I have long held the view that my material falls between two camps – The stand-up comedy with one-liners where there is a cymbal crash to emphasise the punchline and the more story-based approach which appears more obviously written. Maybe it is my age but I remember the generic suited comedians of the 1970s doing their material and the juxtaposition with the alternative comedians of the 1980s whose material was not only edgy but so specific it couldn’t be stolen. When I perform my poem Black Mafiosa, to me, it is a series of one liners, for example -‘I am not a nasty person but I know some people who are and I am going to tell them about YOU.’
It is with this same approach that I wrote my poetry collection ‘Extra Sass’. It’s a series of jokes disguised as poetry (with an over-reaching narrative arc) which are meant to be performed. One day, when the pandemic is over, I will perform the Extra Sass material with a suit and a crash cymbal.
I stumbled upon this talk given by comedian Stewart Lee who talks about comedy appearing as if it hasn’t been written. It is well worth a watch.