People are literally always trying to date me (that’s a lie), so I thought I would just streamline the whole process and give everyone a few tips and tricks on how to deal, play along, keep up and woo that special little comedy nerd in your life. Follow these little how tos and you won’t just be sitting front row at your close friend’s sh*tty improv show, you’ll be sitting front row at your girlfriend’s sh*tty improv show. I apologize in advance.
10. Respect Steve Martin.
Somewhere buried deep on the Internet, there is a video of me crying and actually saying to my then boyfriend, “If you don’t get The Jerk, then how can I be confident you even get me?” I’m not proud of that conversation, and I’m less proud that there is a video of it. But, to be fair, he had it coming. Some things in the brain of a comedy nerd are untouchable, and Steve will always be one. Listen, if you don’t like banjo music or Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, that’s fine, I guess… but you need to take that part of you that just doesn’t get it and bury it so deeply that it will only come out during a relationship ending fight.
HELPFUL TIP: If you want to end it with a comedy nerd, tell them King Tut sucks. Then they’ll know you’re a liar and not to be trusted.
9. Brush up on some of the classics.
If I say to you, “Jane, you ignorant slut!” your response CANNOT be “Who’s Jane?” If you really want to charm the pants off a comedy nerd, just have a basic knowledge of some of the go-tos. Watch some classic SNL, YouTube some key stand-up bits, and know the basic plots of the Harold Ramis (RIP) oeuvre. This act will not go unnoticed! Even if you can only confidently quote Jim Gaffigan’s “Hot Pockets” bit, I’m gonna have to give you some kudos for that. (Real talk, that is my least favorite stand-up bit that has ever happened and I cannot for the life of me understand why people respond so well to it.) You don’t have to go deep into the comedy crypts and memorize Abbott and Costello (although that would be a pretty baller move), but take even a subtle interest so that when I reference things, you can fake laugh at me. Check out Splitsider.com – it gives great overviews and reviews of SNL episodes, new videos that have come out that week and blogs on what’s up in the comedy community.
8. Don’t be weirded out if we don’t laugh but we say sincerely, “That’s really funny” WE MEAN IT!
Much like a heroin addict, once you go down the comedy nerd path, you need bigger, weirder, dirtier, hits of the stuff. A common misconception is that it’s impossible to make comedy kids laugh. It’s not! We just think about jokes in a different way after a while. If I find something truly truly hilarious, I won’t necessarily laugh at it, but I will say something like “That’s so funny” or “Hilarious!” followed by some introspective time where I figure out why what you just said killed. If you can make me look you in the eye and sincerely say “That’s so funny”, you’ve won! Don’t judge how charming you’re being based on the response you get – they don’t always sync up.
7. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t misquote!
Thinking you know what the line is and knowing what the line is makes a huge difference! We will take the misquoting of bits as a personal affront. Even if you just preface it with a “When he says something like…” followed by what you think the line is, that’s fine, but trust us, we know the line, we’ve obsessed over the line, we will correct you and it’ll get weird!
6. Let us show you weird vids.
Like I mentioned in section 8, if your biggest hobby or career path revolves around comedy, you are VERY oversaturated. Which results in a constant search for the newest, weirdest and outlandish bit. Let us show you these weird vids we’ve found and explain them. It will a) make it easier for us to suss out why it’s funny and b) give you some context for where our brains are at. Win-Win!
5. Be very gentle if we are being too loud!
This one is very personal to me, so I apologize. I cannot handle when someone tells me I’m being too loud during a bit. I don’t mean an actual bit where I’m onstage, I mean the bits we all do socially because we know they are crowd pleasers. If you interrupt the flow of a bit to tell me to adjust my volume, I will be a little baby bitch about it. This may not go for all comedy nerds, but if you want to roll with me specifically and I’m being too loud, wait til the bits done. Thank you, sweet angels!
4. If you just found something hilarious and new, we probably saw it six months ago. I’m sorry!
(This is a true story!) Like any self-respecting comedy kid, I watched the Franco Roast while it was happening, then the next morning I watched it again, then I YouTubed my favorite bits, then I downloaded it on my computer and watched it again, then I re-watched my favorite bits, then I re-watched just my not favorite bits, all within about the span of a week. So, when you come to me six weeks after the initial release and say, “Oh my gawd, have you ever heard of Franco roast?” I want to at the same time punch you in the neck and cuddle you forever. I love that you are interested enough to take a look and think of me but also, dude, IT WAS ON COMEDY CENTRAL! Like, as if! (I did not end up dating this guy, not just because of the Franco roast situation, but I’m not gonna say it wasn’t a factor.)
3. Don’t let us get away with too much!
Now that I’ve just ranted about you never putting me in my volume place in section 5, I will say it is totally okay to tell us to chill and stop hogging the conversation. (This one again is very specific to me, sorry guys!) Sometimes, it’s hard to interject your own thoughts, opinions, feelings, over my obnoxious extroverted funny girl bits. Feel free to reign that s**t in. As long as it does not involve my volume, tell me to shut up! If you’re dating a comedy nerd, trust me, they are acutely aware of their short comings and have seen enough Comedy Central roasts to graciously accept these facts and dish them out. Don’t let us conversationally trample you like the gazelles do to Mufasa.
2. Be comfortable when jokes come too soon.
There is a reason why comedians and comedy nerds are the way they are. If I’ve learned anything about the beautiful people of the comedy community it is that they are all the people with the biggest hearts. We feel too much, we see all of the sh*tty, heart wrenching, soul-crushing parts of the world and the only way we don’t Charles Bukowski ourselves is by finding the laughter in it. So, when you get pissed at me, or I at you, there will be darkness, and tears, and yelling, that are almost immediately followed by jokes and ball busting. It’s how I deal, it’s how we all deal. I promise you it does not cheapen the gravitas of the situation, it’s just how my brain has been programmed to function. Roll with it.
1. Be Passionate.
The number one thing you could do to wrangle a comedy nerd of your own is to be passionate. If we can see the mirror of how we feel about comedy in anything in your life we will be drawn to it. Remember that commercial from Concerned Children’s advertisers in the late nineties that was like, ‘Everybody’s got their thing! What’s yours?” We want to hear about your thing, we want to draw parallels between your passion and ours and we want you to be as excited about whatever you’re excited about as we are about the latest episode of Broad City. Be excitable! It’s the coolest dorky thing anyone can do.
K. Thanks. Bye.
Hannah Jack is an actress and comedian from Toronto, Canada! She prides herself in living the twenty-something dream, which may include, but is not limited to, buzzfeed quizzes, serving people brunch, mostly leggings, not having dental insurance, and finding herself. Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahhepburn and on her blog.
Featured Image via ShutterStock.