25 Golden Tips From Gary Gulman to Read Before Your Next Open Mic

By Shreyas Manohar 01 October 2019


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If you aren’t already infatuated with and enamoured by Gary Gulman, now is a good time to catch up—his new HBO special, The Great Depresh drops on 5 October. I had the pleasure of watching Gulman do an hour at Gramercy Theatre a couple of years ago and everything about his act—from his writing to his demeanour to even his dimples—was inspiring. (I’ve been trying to drill holes in my cheeks ever since.)

I first discovered Gulman online when I watched his set on Conan in which he comes on stage to recommend a documentary.

While he’s been a staple for the comedy circuit for a few years now, this is an especially monumental transformative time for Gulman, as he admits he’s finally getting a hold over his depression in the last year thanks to therapy, medication and reading. The Great Depresh, directed by Michael Bonfiglio and produced by Judd Apatow was taped on 22 June this year at the Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, and the HBO release kickstarts Mental Illness Awareness Week on 5 October.

According to an official statement by HBO, Gulman “hopes to help others feel more comfortable, less afraid, and most importantly, less alone.” Check out the trailer of his 75-minute special.

Starting on the first day of this year, Gulman followed through on his New Year resolution of posting stand-up comedy advice for those who’ve been doing it for a month or more. While you wait for the much anticipated special, here are 25 tips from Gulman that will change the way your next open mic goes:

Spread the word, write more

It’s just ONE set

Be honest, be gentle

Stay fresh

Be authentic

Do. Not. Dwell.

Expunge even the vaguely familiar

Let go

Be bold, commit

It’s not necessary to “suffer for your art”

Be sensitive

See if understatement can be applied

Optimism is more productive (and pleasant)

Being vulnerable is vital to memorable comedy

Give a joke 3 tries, or 19 years

Write like you only have six months

Get on stage

Take risks to find your voice

Don’t be lazy

“I hate my act” is a good sign

Don’t waste time on claptrap

Specific > General (but also vice versa)

Write for your ideal audience member

You’ve got 30 years to nail it

Read the whole thread, here.

Comedy Advice Gary Gulman New Year Resolution Twitter