Moving to Australia was not a career move, but a quality of life issue. It has no guns, no God, and no gangster rap. As an Ethiopian cab driver said to me the other day when I was returning from a gig in Sydney, "Australia is a peaceful, democratic place." I like the relatively stress free lifestyle. It's worth the drop in income.
Franklyn Ajaye Quotes and Jokes
When I saw the sign on the freeway that said, "Los Angeles 445 miles," I said to myself, "I've got to get out of this lane."
Black cats don’t worry about going bald. We know we don’t have a lot of options, so we adapt to it pretty fast. Black cat will look in the mirror and say, “I’m bald… can’t be pulling no hair from over here and combing it over there… so I just shave this shit off.” White dudes they fight baldness to the death. I know a white guy with one hair, got it swirled all over his head.
I have no desire to be hip to the latest black slang and do the stereotypical black thing. I was a Richard Pryor fan, and I have used profanity in my act. But when it becomes a whole thing that defines blacks, we're limiting ourselves. The enemy is us.
Note the “quality” – not just the quantity – of the laugh that you’re getting. This is just as important – if not more – than just getting laughs. Cheap laughs are just that. Your jokes’ll be treated just like Chinese food. In an hour, people’ll be hungry for another comedian.
When I've mentioned things that I thought only happened to me, or thoughts that I felt had only had crossed my mind, the audience response indicated that they seemed to have happened to, or been thought of by many people.
Black people drink lots of beer. However, you won't see us skiing down a mountain for one, or see us diving for Frisbees on concrete for one.
I wasn’t able to showcase myself to my satisfaction on television until I did one very important thing: I started treating television as though it were just another night at a club. I stopped ruminating continuously over my television set and thinking about its potential significance. This started with my last few shots with Johnny Carson when I realized why my spots hadn’t seemed as funny to me as my club sets. I realized that the extra thought and preparation actually worked against me. Once I adopted this new attitude, I started doing television spots that I was happy with. But let me stress that this was just my approach.
A technique I developed quite naturally to help me make smooth transitions was to use a word or phrase from the next routine in the preceding one.
Obviously the audience has veto power signified by whether they laugh or not, but you-not them-retain the ultimate power to decide what they’re going to get the opportunity to laugh at.
Walking back and forth also helps by creating the illusion that you are thinking of the routines on the spot, giving your performance a more spontaneous feeling.
You must not be afraid of small bits of silence. To use it well is the height of confidence and skill for a comedian. It increases the tension in a good way and adds contrast like a curveball complements the fastball of a good pitcher.
An aspiring comedian must be determined to get to his or her true feelings on a subject and convey that to the audience. Figure out what you’re feeling or interested in because the goal is to get the audience interested in what you’re interested in. Good stand up comedy is drawing people into your head.
On a good night, I'm just into the flow and seeing the pictures and words in my mind clearly before I say them. On a bad night, which to be honest are nowhere near as bad as when I was starting out, I just concentrate on performing the routines correctly. I focus on my delivery.