Comedians Never Joke about Not Being Funny

by Shaun R Smith on September 14, 2010

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People buy confidence.  There’s a lot of talk about being authentic.  I often think, where is that line?, do you just spill your guts about anything?

And it reminds me of when I was taking a stand-up class a few months ago.  One of the first things our instructor taught us was you can joke about a huge range of things – you can joke about your anatomy, you can joke about sex, about your race, relationships, religion, money, and other really sensitive topics.  But the one thing you can never joke about as a comedian is that you’re not funny.  You can never joke about your own skills as a comedian.

I think the same thing is true in business.  You’ve got blogger celebrities Naomi Dunford and Johnny B. Truant who are very open about their experiences.  They share a wide range of things in a variety of formats – from more straight business advice (like this one from Naomi or this one from Johnny) to more personal stories (like this one from Naomi or this one from Johnny).  What you never see or hear is them putting down their own skills in their area of expertise.  You never see a marketing consultant saying they’re bad at marketing.  They might share they have challenges or some missteps, but never in a way that conveys a lack of confidence.  It actually bolsters our confidence in them by seeing how vulnerable they’re being.

People always do buy confidence.

And comedians never joke about not being funny.

Photo by: Gary Dunaier

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