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  • If you think compering is just about picking on the front row, you’re wrong. The second row are the smug ones.
  • Don’t wear a suit if you don’t know how to wear a suit.
  • Do not start your set with, “I know what you’re thinking, I look like the love-child of…” They aren’t and you don’t; write a joke instead.
  • Don’t look to be ‘edgy’ over ‘funny’. And certainly never in the dressing room, that stuff’s tedious enough onstage.
  • You’re doing an open spot in a club, do not talk about ‘your show’ at the Edinburgh Festival. It doesn’t validate you. Nobody cared about you in Edinburgh and they certainly don’t care about you outside of the place.
  • ‘Wow! You’ve got how many Twitter followers? You must be great.’ Nobody said that ever. Write some jokes for live people who are actually in front of you.
  • If you’ve got new material that you want to road test, try and slip it casually into a dressing room conversation. Everyone loves that.
  • I always think acts who ostentatiously set up a recording device at every gig are trying to give the impression they’re prolific. They rarely are.
  • My first agent, at Off The Kerb, once told me, “Don’t do filth. It’s all been done before, so unless you are completely original, you’ll just remind bookers and TV of other, better acts.” Plus, filth – does your joke get a genuine laugh or an uncomfortable one?
  • The circuit may be contracting, there may be fewer gigs and more comedians but bills are more diverse, more interesting and more talented than when the circuit was its ‘height’. You had a good run; get over it.
  • Be arrogant if you want, but you better be able to back that shit up with talent. Best just to turn up on time, be polite and do your stuff. It’s not difficult.
  • Puns are for Cants.
  • Facebook should not be writing your jokes. If you can’t, for example, think of ‘middle class things’, move along.

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