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Dane Baptiste, stand-up comedian
Andy Parsons

Things you only know if you're a stand-up comedian

By
Danielle Goldstein
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…according to Dane Baptiste, 36. 

Being funny is fine, but there’s a lot more to comedy

‘Comedy as an art form has nothing to do with being funny. You could be the funniest guy in your social circle, but that doesn’t mean you could be a comedian. You have to focus on learning your set upside-down in a shark tank, because it’s not just about the stuff you say that’s funny, it’s about how you can deal with a room when they don’t laugh. You have to be a real persistent person and have the motivation to do something even when it’s difficult.’

Comedy and booze are dangerously interlinked

‘Not only are comedy gigs in pubs, but when you first start out, they pay you in drinks. It’s very easy to sleepwalk into alcoholism. Plus, you can appear as a high-functioning alcoholic because you’re on stage for less than 20 minutes, so you can always pull off your set. But you shouldn’t concede that much of your power to something other than yourself.’

Researching your audience pays off

‘I used to have a joke that killed in every single British room. It was, “You know what you call music without a black influence? Eurovision.” However, the joke did not go well in Finland. Those people take that stuff real seriously!’

Londoners are tricky customers

‘London audiences are savvy, because they see a lot more and have a broader perspective. However, they’re also spoilt for choice and massively take that for granted, giving off an air of not being impressed by anything. Whereas when you go past the M25, people are appreciative and open-minded. They aren’t all racist and homophobic Brexit voters.’

Book now for Dane Baptiste’s show ‘G.O.D. (Gold. Oil. Drugs.)’ at Soho Theatre.

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