The Arc of a Show

Within six months of that first show, my shows were running ninety minutes. My material is arranged like a newspaper. I always start out with a kind of welcome in the beginning. I next locate where we are, a comment on the hall itself. I like to spy on the crowd as they're coming in. I'll talk about them. It's a way of locating us. After that, I discuss the news of the day, front page. There's sports, there's media, culture comments, editorials, science news, etc.

Because I wasn't performing in comedy clubs, I wasn't gearing my ^ material with jokes and punch lines. I worked more with anecdotes, obser-

o vations, that kind of thing. I always end my show with some sort of farewell o material, which has varied during the years, but generally is a more serious material. In the beginning, I worked a lot in church basements. Later on, I moved upstairs in the church. I must say, the Unitarian's really moved my career along. I've also worked in coffeehouses. Now I do concert halls. The way that I used to rehearse was, I worked in front of my blue couch. I picture imaginary people sitting there. My best friend was there; I'd imagine Lily Tomlin, Dorothy Parker, all kinds of folks. I'd rehearse my material to them, imagine their reactions.

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