Whether you’re a first time performer or a seasoned pro, there is some very important “comedy etiquette” that needs to be followed. It’s what we call…..

THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF OPEN MICs


1. THOU SHALT BE PUNCTUAL
Works in real life; works at the comedy club. Show up on time - don't get there late, and then bitch and moan about not getting a spot. And even more important, make sure you're always aware of when you're supposed to go up - don't make the MC look for you. It pisses everybody off, and you're trying to make a good impression, remember?



2. THOU SHALT HAVE PREPARED MATERIAL
You get a set amount of time to work out material; make the most of it. Don't waste our time and yours both by just going up on stage and screwin' around for 5 minutes. If you don't have something written that you need to work out, don't go up.

3. THOU SHALT RESPECT YOUR MICROPHONE
We've all gotta use that same microphone, remember? So stop freakin' spitting into it! Don't put your mouth around it. Don't throw it on the ground! And for God's sake, return it to the damn mike stand when you're done, rather than just handing it off to the MC - this is comedy, not a baton relay.

4. THOU SHALT NEVER BETRAY THE SANCTITY OF THE LIGHT
Arguably the most important of all the Commandments. Go ahead and give a killer performance… but when that light appears, get the hell off the stage. You wouldn’t run the light on a professional gig (not if you wanted to ever be hired again, anyways…); don’t do it here.

5. THOU SHALT QUENCH THY THIRST
Hey, c'mon... if somebody's being cool enough to give you some stage time to work on your act, do 'em a solid, and buy a drink. It's all karma, baby.

6. THOU SHALT KEEP THY ASS IN THY SEAT
We're not demanding that you stay for the entire show (although it's a great learning experience if you do), but at LEAST stay for the next two or three comics after you. Don't leave during the next guy's set - you wouldn't want him to do it to you.

7. THOU SHALT NOT BE ONE OF THE NEVERENDING MOUTH
In other words,... SHUT THE HELL UP! There. It needed to be said.

8. THOU SHALT NOT PESTER YOU BOOKER DURING SERVICES
Yeah, you want a spot in the booked show. Yeah, you're the greatest thing since sliced bread. The next coming of Christ, but funnier. We got it. Wait until AFTER the show is finished to talk to the booker - he's busy watching other comics, and assuring himself that you're the best of the bunch. Don't make him change his mind.

9. THOU SHALT NOT DISS THE CLUB
Want an even quicker way to talk yourself out of a job? Go ahead - bite the hand that feeds you. Make fun of the place giving you stage time - it might be funny... but it might also get you blacklisted.

10. THOU SHALT UNCOVER THY TEMPLE’S HUE, AND KNOW IT TRULY
Find out what's kosher on stage. The owner doesn't like "blue" material? Don't use it. And get specifics - if @!*$ is a sin, but &#?% is hysterical, then go up and &#?% the @!*$ out of your set.

Special thanks to Ken Pringle at www.chucklemonkey.com


Comedy Workshops for Beginning Comics

Wordup Productions
Bill Word
949-223-0298
www.wordup.com

Irvine Improv
Larry Scott
949-854-5455
www.improv.com

Ontario Improv
Johnny Dam
909-484-5411
www.johnnydam.com

West Los Angeles Community College
Barry Weisenberg
310-287-4475
www.funnybarry.com

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About the Author
Tom Riehl hosts the Comedy Section as Editor. Tom has a production company based in Orange County and has been involved in the comedy scene for years. Look for postings by Tom and other contributors, such as Lois Wilson, during the next few weeks. "

Tom's high energy and unique observations of everyday life are just two things this Orange County comedian has been catching people’s eye with throughout his comedy career. His odd, yet honest way of looking at life has made him a favorite among comedy club audiences throughout the U.S. An unassuming look, coupled with a hard-hitting delivery allows Tom to talk about many off beat subjects that most people only think about.

Tom grew up in a small rural town in eastern Pennsylvania aptly named, Easton. By all accounts, Tom never should have been a standup comic. His parents never divorced; there was no drug or alcohol abuse, no eating disorders and no therapy. As a matter of fact, life was great. At nineteen Tom moved out west to pursue a music career and a girl named Ellen. Neither worked out. After working many years in the corporate world, Tom decided to pursue a dream he had had since his early teens. Making people laugh. He enrolled in a number of comedy classes and improv groups which eventually led to open mic nights in Orange County as well as Los Angeles.

In 1993, after only six months of performing stand up, Tom began producing and emceeing comedy shows throughout the county, most notably the Holiday Inn in Laguna Hills. The show ran for three years and is to this day one of the longest running weekly comedy shows in Orange County history. Over the next two years, Tom continued performing in clubs, hotels, and colleges which eventually led to an audition on ABC’s America’s Funniest People. His creation of Subservient Suzie, America’s first politically incorrect talking doll, landed him a spot on the show and a $3,000 prize.

In July 1995, Tom began producing and hosting the outrageous, off-the-wall, television cooking show FOOD RULES, which is shown throughout many parts of the U.S. By combining a love of cooking with an amusing way of looking at food, Tom has created an exciting alternative to watching an over saturated market of mediocre cooking shows. Most recently Tom was part of a Food Network special presentation entitled “Funniest Food TV” which included over a dozen clips of his hilarious show. Also in 2003 Tom was a finalist in the “Orange County’s Funniest Person Contest” where he finished fifth out of over 75 contestants.

In addition to stand up comedy, Tom can be seen in a variety of television commercials and is a frequent guest on radio programs throughout the U.S.

Sunday, June 25, 2017
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