For the past 4 months I’ve been working on writing my very own The Deangelo, a comedy juggling routine with no juggling in it. You can just talk about juggling, pantomime juggling, or a little of both. You cannot actually juggle. I set myself the goal in March to come up with 4 minutes of material about juggling with no juggling. I decided to write around this joke:
I saw a woman today with triplets. As a parent that sounds like a nightmare. But…as a juggler…
The joke had been working well in the show and I thought baby juggling was a topic with enough power to last 4 minutes. It very well might be but not for me. I’ve written forty or fifty jokes for the routine, asked friends to help, and posted joke ideas to various online joke writing support groups and I’ve still only come up with two and a half minutes of okay material. Right now all of the jokes are working but only two of them are really good. I’ve performed the routine around thirty times now to a varied set of audiences from the Moisture Festival in Seattle to a group of 8th grade Catholic school students in the parking lot behind a bar. I’ve come to the conclusion that the routine (as is) can probably support 90 Seconds. I’m going to keep working on that 4 minute goal but it feels further away every time I sit down to write more jokes.
The challenge is, and has been, finding new angles to approach the topic of baby juggling from. So far I’ve written jokes about
- The practical aspects of baby juggling
- The moral implications of baby juggling
- Why people don’t like baby juggling jokes
- When baby juggling jokes are funniest
- Who would let you juggle their babies
Another challenge has been the number of shows I’ve been able to perform since having the idea and the length of time between shows. I recently wrote a set-up that I liked and it took me weeks to find a punchline that I want to try but I won’t have the chance for a couple more weeks. That’s really frustrating. I’d suggest that when you are working on a new routine from scratch, that you start working on it when you have a bunch of shows booked. That way you can try something, adjust, and try again the next day (or ideally the same day). You’ll progress much faster than doing 2-4 shows a month and having them be spread out.