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Someone said I was funny, so I tried standup comedy. It was bad. Very bad

By Megan Nolan

01 Sep 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

In modern society, quitting is often looked down upon. Read our post lunch lighter read which is all about why throwing the towel in is sometimes the best option.

It is, admittedly, not a complex mystery why I gave up standup comedy: I was no good. More astonishing to me is that I tried it all. As someone with inordinate reverence for its successful practitioners (probably precisely because I failed at it and had a brief glimpse at the clunking machinery ticking away behind an apparently effortless performance), I almost feel like apologising for throwing my hat in the ring, and I certainly would like to apologise to the approximately 100 people in total who were ever subject to my meandering and clumsy attempts.

Once, a boyfriend from my teenage years told me I was funny. Surprised, I denied it: I never actually told any jokes, so how could I be funny? This was true, he said upon reflection, but I found funny things funny, even those funny things not everyone could identify as such. I had found it funny when someone writing for our school magazine as a food reviewer described a meal as “hot and thoroughly cooked”, for instance, and this was an example he gave of how I was observant of the everyday charms of language. He was correct about me as a mostly passive lover of funniness: it’s still correct to this day, and sadly it remained correct even when I was trying my best to be an active, productively funny person.

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