5 Common Traits and Skills of Great Comedians (with Examples)

Great Comedians

Written by Tim Grable

September 17, 2021

The best comedians have a terrific sense of humor and know how to make audiences laugh, yes. But these are not the only qualities that make great comedians a hit with the audience.

Keep reading to discover five other essential skills and traits which often lead to success in the stand-up comedy world.

Common Traits and Skills of Great Comedians

1. Story Narrating Skills

Some of the greatest comedians out there are fantastic storytellers. They have a knack for drawing the audience in from the start, engaging their emotions, and throwing in a plot twist or two to add a surprise element.

Stand-up comedian Myles Weber is someone who does this exceptionally well. Myles uses his unique tone and perspective to share captivating personal stories – making them come alive with a vibrant, high-energy delivery.

Check out the video below and watch him tell the story of how he decided to pursue comedy as a career.

2. Great Comedians Have an Effective Onstage Persona

Unlike other entertainers, stand-up comedians usually both create and perform their material. And some of the best comedians working today rely on a thoroughly constructed stage persona while performing to maximize the impact of their material.

The stage persona can be an enhanced or exaggerated version of the comedian’s personality or an entirely new character.

For example, Arvin Mitchell’s onstage persona exudes confidence and nonchalance, which helps with convincing the audience to listen to what he’s saying.

Check out the bit below from Dry Bar Comedy to see him in action.

3. Comedic Timing

Comic timing refers to the use of pacing and rhythm to enhance the comedic effect of a joke. When it comes to comedy, timing is key to making the material come alive on stage.

Like all great comedians, Danny Johnson is an entertainer who has come to master this.

He knows exactly how to pace a line and how long to pause after a punchline – often integrating body language and facial expressions into his pauses to heighten the humor.

Take a look:

4. Unique Brand of Humor

All top comedians know this:

Having a distinct voice and style is key to success, as it’s one of the things that helps entertainers differentiate themselves from one another and leave a lasting impression on their audience.

For example, Jon Stewart built his career on his biting political tone, while David Dyer is known for his interesting and sometimes twisted perspective on life.

Check out David Dyer talk about The Curse of Old Age in the clip below to better look at his unique brand of comedy.

5. Creativity

Great comedians are highly creative individuals who are not afraid to take risks and experiment to develop an original act that audiences will remember for a long time ahead.

Take Armando Anto, for example. The French comedian brings his violin on stage – putting his decades of classical violin mastery to use to add extra oomph to his act.

Check out one of his performances on Dry Bar Comedy in the clip below.

More than What You Came for

You’ve reached the end of this article.

But if you want to keep the party going and get to know even more premium comedians that should be on your radar this year, then check out this article.

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