Stand up comedy is an art form in which a comedian addresses a live audience. Comedy is a very tough business and stand up comedy is even more difficult. This form of comedy can have a comic act, one liners, short jokes or fast paced successions of humorous stories.
Stand up comedy is not a new trend; it has been prevalent since the 18th and the 19th century and has been gaining momentum since then. It initially started in United Kingdom and United States of America, but today stand up comedy has spread it roots to various countries such as Argentina, Taiwan, Belgium, Greece, Hong Kong, Estonia, Ireland, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, and many more.
A number of people have earned fame in stand up comedy. The list of some top stand up comedians include: Bill Hicks, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Denis Leary, Steve Martin, Louis C.K., George Carlin, Rodney Dangerfield, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, etc. Some Indian stand up comedians are Javed Jaffrey, Raju Srivastava, Sunil Pal and Ahsaan Qureshi.
There are many festivals at which stand up comedy is the focus. These festivals are: Just for Laughs (Montreal, Canada), Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Edinburgh, Scotland), Melbourne International Comedy Festival (Melbourne, Australia), U.S. Comedy Arts Festival (Aspen, CO), The Comedy Festival (Las Vegas), Sydney Comedy Festival and many more.
This trend has shown tremendous growth over the years and is sure to maintain its position. A number of television shows all over the world are now offering a platform to budding stand up comedians. Stand up comedy is definitely a great career option today!
Sources for Photos: flickr.com, louisck.com