Steve Roye: A Top Leader In Stand-up Comedy Education And Training
Note: Details about my background as a pro comedian and comedian trainer are also available in Episode 1 of the Stand-up Comedy Secrets For Beginners downloadable audio series.
After completing a tour of sea duty in 1992 while serving in the US Navy…
I made the decision to start a stand-up comedy career in San Diego, CA at the age of 32.
After initially struggling to develop a powerful stand-up comedy act and almost quitting stand-up comedy altogether after 9 months…
I discovered what is now referred to as the Killer Stand-up Comedy System and subsequent online course..
If you want a detailed, blow-by-blow account of my horrible start at stand-up comedy and why I almost quit, check out Chapter 1 of the Interactive Writing Guide.
Long story short — in November 1992, after tossing out virtually all of my “paper written jokes”…
In April 1993 year I won won the Camp Pendleton Comedy Contest, which ultimately resulted in numerous appearances in the local comedy clubs — comedy clubs that I previously couldn’t even get open mic time in.
In less than 24 months after winning that contest, I had developed a stand-up comedy act that afforded me the opotunity to headline 600-1500 seat venues all over Southern California and begin frequently working corporate events.
In 1996, I began teaching other comedians my “system” for developing and delivering stand-up comedy material without having to “write” jokes from thin air.
I retired from the US Navy in 1999 after 20 years of honorable service.
After writing several extensive manuals on my methods and techniques, in 2001 I launched my first website to share my secrets for quickly developing and delivering high impact stand-up comedy material.
In 2003, I developed the Comedy Evaluator Pro software for comedians (more information on how the software was born can be found in this section on this page).
After having reached all of my stand-up comedy goals, in 2005 I made the decision to retire from live performances and devote all my time to writing and teaching others how to develop and deliver headliner level stand-up comedy material.
Comedy Performance Resume
Headline Performances (Comedy Venues)
4th & B, San Diego, CA (1500 seats)
Ventura Theater, Ventura, CA (1000 seats)
Galaxy Theater, Santa Ana, CA (600 seats)
Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA
Coach House, San Diego, CA (450 seats)
Comedy Store, La Jolla, CA
Improv, San Diego, CA
Laff’s, Ogden, UT
Johnny B’s, Provo, UT
Buffalo Bills Casino, Primm, NV
Casa Blanca Casino, Mesquite NV
Saddle West Casino, Pahrump, NV
Laff’s, Albuquerque, NM
Holland America Line (Main Stage)
Carnival Cruise Line (Main Stage)
Open/Feature Act For
Headline Performances (Corporate)
Sea World, San Diego, CA
Ford Motor Company, San Diego, CA
Sony, San Jose, CA
Orco Construction Supply, Patterson, CA
California Environmental Health Directors Association, San Diego, CA
California Highway Patrol, San Diego, CA
University of California Medical Administration Staff, San Diego, CA
Coleman College, San Diego, CA
Chamber of Commerce, San Juan Capistrano, CA
US Navy – Numerous Command Events, San Diego and Southern CA
Brain Injury Foundation, San Diego, CA
Orion, Newport Beach, CA
California Nurses Association, San Diego, CA
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Open/Feature Act For Recognized Comedians
“Cheap Shots”, Private Industrial – Directed By Michael Peak -1998
“I Am Comic”, Documentary – Directed By Jordan Brady – 2010
Here are a just couple of video clips of my stand-up comedy before I retired from live performances to focus on stand-up comedy education (very small audience — only 50-60 people). Additional video clips are provided in the Interactive Guides included with the course:
The Killer Stand-up Comedy System
In 1992, after almost a decade as a professional medical trainer who could easily make students laugh so hard it would interrupt other classes…
It seemed logical to me that stand-up comedy would be a fairly easy adventure to tackle.
I was wrong.
After buying and studying every possible book available at the time on how to “write” stand-up comedy material, I quickly discovered that the information provided in those books did not work for me.
As a matter of fact, I had already made the decision to quit stand-up comedy when I had a chance meeting with comedian John Marks while involved with a specialized Navy training course in Washington, D.C. in September 1992.
From that single conversation, the process for developing and delivering headliner level stand-up comedy material now known as the Killer Stand-up Comedy System was born.
It should be obvious that the results of how effective my system was is reflected in my comedy resume.
I should also mention that…
I had no desire to become a stand-up comedy teacher. But in 1996, another chance event lead me into teaching my system to other comedians.
In 2000, I was encouraged by yet another comedian (who became my editor and business partner) to write a book about my system.
That turned into two extensive volumes covering all aspects of developing and delivering stand-up comedy material without “writing jokes” in the literal sense — the way all the “conventional” books seem to embrace — much to the detriment of those who try to use those antiquated techniques and methodologies.
Then, an amazing thing happened.
As my former business partner (who was an average comedian at best at the time) began editing the material I was producing…
His own stand-up comedy act began to improve dramatically.
By the time he had finished editing all the material and the Killer Stand-up Comedy System was launched in 2001…
My business partner at the time was generating headliner laughter levels with his stand-up comedy act and had become a difficult act to follow — in just a few short months.
That’s when I really knew I was onto something big with my system.
Subsequently, since 2001 the Killer Stand-up Comedy System online course has been sold in over 20 countries around the globe and has become the gold standard for individuals with comedy talent who want to bypass the old, and largely ineffective “conventional joke writing” processes that most comedians use today.
Comedy Evaluator Pro
Comedy Evaluator Pro
Just like the Killer Stand-up Comedy System, Comedy Evaluator Pro was not born by brilliant design, but by accidental necessity.
Here’s what happened:
In the summer of 2003, I was invited to Club Med in Cancun for a consulting gig to evaluate their comedy shows for possible improvement.
At the end of the week, the top executive at the resort asked me if I could help them. I said that I certainly could. Then he asked this question that threw me for a loop:
“If we hire you as a consultant, how will we know we are making quantifiable improvements?”
I stood there like a deer in the headlights.
Immediately, I knew that there was really no way for me to “quantify” something as seemingly subjective as comedy — at least not without some serious thought.
I also knew that business, especially big business operates based on numbers — the most accurate numbers they can produce.
I told him that I would get back to him with the answer. I was up for three days straight trying to figure out how to answer that question.
On the fourth day, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks:
There are really only two events that happen during any comedy show:
1. The comedian (or comedy entertainers) is performing or…
2. The audience is laughing, cheering or applauding
It then became clear to me that both of these events were easily measurable.
All I needed was a couple of stopwatches and I could quantify real and objectively determined results using a simple ratio of “performing time” vs. “laugh time”.
The bigger the ratio, the better the comedy show based on objectively measured laughter, cheering and applause.
Hence — I had definitive and quantifiable performance improvement data to work with.
But it also didn’t take me long to realize that two stopwatches will only provide an overall quality score (PAR Score — Positive Audience Response — laughter, cheering or applause).
And I also discovered that trying to use two stopwatches does not work well at all for a minute-by-minute performance evaluation, which is the real performance data that you need to rapidly identify areas needing improvement.
Realizing those limitations and figuring out how to evaluate each minute of a comedy routine is how the process and the software were born.
This process, along with the software to effectively measure and evaluate each performing minute by a comedian or comedy entertainer was launched in Oct 2003.
So I didn’t just “dream up” the Comedy Evaluator Pro comedy performance system as just another thing to sell comedians.
It was developed in response to a question about quantifiable comedy improvement that I simply could not answer at the time.
Now, I have comedians all over the world evaluating and improving their acts based on a really simple, objective process — unless the software is not being used properly of course.
In 2010, Comedy Evaluator Pro drew the attention of filmmaker Jordan Brady and I ended up being featured among an amazing group of stand-up comedy stars and legends in the documentary “I Am Comic”.(currently available for review on Netflix).
Does a PAR (Positive Audience Response) Score really matter?
PAR Score (or average seconds of laughter for each performing minute) only matters if your goal as a comedian is to cause an audience blow milk out their nose from laughing — even if they haven’t had any in awhile.
I have had a number of so-called “real” comedians try to debunk my software and my system. And I can totally understand why…
All comedians think they are the “best” at what they do.
Who wants software that helps one objectively evaluate performance results that have already happened and can possibly tell a comedian with hard objective data that they really weren’t as funny as they thought they were?
But here’s what I do know…
Comedians who are consistently hitting a PAR Score of 30+ don’t seem to have any complaints about my software or my system and use it without reservation to continue to improve.
It’s the comedians who CAN’T reach a 30+ PAR Score that seem to have the issues, oddly enough.
Oh well, I can’t please everyone, nor do I intend to.
My job is to help truly funny people realize their stand-up dreams and goals with the very best tools, techniques and strategies possible.
And I’m not stopping, no matter what the less-than-hilarious naysayers care to dish out.
So there you go. That’s how Comedy Evaluator Pro was brought to life.
Other Credits And Credentials
Keynote Speaker, Comedy Material Development:
2004 – International Ventriloquist Convention
2005 – Christian Comedy Association
2013 – Christian Comedy Association
Master of Arts, Health Services Management, Webster University – 1998
Bachelor of Science, Allied Health Sciences, George Washington University – 1990
Master Training Specialist Certification (Navy) – 1993
FCC General Radiotelephone Operators License – 2000