Chicago-based writer/standup Goodrich Gevaart is here with some tips on how to maximize your comedic potential in the most important of fields: your bio. For more Goodrich, look for him doing standup all over town, and be sure to read his recurring music column on The Nicest Guys in Town called Sgt. Gevaart's Lonely Nights On Youtube Band.
“Look, in this fast-paced, cut throat business of stand up comedy, you gotta stand out, or be left behind”
-Mitch Hedberg (probably) 1994 (around it at least)
Mitch was right, y’all. With all these chuckleheads vying for that same spot in showbiz that you are, you gotta stand out. I mean, Mr. Hedberg didn’t get to cash that fat Comedy Central Half Hour check by being one of those same-ol-same-ol who gives a shit-stain comedians we all see everyday, right? RIGHT.
So I’m here to help you young bucks in this comedy game stand out from your peers just so long as you promise me that if you get famous as fuck one day and I don’t get famous as fuck you help me try to get on that level. Capice? Ok.
What’s the one thing books, casting agents, network executives, and ad agencies care about the most? Is it your material? FUCK NO. Is it your headshots? FUCK NO. Is it your bio? FUCK YES.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHY DO I CARE?
This is the question everyone in the comedy game is asking you at all times. And you gotta be there to answer it. If you don’t come into every situation in this comedy game prepared to pitch yourself, you might as well be working at McDonald’s. Seriously, close up this browser and go apply at McDonald’s. I’ll wait.
Good, now that those passionless idiots are making our cheese-burglars, the rest of us can get down to becoming famous as fuck. The following are my tips for making your bio GOOD AS SHIT.
1. Make Sure It’s Long
Do you want to be headliner? Why do you want to be a headliner? Is it because you get to be on stage the most time and you get the biggest, fattest check there is to be had at the Chuckle Den? Of course that’s why. And if you wanna do the most time, you gotta’ write the longest bio. It just makes sense. You’re putting out a long pitch about yourself and the people reading it go “Oh shit, this cat can write a long-ass time, I bet he could be on stage the longest too.” BAM. Instant head-liner status. CASH THAT CHECK DAWG
2. Make Sure You Cover All Tastes
If you want to reach the most people at once, you gotta’ cover all your bases. You gotta be EDGY but you also gotta’ be FAMILY FRIENDLY. Some people want CHRISTIAN CLEAN COMEDY and others want LESBIAN WORSHIP SATANIC JOKES. Let them know you will get IN THEIR FACE but you will also MUSE ABOUT EVERYDAY LIFE. Tell them straight up you appeal to all audiences FROM BABIES TO THE ELDERLY. Just a hint, maybe all those phrases are in all caps for a reason. INCLUDE EM ALL!
3. Use Vivid Metaphors
Some people just don’t get it. They need to read a metaphor they can relate to that will describe your comedy to them. So do that shit!!!!!!!!! For instance: “Goodrich will have you laughing so hard you’ll think he’s the Jesus of Jokes and you are one of his followers marching behind him in the desert looking for jokes to quench your thirst and need for laughs.” See also “Goodrich has made so many audience members fall out of their chairs like a fat man sitting in a tiny chair except his jokes are like the fat from an all you can eat laugh buffet, so comedy clubs have to take out extra chair insurance when they book him!” Those are from my actual bio, so don’t steal them CARLOS MENCIA!!! (J/K he’s my bro and we’re tight)
4. Name Drop
Comedy is a business and people need to know when you’ve worked with the best. But what exactly is “work”? Isn’t everything you do in the comedy biz considered some type of work? For instance, I shook Todd Glass’s hand last week. Shaking hands is networking. Networking is imperative to the work we do. So, I have worked with Todd Glass. (He is also gay and being gay is very ‘it’ right now) I saw Louis CK walking down the street one day and I yelled “Hey Louie! Is your kid a cunt?!?!” and he waved at me. I did the work. It’s going in my bio. In fact, here’s an excerpt from my bio: “Goodrich has worked with many famous comedians such as: Monty Python, Mort Sahl, Sinbad, George Lopez, Lenny Bruce, Yakov Smirnoff, Gallagher, Paula Poundstone." There’s a lot more but yeah, I’ve worked with these people. IT’S ALL WORK!!
5. Let Them Know You’re humble
At the end of the day, you’re just another Christian on God’s green earth, so explain how #blessed you are.
And when you cash that fat Hollywood check from your dope-ass bio, make sure you thank me. By giving me a job.