There’s a reason it’s called a punchline
An effective punchline tells the crowd when to laugh.
Something I see from newer MCs: They deliver a “get applause” line…
“How about a round of applause?”
“Clap it up for your next comedian.”
”You guys ready for more show?”
…yet the crowd doesn’t applaud. Most of the time, it’s because the MC didn’t punch it enough. They said the words but they didn’t get the message across. They didn’t convey to the crowd in a clear way now is the time to clap.
Embedded in that is a great joke-telling lesson too. You can write a good joke but if you don’t deliver the punchline with the proper tone of voice, volume, and body language, it’ll fall flat. There’s a reason it’s called a punchline; it’s the verbal equivalent of a slap in the face. You need to convey to them now is the time to laugh.
Sometimes a joke bombs because it sucks. But sometimes the comic just didn’t lean into it enough. It’s easy to think the content/joke/writing is all that matters, but a good comic also acts as a conductor who lets the horn section know when it’s time to blow.
It’s also a good argument for getting better via hosting too. If you tell them to clap and they don’t, it’s a clear sign your delivery isn’t cutting it.
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