How to Be a Comedian – How to Find Your Own, Unique Comedic “Voice”

How to Find Your Own, Unique Comedic Voice in Stand-Up Comedy

This article is going to introduce you to finding your own, unique “Comedic Voice.” If you’ve studied other resources on how to be a comedian, you’re likely to recognize this idea. But this trick will make “finding your voice” much less complicated. Sign up for our newsletter to get the entire unabridged copy of Comedian Quick-Start Guide in a downloadable PDF.


Using Different Writing Styles While Learning How to Be a Comedian

There are many different styles of comedy out there…



Jerry Seinfeld


Ray Romano


John Stewart

Political, Current Event

Steve Martin




Robin Williams


Mitch Hedberg


Richard Jeni



…and there are endless more sub-styles to choose from that are not on this list. You’ll be playing around with many of these styles as you’re learning how to be a comedian.

How to Be a Comedian: How Do You Decide What Your Voice Is?

So how do you know which style YOU should use? The answer is experimentation. Early in your career don’t be afraid to try these different styles out. You don’t have to decide on one and stick with it your entire career. You will find that you are naturally drawn to one (most likely a few). Experimenting while you’re developing your skills for how to be a comedian is a quick way of gaining lots of experience in a short amount of time.

Take a closer look at all the comedians listed above and you’ll see that, while they were KNOWN for being masters of one style, they really incorporate many different styles throughout their set. For example, Ray Romano talks a lot about his family on stage. But he doesn’t limit himself to just talking about his experiences, he makes witty observations as well. Robin Williams is known for his improvisational style. But inside of that style he uses observations, experiences, and physical humor. You have the opportunity to incorporate many different styles into your own performances. You don’t have to stick to a single style just because you’re still learning how to be a comedian. Experiment! Have fun!

Each of these comedians was naturally drawn to where they are today. In Jerry Seinfeld’s biography one of his friends looked back on his pre-stand-up comedy friend and mentioned how he was always good at making tiny observations. His natural abilities followed his comedy style, not the other way around.

So feel free to experiment. The more styles you try the more defined your sense of humor will become. You might find that you’re not a good one-liner but you can tell very interesting stories. Great! If your friends love hearing your stories there a good chance an audience will as well. Use those skills in your journey of learning how to be a comedian.

Your style will change throughout your career, either drastically (like George Carlin) or through tiny changes (as every comedian does). You might not be good at using political humor in the beginning of your career but find that you have an uncanny ability to write and perform political jokes a few years into your career.


How to Be a Comedian: What Is A Comedic Voice?

Do even the broadest search on how to be a comedian and you’ll probably hear about finding your “comedic voice” (or just “voice”). But what does this mean? While a comedian’s “voice” is a very complex subject, it gets far easier to understand when you think of it in terms of how companies brand themselves. A comedian’s voice is, at a basic level, their “brand.” Just like brands, a comedian’s voice is not built by only one or two components, there are many of them that, all totaled, are called the comedians “voice.”

Stroll down a grocery store cereal aisle and you’ll see hundreds of brands doing their best to separate themselves from the rest. Even cereals in the same category (sugar cereals or health cereals) differ from each other. Just like there isn’t one “best” cereal, there is no one voice that all audiences prefer. Audience members want variety. One unfortunate tendency of people learning how to be a comedian is that they forget that audience members have a wide variety of preferences. New comedians should strive to pick a niche and stick to it, serving those audience members far better than any other comedian.

One-Liners Using Their Comedic Voice

Let’s look at a great example of how to be a comedian that can perform with a well-defined voice when there’s constraints: one-liners. If it’s hard to develop uniqueness in any single style, it’s got to be one-liners. How can someone show how unique they are in such short jokes? Here is a list of one-liners. YouTube them and ask yourself how they’re unique from the others…

1)     Steven Wright

2)     Mitch Hedberg

3)     Jimmy Carr

4)     Bob Hope

Each of these comedians use short jokes with little or no segues in them. Yet all four are completely unique as performers. This is what it means to have a comedic voice. This is their “brand.” There might be a thousand one-liners working, but not one of them is like these four because they’re comedic voice was so different. The end-goal you should have when learning how to be a comedian is to wind up with a very differentiated voice.


How to Be a Comedian With a Defined Comedic Voice

Finding your voice can be done in a million different ways, but here are some easy steps that will get you started on the right path to finding your unique voice.

First, watch videos of your favorite comedians. Choose your top 3 and watch all of the material you can from them.

Secondly, pay close attention to their unique style that you find so appealing. Ask yourself questions like…

  • Why am I so drawn to this comedian?
  • What characteristics of that comedian would I like MY comedy to have?
  • What characteristics of that comedian would I NOT like my comedy to have?

Drill down deep. Don’t be satisfied with an answer like “I like him because he’s observational” or “He’s funny.” The more in-depth you are the better. Look for characteristics like…

  • His persona (how would you describe this comedian?)
  • His material (does he talk about serious topics? Silly topics? Does he act like he knows what he’s saying? Or does he act unsure?
  • His delivery (is he calm? Smooth? Awkward? All over the place?)

Third, gather all of the characteristics you collected from each of the comedians you just studied and put them together. Your purpose here is not to “steal” their persona, but to understand your own sense of humor so that you can apply it in your own journey of learning how to be a comedian. The reason you like these comedians in the first place isn’t because of THEM, it’s because they already sync up with your own natural humor. So by studying those comedians and why you like them you’ll in fact be studying yourself and your own humor.


Taking The Next Step In Educating Yourself On How to Be a Comedian

Our stand-up comedy courses go in-depth on these skills (which we only briefly covered here) as well as introduces you to many more key concepts to writing comedy, performing, and comedian marketing. We offer the Faster & Funnier Stand-Up Comedy Course, the Creativity For Comedians Course, and package deals that suit your needs and will teach you how to be a comedian that can destroy on stage in the shortest time possible.


Jared Volle