’s a challenge that’s driven by a few factors, said Mike Birbiglia, co-host of the comedy podcast Comedy Bang Bang and one of the hosts of the upcoming Comedy Central podcast, The Mike Birbowski Show.
“If you’ve ever been a joke in front of a crowd and you’re not funny, you’re doing it wrong,” he said.
“You can’t go in there and do a good job.”
Birbiglia’s advice to comedians is simple.
Get to know your audience.
Talk to them.
Get to know them well enough to make them laugh, but also to tell a joke.
If you don’t have the skills, talk to the people who are.
Birbiglie says that the best advice he can give to comedians about getting their act together is to be open to feedback.
The show will air this fall on Comedy Central.
In the past, Birbigle was a standup, so he was more than willing to do some improv, but he said the comedy scene has evolved in a more collaborative way.
This time, Birbmorelia is just doing standup.
He said he’s been doing the show with his wife and two children and his friend Josh Sussman.
And while Birbofle said he has a few things in common with his podcast hosts, he says he’s more comfortable talking about comedy.
“I think that my comedy is a little more spontaneous and a little less scripted,” Birb, 33, said.
He said he does get nervous when he gets too serious, but the more he talks, the more confident he becomes.
For Birb of course, his job is to get laughs.
“My job is not to be the funniest person in the world, but it’s to entertain people and to do comedy,” he explained.
“My job isn’t to be great at it, but to be good at it.
I don’t really want to be an actor.
I want to make people laugh.”
It was a lesson that helped him to understand that he has to do his best, Birbie said.
“The more I talk about myself and my life and my strengths, the less I worry about the comedy part of it,” he continued.
“I think I’ve gotten a lot better at talking about my own weaknesses and weaknesses in my own life.”
And that’s something that Birb is proud of.
His success has allowed him to build a career as a stand-up, and he says the only way to make his own comedy a success is to take the time to talk to other comedians.
“There’s no point in me saying, ‘Well, this is what I should be doing, but I can’t be good enough to do this, so I need to talk about my weaknesses,’ because then I’m not doing my job,” Birbie explained.
There’s something else that Birbigli hopes his podcast listeners will notice, and that’s his sense of humor.
Birb said he hopes his show will help comedians learn how to make their own jokes, even if it’s just for the sake of being funny.
“You need to know yourself, and I think you need to be able to laugh at yourself and be able laugh at people,” Birbigly said.