If you’re a comedy nerd like me, then you probably have a lot of friends who don’t share the same interest in comedy as you do. If you do, please share them with me. Truth be told, most of my friends would much rather watch Teen Mom reruns when they decide to stay in on a Saturday night rather than a new episode of Saturday Night Live, which typically leads to me watching SNL in my room alone. It’s not easy trying to convince your friends or roommates to forgo watching that same Disney movie that they’ve had in the DVD player for weeks again to instead watch an In Living Color marathon with you, but sometimes it’s necessary.
The same goes for live comedy. If you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably missed some amazing live shows solely because you couldn’t convince any of your friends to go with you. Going alone is a totally viable option. However, you can only do that so many times before it makes you feel like a complete friend-less loser (or maybe that’s just me). Eventually, you’re going to have to cave and drag your non-comedy friends along with you, and I’m here to help.
- Convince your friends that [insert comedian/comedy show here] is famous. Telling your friends that you want them to go see Donald Glover isn’t going to be enough to get them to agree. Instead, approach the subject as “he’s on Community and in some movies which you probably haven’t seen.” And you’ve already caught their attention. Nobody wants to see somebody they’ve never heard of, but everybody wants the chance to see somebody famous. That’s just how the cookie crumbles.
- “Is it [the comedy show] funny?” Sometimes you’re going to be fielded that question by your friends. Since they see you as the comedy expert (presumably because you’re the only one of your friends who always has John Mulaney’s The Top Part in your car’s CD player instead of “Shelby’s Power Hour Mix ’07!!!”), they are going to enlist your expert opinion on the situation. The only answer, obviously, is, “Of course it’s funny. Would I really want to see it if it wasn’t?”
- Do something that they want to do either before or after the show. Go to Starbucks or Pinkberry with them afterwards, watch Glee with them and don’t complain about it, buy them a drink at the bar, just do something to thank them for coming with you. Adversely, if you have no soul like me, then you can also use this to guilt them into coming with you using the “But we ALWAYS do what you want to do!” routine. It’s probably better (and nicer) to go with the former, though.
- Start basic. If you want to start indoctrinating your friends into the wide world of live comedy, don’t take them to an amateur improv show because chances are they will never want to go to another show ever again. They didn’t “get” any of it and now your taste in comedy is forever seen as weird and your opinion can never be trusted again. Those shows are for true live comedy aficionados only. Skip the amateur improv showcase and instead take them to a stand-up show. Stand-up is universally more relatable to everyone, even if they don’t consider themselves as being into comedy. Chances are they’ve all heard at least one Dane Cook routine, so making them sit through your favorite stand-up comic should be cake.
- Chloroform them and carry them into the comedy show with you. (Please don’t do this.)
If none of those tips work, then you have insufferable friends who have no concept of humor and you should probably find a new crowd to hang with. Or you could just go without them and revel in the fact that you’re having more fun without their complaining about having to miss a new episode of Jersey Shore anyway. The plight of being interested in something that only a very small niche of people are into is tough, but the best way to get through it is by surrounding yourself with like-minded people. They are out there, you just need to find them. Or chloroform them. (Again, don’t chloroform them.)