What Does It Really Mean To “Kill” On Stage?
When a comedian is on fire and able to generate loud and frequent laughter from an audience, you will hear them describe the experience using terms like this:
I “killed” the audience
I “slayed” the audience
I “crushed” the audience
I “destroyed” the audience
But what does “killing” an audience really mean?
Before 2003, the determination on whether or not a comedian “killed” on stage was made subjectively, based on observable laughter duration and frequency a comedian could generate during their performance.
But once Comedy Evaluator Pro was developed and introduced into the marketplace…
It then became possible to not only objectively measure and quantify the laughter a comedian could generate from a live audience on a minute-by-minute basis, but to also objectively determine whether or not a comedian was generating headliner laughter levels.
However, I actually get accused of “making up” false standards or trying to establish impossible goals for comedians and their stand-up comedy performances, especially since stand-up comedy is such a “subjective” performing art.
Many people, including comedians at every level aggressively question how I am able to use objective metrics to determine how funny a comedian is or if they are delivering headliner level stand-up comedy material.
First, let’s talk about the “standards” that I did not set…
The Standards Were Already Established
I haven’t managed to set or even establish a single “standard” when it comes to delivering headliner level stand-up comedy material or generating the laughter results a headliner comedian can command when standing before a LIVE audience.
Any “standard” that exists when it comes to generating headliner level laughter response from a live audience was established when stand-up comedy became a recognized performing art and continues to be maintained by talented headliner comedians today.
The only thing I have managed to do is develop a process using software to measure and quantify what headliner comedians have been able to accomplish for decades, which is:
Headline Level Performance Metrics
It doesn’t matter if you measure the laughter generation ability of any accomplished or popular comedian in ANY decade since 1955…
Headliner stand-up comedy always has these objectively measurable metrics:
1. Headline comedians usually generate 4-6+ substantial laughs each performing minute. By doing that…
2. Headline comedians generate a minimum average of 18+ seconds of laughter, cheering or applause for each performing minute (PAR Score 30+).
3. Comedy “star” level comedians usually generate 24+ seconds of laughter, cheering or applause per minute range (PAR Score 40+).
Verify The Information For Yourself
The metrics I have identified above are 100% verifiable.
Simply use a stopwatch or Comedy Evaluator Pro to evaluate ANY widely distributed stand-up comedy vinyl LP album, 8 track tape, cassette tape, CD, DVD, MP3 or online video of any established headliner comedian performance commercially produced since 1955.
I have conducted many hundreds of evaluations over the years on audio and video recordings of popular and established headliner comedians of every possible content type, style, age, or gender.
And I didn’t just conduct CEP evaluations on established and popular comedians that I personally “liked” and appreciated.
Still, the metrics identified above remain undeniably consistent when it comes to headliner level performances delivered to LIVE audiences, even among the headliner comedians that I personally cannot stand to watch or whose stand-up comedy material I can’t even begin to appreciate.
So for the record — I didn’t “establish” any standards when it comes to generating headliner level laughter levels.
Talented stand-up comedians of every possible “flavor” were meeting or exceeding the laughter generation “standards” that I have only managed to identify, one audience at a time long before I was even born and continue to do that today — whether they use Comedy Evaluator Pro or not.
What I think is very exciting for those who are new to stand-up comedy when it comes to using Comedy Evaluator Pro is this:
And having objective metrics, along with minute-by-minute analysis of any stand-up comedy performance will tell any comedian what parts of their stand-up comedy act are rock solid and which parts need revision or improvement — which can potentially shave years off the time it takes for a comedian to reach headliner audience reaction levels.
Football wouldn’t be a valid sport without a goal line.
Well, when it comes to stand-up comedy…
You now know what the “goal line” is if you ever want to make any significant headway as a stand-up comedian.