Top Comedians You Can Learn From

No matter what your career choice is, if there is a role model to learn from you will be helped in a way that is superior to all others. To see how someone else does things is the easiest and best way to learn because humans are natural imitators. If you want to teach your kids something, you show them how. If you want to be a great surgeon, ultimately you learn by watching the great surgeons operate.


It’s the same with comedy. There are many great comedians out there from whom we can learn something. But it’s not only their manner and styles that we can learn by watching. It’s their life lessons. Jim Carrey teaches us that we can choose the source of our comedy.


He admits to being bitter and cynical as a stand-up – and everyone could see that he was like that. But he chose to make people laugh with his amazing face rather than his cynicism. Some comedians use their pessimism to make people laugh. Carrey could have done the same but he chose not to. So we know that we can also choose our comedy source – and the most obvious source is not always the best.


Woody Allen’s’ approach was to be himself – slightly unpolished and naïve. He taught us that if you are yourself, that is better than trying to fake it as someone else. He showed that naturalness has a better chance of succeeding than covering ourselves in a thin veneer of fake sophistication. Of course, some sophisticates are genuine and that’s okay too.


Bill Cosby can teach the new comedian many things, but perhaps the most important is that cruelty is not necessary for humor and that clean jokes can make you famous and popular; you don’t have to tell dirty jokes for success. You don’t necessarily need props, but you do need flow and cohesion.


If you can’t relate to any of the above, try Chris Rock. At least you’ll learn that rocks most likely come back to hit the person who throws them. It you like to make taunting comments, remember that it is easier to make people cry than to make them laugh, and comedians do the latter.


Matt McDonald can teach us that to be a successful comedian we need to use a part of our own personality and crank it up – exaggerate it. If we try and be who we are not, then the fakeness will show through to the audience. But that parts of our stage persona can conflict with each other and that will be okay. It may even be good.

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