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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72 Questions


Last Answer on June 11, 2013

Best Rated

How much money does a stand up make?

Asked by Kelly almost 8 years ago

$11,121 $49,00 $112,321 Someone who works part time as a stand up could make $5,000 a year, and Jeff Dunam was the highest paid comedian a few years ago with $35 million. Yes, a guy who talks out of his side of the mouth with puppets made $35 million one year. Completely depends.

Dane Cook: love 'em or hate 'em? It seems like comedians used to all hate him, now many seem to be defending him. Is this sudden "softening" toward him a load of crap?

Asked by One Guy, One Mic over 7 years ago

I'm not sure. I know that when I am scheduled to so a show at 1130pm and Dane shows up, pushes me towards the back and does 70 minutes on stage (without a hello, or friendly convo) and then I go up at 1245pm, I don't usually have the nicest things to say about him. Like everything, it has more to do with ones personal experiences with that person, mine have been few and not very positive.

Are the internet and Youtube revolutionizing comedy, or will there always be room for a good stand-up comic?

Asked by amyslayton almost 8 years ago

I think thanks to youtube there is even more BAD comedy than ever! That being said, its a great way to showcase one's talents to people that haven't seen it. I really hope live stand up always exists because I think its important. My guess is that it will. I mean, did youtube keep people from going to musical concerts or poetry readings? I hope not. Im so glad I started before youtube was totally crazy because I would have felt pressure to put my stand up online before it was ready. Comics are putting there first, second and third set up online and I always think "don't do that! get better first". One of the most annoying things about the web is when audience members record your set and post online. A good club wont let that happen but it still sometimes does. Putting a comics set online without their permission is reay frustrating. Was that too negative?!?!?!

If you catch someone stealing your jokes, do you call them out?

Asked by silversplits almost 8 years ago

I haven't had too much of that but if I find that a comic and i have a joke that is very similar, I like to always chat with him/her about it. Maybe it was random luck that we both wrote the same joke, maybe it wasn't on purpose, maybe it was stolen... but I let them know. Good comics drop the joke immediately (as would I and have) if something is very similar. If I ever caught someone stealing jokes word for word, yes I would confront them and I would make a big deal out of it. Stealing is completely unacceptable. Here's a great read on an Australian "comic" who stole jokes from two established comedians:

Comedians often claim to be miserable people. I'm sure that's not always the case, but why do you think there's such a high correlation between sadness and comedians?

Asked by Jenny Bruce almost 8 years ago

See above. I also rememeber something I heard Chris Rock say "If ignorance is bliss, whats the opposite?". Comics analyze life. They are very aware and observe a lot. What happens when you see it all for what it is? What happens if you become fully aware? Its kind red pill blue pill theory. I'm not saying comics are jedis or anything but people that truly observe the world, and think to challenge it and question is, often can become frustrated, sad and upset that it is how it is. I know very few religious comics (worked with 2-3 in 12 years of this). Why is that? In my opinion its because comics naturally question things, thats why they are comics. Once you question religion (again, in my opinion) it starts to really fall apart. You can't find as much comfort in it, if any at all. No I am sounding like a sad clown :(

When you write new jokes, do you do any research to see if they've been done before? With so many comedians out there, I'll bet it's hard to come up with anything nowadays that hasn't already been touched upon...

Asked by Front-row cackles... over 7 years ago

If I write something that I think is too good to be true, too simple and obvious, I may quickly google the idea and see what comes up, but that doesn't happen very often. Very rarely do I write soemthing like that :) I'm not to concerned about my jokes being unique because if you write through your own personality, own point of view, they will be compltely unique and authentic to you. Even if someone gave me and you the same topic, call it "pay phones" we'd both probably write jokes that were very different and the ones that were the same, would be too obvious and not funny, most likely. The best solution is to write about YOURSELF. Just like our 1st grade teacher taught us, we are all special one of a kind snow flakes, so take advantage of that. Oh also, if you are performing a joke and 2 or 3 comedians come up to you and say "Yo, that joke is a lot like so and so's" joke... well then, you drop it. That's the deal.

What types of crowds are the worst to perform for?

Asked by Jobstr Frank almost 8 years ago

Any crowd that doesn't know, or didn't know that comedy was going to happen. Sounds obvious but you'd be amazed at how many shows comics do (especially when starting out) where you're at a sports bar during game 7 of the Stanley Cup and its comedy night! Those people are shitty audiences as you'd expect. Texters are the worst because they aren't paying attention and are also distracting others. (see this video of how I handled one texting situation: Lastly, and this happens a lot in LA, a crowd filled with agents and talent managers is a nightmare. They don't laugh, they only drink water, and they are always checking their blackberrys (they still have blackberrys). Plus they are wearing suits... arg.