I am still working on my research for definitions of stand up and a brief history of stand-up comedy, but I wanted to take a break and tell you about a book I recommend which was written by a comedian friend of mine from Seattle, Dartanion London. (Note: Each link in this blog entry is to a different one of each of his social media outlets.)
Social media has created new opportunities for humor to be expressed. The short form of Facebook and Twitter updates combined with a multitasking and distracted society call for a new approach. Though this short form actually owes to the old one-liner style of comedy, the immediate and ever present world of the internet delivers it us with ease and frequency. From our fingertips we can now have delivered a pie in the face.
With Social Comedia, Dartanion London has written a new kind of joke book. From his almost once-a-day delivery of slightly slanted observations of today's world on his social media profiles (Facebook and Twitter), he gives you something to think about -- although just for a second. Then another joke moves in.
This book may not grant all your comedy wishes. But hell, the damn thing has robots! Take it into the bathroom, take it one joke at a time, take two and call me in the morning. It'll keep you entertained for minutes at a stretch!
I've seen Dartanion's stand-up act a number of times live. Each time I was struck by his original approach. Leave no doubt, he is funny. But he pushes boundaries too, which is what I like to see in any comedian I follow. He has a background in sketch and improv and he takes this with him to the stage. He is intelligent, composed and unpredictable. He also has a quality I like to see in comics -- it's as if he doesn't really care if you laugh or not (even though you do). If you need comedic touchstones to help you get a handle on what he's like, I would suggest that Dartanion London is as if Steve Martin and Andy Kaufman had a love child -- with Aspberger Syndrome. Just take a look at the promotional video for his book below. It alone is worth the price you pay for the book.
Even my cat Oreo likes "Social Comedia"!