Working Comic: 2 Months

Shawn Carter spitting up water.

Shawn Carter spitting up water.

Well it’s been 2 months now and I’m still surviving on comedy.  Although a weird thing has happened.  I’ve started to have dreams about being on stage.  Before I decided to quit my job to pursue a full time position in the humor business I can remember dreaming about being on stage only 2 times.  Now it seems like it happens every night.  And it’s also in a different scenario every time.  I never dream about being on a stage that is completely familiar and comfortable.  I have these anxiety inducing dreams where every joke that I tell I’m thinking I hope they like this one or I may not get paid or invited back to this club again.  I suppose that’s probably normal considering I’m relying on repeat bookings for my livelihood but it feels strange.  How did my week go?  Well let’s see.

Monday – I hosted the ever busy and fun Sally O’Briens.  51 comics on the list.  Everyone got onstage.  I’m exhausted at the end of this show each and every week.

Tuesday – I hosted the much more relaxed open mic at Stadium Sports Bar and Grille in Quincy Center.  I made a slight adjustment to our normal debate that follows the open mic.  I got assistance from the audience choosing the debate topic for each set of comedians.  It worked well and I think I’d like to stick with that format going forward.

Wednesday – I drove to another state to perform on a paid show.  It was a good show because I got paid exactly what I was told I would be paid.  It was sort of a tough audience though as there was only about 10 audience members and TV’s on all around the restaurant.  Also, the microphone was wireless and there was no mic stand.  The only way the sound system could be less appealing to a comedian would be if it was a headset and you didn’t have a microphone to hold at all.  However, I managed to get some people to laugh and a woman came to tell me I was funny AND MOST IMPORTANTLY I was paid exactly what I was promised and I’m very grateful for that.

Thursday – I spent time printing out tickets for the upcoming UnScene Comedy Show in Lowell.  I did that at my parents house since I don’t have a printer.  My mother cut all the individual tickets from each page.  Show business is glamorous.  Thanks Mom.

Friday – I didn’t have a show so I went to watch my good friend Rick Canavan host the show at The Comedy Studio.  He dressed as Rick Jenkins (the owner of the club) it was hilarious.

Rick Jenkins and Rick Canavan on Halloween at The Comedy Studio.

Rick Jenkins and Rick Canavan on Halloween at The Comedy Studio.

I also posted a new “Stand Up Shot” to reddit.  And guess what, no magic this time.  I did watch it very carefully but it was obvious after an hour that it wasn’t going anywhere.  Not sure if it was the joke, time of day or some other variable that made it so much less popular than last week’s joke.  But I would like to ask for your help this week in choosing a joke.

I’ll list three jokes and I’d like for you to comment below or message me on my facebook page which joke you think I should use.

1.  My mother always told me “honesty is the best policy” but she also claimed that she coined the phrase.

2.  When I was 8 years old my father told us that he was leaving forever but he was really just going out for a pack of cigarettes.

3.  It seems like in some cities they are like “here’s a thing that’s killed a bunch of people where we live, let’s name our sports team after that.  Like the Miami Hurricanes…..  the San Jose Sharks……  the New York Jets….

Saturday – I did the show at The Dug Out in Boston.  That show is always really fun and they pay based on ticket sales.  It’s not as if I could make a living by doing that room every week but it’s a fun night that helps me at least buy some food for myself.

Here’s a clip from my set at the Dug Out:

Anyway that’s been my week.  See ya around.



Shawn Carter

Shawn is the owner and creator of UnSceneComedy.com


  • Bill

    Holy shit number 3 please, it got me really good.

    • admin

      Thanks! I’ve had a couple of other people message me and it seems to be split evenly among all three right now. Hopefully there will be someone to break the tie by Friday.

  • Jay

    There is no question that number three is the best, but it goes someplace that some audiences don’t want to go.

    • admin

      Probably true. I wonder if that would back-fire if I used that one.

  • Jordan

    Honestly, Joke 3 is something I’ve heard several times, years ago. I’m not saying you didnt think of it, but it isn’t an ‘original’ joke.

    Joke 2 seems decent, might get a kick out of some people.

    But if you post Joke 3, there’s a possibility someone will remember exactly who said it years ago and call you out. It’s a fairly used premise.

    Joke 2 is a little more non-sequiter

    • admin

      Thanks for the feedback I have heard that about joke 3 a couple of times today. I’m not that surprised, I did write the joke years ago but it’s not exactly the toughest joke to write.

  • Jones

    The first two are not really funny at all, but at least they are somewhat original. The third joke is in poor taste and is such an easy and cheap laugh (and also lacks originality… I have heard this same joke phrased somewhat differently several times before.) The smug satire of liberal humorists debases our comedy – and our national conversation. Don’t be a part of the problem.

    • admin

      Thanks for reading and for the feedback. Certainly something to think about.

    • russled jimmies

      not sure if serious