Test Your Stand-Up Comedy Knowledge



9 Questions

What is stand-up comedy?

What are some elements that can be included in a stand-up comedy performance?

What are the roots of stand-up comedy?

When was the term 'stand-up' first used?

What are the three types of stand-up comedy performances?

What are open mic events?

What is a special in stand-up comedy?

What is the routine or set in stand-up comedy?

What is the audience's role in stand-up comedy?


Stand-Up Comedy: A Brief Introduction

  • Stand-up comedy is a live comedic performance where the performer addresses the audience directly.
  • It consists of one-liners, stories, observations or a shtick that may incorporate props, music, magic tricks or ventriloquism.
  • Stand-up has its roots in the stump speech of American minstrel shows, which featured an actor in blackface delivering nonsensical monologue to the audience.
  • The first documented use of "stand-up" as a term was in The Stage in 1911.
  • Stand-up comedy performances can be divided into opener, feature, and headliner.
  • Club and small venues often run open mic events, which can be booked in advance or left for walk-ins.
  • Experienced comics with a popular following may produce a special that may be released as a comedy album, video, or on television and streaming services.
  • A stand-up defines their craft through the development of the routine or set, which is designed through the construction and revision of jokes and "bits".
  • Audiences enter into an unspoken contract with the comedian in which they temporarily disregard normal social rules and accept the discussion of unexpected, controversial or scandalous subjects.
  • Stand-up comedy differs from most other performing arts as the comedian is usually the only thing on stage and addresses the audience directly.
  • The audience is integral to live comedy, both as a foil to the comedian and as a contributing factor to the overall experience.
  • Stand-up comedy has its own set of terms, including beat, bit, bombing, callback, and punter.


Think you know your stand-up comedy history and terminology? Test your knowledge with this brief introduction to the world of stand-up comedy! From the roots of the art form to the different types of performances, this quiz will challenge your understanding of stand-up comedy. Discover the nuances of the craft and learn about the various terms used in the industry. Whether you're a seasoned comedy fan or a newcomer to the scene, this quiz is sure to entertain and educate!

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