Comedy Clothing Rules

I am wearing pants in this photo.

On nights I have open I’ve been doing any type of open mic available lately, as I’m working on a lot of new material.  Last night I did a show at my friend Matt Clemens open mic at the Lazy Daze Coffee Shop.  The room is smaller than my family room, so you could say it is tight.  There were 12 people there and 10 of them were comics, so you can imagine how great the response was. (Hopefully you hear the sarcasm dripping from that last sentence.)

The heat index was reading over 100 so I wasn’t about to get dressed up for this show.  I did something I’ve never done on-stage.  I wore shorts.  There are only a few rules I think comics should follow in regards to what they dress like.

  • (for dudes) Don’t wear shoes that expose your toes.  The people up front don’t want to be looking at your feet.  I actually would broaden this out by saying I don’t think any guy should wear flip-flops unless he’s around water, so I’m an anti-foot guy as it is, but definitely not on-stage.
  • Don’t wear clothing that is so busy that it deflects from the audience’s attention.
  • Don’t wear mismatched or really wrinkled clothing.  Some people are into clothes and it’s going to be hard for them to respect your comedic intellect if you dress like your homeless. Exception is if you talk a lot in your act about looking like a hobo.
  • Don’t be completely out of step with your audience.  If you are doing a show for a younger crowd, don’t tuck your shirt into your dated looking jeans like you are bringing back the spirit of early Jerry Seinfeld.  Most dudes under the age of 25 have never tucked their shirt in except for funerals and the crappy fast-food job they have.
  • If you are doing a TV appearance, don’t wear anything too trendy.  That UFC Affliction t-shirt might make you feel like a bad-ass, but in a decade when it’s re-shown on Comedy Central, you will look about as silly as Vanilla Ice in his Hammer pants.
  • Don’t wear shorts.  It just doesn’t look right on-stage.

For more info on why the last one doesn’t work, watch the video below that I took from last night. It has a reveal at the end of why wearing shorts is a big mistake.

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