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Voiceovers And Standup Comedy – The Not Silent Blog 6/20/17

I love stand-up comedy.

I’ve loved it ever since I saw George Carlin in “Carlin at Carnegie” on HBO when I was a kid.

He was a genius not just with words but with how he said the words. When he recited his Incomplete List of Impolite Phrases, the funniest moments are when and how he stressed certain items. Like any great voice talent, George Carlin was a master of phrasing, inflection, and timing.

I bring this up because a few weeks ago I went to a comedy club in New York City to support a friend. It’s a fascinating process. To get booked in a venue like the one we went to, you have to bring a certain amount of people to see the show and the attendees have to participate in the classic “two-drink minimum”. There were about a dozen comics and maybe 50-60 people in the audience. I noticed that the show was being videotaped. I didn’t ask why, but I’d like to think that it’s in case the venue strikes gold and discovers the next big comic. It also may be so the comics can “study game film” like a professional athlete to see which jokes are working, which aren’t working, and why.


Most of the comics weren’t particularly funny, but I have the utmost respect for each and every one of them and tried to laugh and support them as much as I could. Why?

They create their own content. As a voice talent, there is nothing better than a well-written script and I’m thankful every time I get handed one. Hats off to these aspiring comics for creating their own content and often from painful, personal experiences. I’d bet that stand-up comedy is form of therapy for more than a few of them.

They embrace failure. There were many moments where one of these comics would try out a joke and get dead silence for their effort. I can’t even imagine how awful that must feel. These people try out their material over and over again night after night in hopes of finding the right material designed not just to make us laugh on command but to groan, applaud, or whatever in an effort to achieve the desired effect. I have no idea how long this process takes but it must be excruciating.

They are fearless. It takes a special kind of masochistic narcissist to get up there and do what they do. Us voice talents hide in a dark closet when we try to ply our trade. These crazy bastards do it in public with bright lights pointed at them! I did notice that there wasn’t a single heckler in the crowd, which was great. Everyone in the room appreciated how hard these comics were working in an attempt to bring us joy.


  1. WoVO Con 4 is this weekend! I couldn’t get there this time but it’s an amazing conference and if you aren’t going this year, go next year. It’s a fantastic experience!

  2. My next Edge Studio “Business and Money 201” webinar will be Thursday, July 20th @8PM EST. The subject: Cost/Benefit Analysis. We’re gonna talk about crunching the numbers that is your voiceover business. Click here to register.



From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, The H is Silent, but I’m Not.

Tom Dheere is a 20-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.


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