If you're one of the tens of people out there who call themselves "comedy blog fanatics," I'm sure you've thoroughly read these two recent entries, which are both stirring up a lot of conversation. There are salient points being made on each side (some rather controversial), but I can't ignore that one perspective is being completely ignored. So please indulge me, for I have my own list. Me!
7 Tips for Hot Dogs Starting Out in Stand-Up
1. First things first, people are going to give you a lot of shit about your name. Believe it or not, some audiences interpret "hot dog" as a literal term. Unless you're doing a broiler show, you're probably not going to be very hot, so that will definitely upset the temperature-heads out there. And prepare yourself for some angry woofs and bow-wows because you ain't a real dog, dude!
2. You're sometimes going to have to go up after a hamburger. Most of the first shows you'll do will be at barbecues, which are traditionally dominated by burgers, both hammed and cheesed. That's fine. Just don't think that means you have to change your act to be more like a hamburger. Anyone will tell you: a hot dog in a hamburger bun is annoying and frustrating and only a little erotic. Speaking of which...
3. Embrace the bun. A lot of beginner hot
dogs think they don't need their natural bread accompaniment, but then
they get up on stage and start slip-slidin' all over the place! The bun
is there to help you, to make your wet body more accessible to the
audience's greedy (horny?) fingers. When you forget that, you become
nothing more than a slimy pig's "anus 'n' things" on stage.
4. Hebrew National runs the business. A lot of people think this is a myth that stems from paranoia and dirty stereotypes, but it's true. If they don't want you on a show, they can have you conveniently "stuck" in a boiling pot of you-flavored water for the night. Years ago, there was a really funny Ballpark Frank who publicly badmouthed the company, and the next day was buried in a big old bag of salt. And there was poison in the salt, we think!
5. Don't go crazy with the condiments. I know there are comedians out there like Ellen Degweinerus who go nuts with a bunch of toppings, but they are professional hot dogs who have a lot more experience than you. Maybe just start out with one condiment, like mustard, ketchup, or if you're a monster, mayonnaise. Get comfortable with being a regular hot dog before you start to experiment.
6. If you get good enough, people are going to want to cut you up and put you in macaroni and cheese. Or cover you in dough and deep fry you. Or put you in a fancy crescent roll to impress in-laws. It's a weird phenomenon that happens a lot: you get so good at being a hot dog that everyone wants to see you not really be a hot dog anymore. If it happens, great, but don't get deterred if you never get that call from Big Corn Dog. Just stay focused on being your best wurst.