March 29, 2024

Kids for Parents, Hecklers for Comedians

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Stick to your own life and to your own stories, then nobody can take your jokes because it's personal and specific to you. - Linda Schwartz
Linda Swartchz & Birungi Birungi
Walter Ford

What does it take to make it as a stand-up comedian? A "Hilariously Blunt" podcast hosted by comedian Walter Ford gives us an insider's glimpse. He's joined by a diverse panel of comedians: Linda Schwartz, a rising performer who somehow finds time between parenting and national club tours, and Birungi, an established comedian selling out theaters across the country.

Their backgrounds and paths vary widely, yet their stories reveal common themes: overcoming challenging upbringings that built resilience, managing hecklers with savvy instead of outrage, and above all, persistence in the face of setbacks.

As Birungi puts it: "Our job at the end of the day is to make the audience have a good time." That focus rings true even as the guests debate passion versus business sense in comedy. There's no doubt stand-up starts with the art form, the self-expression. But Birungi argues that nowadays, you also need to "package and sell" your act to break through. Linda Schwartz agrees the entertainment landscape now rewards those who combine creative spirit with marketing chops.

We then get an inside look at Schwartz's path to comedy success as a mom with limited time. She focuses on quality over quantity with stage time, meticulously rehearsing five-minute sets at home. That preparation means she can slay even high-stakes sets like the New York Comedy Festival.

Walter emphasizes the importance of perseverance, citing icons like Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Chappelle as examples. Their success required years of dedication. Despite the challenges, the joy of making audiences laugh makes it all worthwhile. Aspiring comedians, remember: persistence pays off in the end and stay tuned for more insights. Don’t forget to go and listen to the full episode!

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