The Importance of Negative Opinions – Stand Up Comedy Teachers – Greg Dean

[music] [applause] [laughter] Once again it’s time for da questions.
Does somebody got a question? [O.S.] You talked about premises being negative opinions or things that are wrong. Does that mean we’re suppose hate these things or be angry about them? Yeah that’s a big misconception about my
definition of negative opinions. A lot of people think I want them to be angry at everything and hate everything, you know. So when I bring up … because that’s the most easily recognized kind of negative opinions, as it were. I only want you to hate something if you hate it and be angry if you’re angry about it. So let me talk about what I mean by the negative opinions. It’s any negative, negative thing. It’s just so, it’s things, things that are little, that annoy you, your little pet peeves of something. Do you follow? You know, if somebody’s crazy or somebody’s picking on you at work. Or your boss never gives you a break or
there’s some things that you, I wish it wasn’t that way. It shouldn’t be that way. I don’t want it to be that way. There’s too much of this, and too little of that, etc etc, you know. The public opinion is swaying this way or swaying that way, etc. So, one of the important things about the premise, about that negative opinion, is to spend some time because the premise is a negative opinion, about your subject, so you’re gonna be clear about your subject. But most people don’t spend enough time I think with their negative opinion. It is so important to really identify, you know, that you have a subject of some kind, and you pick something like, ‘this person subverts me.’ You know, everything I do they kind of
find a way to cancel it out. Oh, now that’s really specific. Okay? And, and that makes a much more interesting routine, than something like, ‘this guy’s always messing with me.’ That’s not specific enough for me. I haven’t clarified exactly what you’re trying to say. Cuz, remember your premise is your message for that routine. You start with the premise and then all the jokes are examples of that premise, until you change the premise. So spend more times. Dig, do a little personal archaeology. Digging into yourself. Knowing what exactly do I … what is my issue with that person or event? Or, you know, thing of any kind, right, that you’re identifying that you want to talk about. You’ve noticed something’s wrong, that’s kind of where we start. But exactly, very specifically because that also gives that routine something a little bit more unique about it. Because you’re being so specific. One guy in a class, one time, said ‘I want to say some things about the cath … bad things about the Catholic Church … cuz they, you know, and I’m a recovering Catholic.’ And I was like, okay and I … but what, what, you know? And come back with a specific premise the next week. And then he came back the next week, and said, ‘The nuns lied to me.” Oh, okay, now I like, started asking a
lot of questions of him and lead him right into all those things about that
and we built a really nice routine, based on that very specific thing, okay? Something confuses you. Very specific, okay? You know, paranoid can be, but it’s
specifically who’s after you? Why do you feel that, etc. So, it’s the negative opinions I think is one of the most important things to explore and specify because it is, … it’s, it’s the angle in
which you’re going to come at your subject matter in your premise. [applause]

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