Stand-Up Comedian

Stand-Up Comedian

Michael Kosta

Los Angeles, CA

Male, 30s

I'm Michael Kosta, stand-up comedian (yes, that's what I write on my tax returns). I've performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan, and Comedy Central, and I tour all over North America and Australia. Ask me anything about life as a stand-up.

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Last Answer on June 11, 2013

Best Rated

Are you signed to any labels as a comedian?

Asked by Raa over 11 years ago

I am not and I don't know anyone else that is.  I know that before you do a special, you will sign a deal with a TV network or label.  I only have a small experience with Comedy Central on that.  I'm shopping around an hour special now and we are looking for networks or labels that would want it- but even if they did it would only be a one special deal.  Once the taping is over, we could move on to another buyer down the road.

What do you do to generate new ideas if you're struggling to come up with new material?

Asked by zemightymarcus over 11 years ago

Shit, I have no idea... any good ideas?

This is certainly one of the harder questions to answer.  I follow the method of "just start writing".  Just start typing, or writing and see what happens.  In LA, it can be challenging because we are less likely than people in NYC to interact with people.  Sometimes I'll hop on the bus or go to a busy coffee shop just to be around people.  That always seems to help.  Another great method is to go back to old stuff you have written and rewrite it.  Usually there was something there in the first place, and maybe since the time as passed, you've become a stronger writer and can make it even funnier.

What's your favorite on-stage ad-lib or unplanned crowdwork you ever did?

Asked by <<GreenGoblin>> over 11 years ago

Hmm I don't know.  I don't seem to remember most of them.  They just kind of happen.  I seem to recall a woman in STL got really mad at me and stood up and starting preaching about Jesus and think I told her to shut the fuck up and made security push her out the exit.  That was kind of fun.

How much material do you need to be a comic? I know you always add jokes, especially if your humor is more topical, but do you change the bulk of your routine every week? every month? every year?

Asked by Vingold over 11 years ago

It just depends.  Jay Leno has been doing the same stand up set for 25 years.  Jerry Seinfeld has been doing the same jokes for years as well.  Louis CK has been doing a new hour every year for the past five years. There are arguments for both sides.  Jokes that are done for years at a time, become very polished, very strong, yet can feel lame to the performer and any audience member that has seen them before.  Brand new jokes can not be as polished, maybe lack a few more tag or punchlines.

Asking me how much material does one have to have to be a comic is like asking a musician how much music you have to have.  I don't really know what that means.  Do you want to headline comedy clubs? Then it works like this: MC does 10-12 minutes, Feautre act does 20-30 minutes, Headliner does 45-60 minutes.  how often you change the routine is up to you.

Do your spouses/girlfriends ever get irritated if you use them as material?

Asked by Beemo63 over 11 years ago

Hmmm, I think it would be very challenging for any comedian if they had to censor their act based off of their spouses/GFs reactions... hopefuly the significant other knows what he/she is getting into. I have in the past but looking back I shouldn't have. We have to use our every bit of material that we can.

How did you get past the nervousness before your first gig?
Also, did you take off right away or did it take a while to get where you're at now?
Did that make sense?

Asked by Michelle almost 11 years ago

 

how does the comedy industry work? I assume there are comedians and writers and maybe agents or promoters? I'm focused on learning the different people that make up that industry

Asked by iyk about 11 years ago