the music of stand-up

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how closely related stand-up is to music.

I know I’m not the first person to think this, but recently I’ve seen some really good comedians performing routines where it’s essentially the rhythm, structure and tone of voice they are using that gets the laugh, rather than the content of the material. It’s why they say (whoever ‘they’ are) that great comedians can make the phone book funny.

I’ve even seen some really great stand-ups reference that fact at the same time as they’re doing it, in a way that makes the whole text of the act fold in on itself in a surprising way. (And of course, it’s the surprise – both in the form and the content of the joke – that gets the really big laugh).

Anyway, while browsing philosophy blogs I saw this study, which is interesting…


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