Since I published Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in December 2011, I’ve been notified by dozens of comics and a few non-comics whenever they or someone else wears shorts on stage. Usually it’s done in humor, but there have been a handful of times that people want a deeper explanation (either of these reasons is okay with me). I’ve come to realize that sometimes they just want to argue, others are mature enough for a real debate. One way I’ve discovered the difference is that when I want to give my book some credibility, I acknowledge the comments from the comics I quoted on the back (Jimmy Pardo, Tommy Johnagin, and Maria Bamford). My new rules is this: If they say, “I don’t know who those comics are!” then it lets me know this person isn’t much of a stand-up comedy fan. They don’t have to like any or all three of those comics, but if they don’t know who they are (especially Maria), that’s a key to me that this will be like debating what constitutes “good rock music” with a teenager. “Shinedown rules!” Sure they do.
Others (close to a dozen actually, so don’t think I’m going after any individuals) have told me that they’ve worn shorts on stage for years. Well, I’m glad you can get away with it at your venues. I’m not going to scrap my book. I titled it that because 99.9% of successful headliners would agree with me (damn you Gabriel Iglesias). One of the goals of my book was to show you what I have learned from successful comics through the years (I didn’t come up with 71,000 words of advice on my own). Most of these lessons were learned from conversations I had with headliners before or after shows in green rooms or while I was a doorman in the early years of my comedy career.
People often question whether it’s worth sacrificing pride and “the art of it” to make money in comedy. How much pride are you sarcrificing in your other job? Wouldn’t it be great if comedy was the only thing you depended on for income? That’s another goal my book can help you reach over the long run if you work hard enough. The comics who I constulted on the various issuess, including not wearing shorts, aren’t clocking in anywhere else.
But Rob, don’t you have another job? Yes, I’m going to be a full-time English teacher again. That’s a choice I’ve made and have explained in the book on why I’m okay with not being on the road full-time at this point in my life. Order here to find out why.
Oh, and to answer the question…Wearing shorts on stage looks unprofessional. You aren’t allowed to wear shorts in a lot of jobs, comedy is no different.