Different Styles of Stand-up Comedy

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If you’re a fan of Montreal comedy clubs, you have certainly noticed that there are many different types of performers. There are also different styles of stand-up Comedy. One of the most exciting things about attending shows in Montreal is seeing these styles play out and finding out which types of comedy and performers you enjoy the most. If you pride yourself as a comedy connoisseur, you probably know quite a bit about the different genres of stand-up comedy. For everyone else, we’re pleased to present an overview of some of the most popular and different styles of stand-up comedy.

Observational Comedy

Chances are that your very first comedy show was observational comedy. This style tends to be the most frequently performed over the years. Observational type simply makes observations about life, finding humor in it. If you’ve listened to a comedian discussing things like dating, food, or traveling, you’ve heard observational comedy. Famous comedians who helped perfect this style include Jerry Seinfeld and George Carlin.

Anecdotal Comedy

Anecdotal is a growing genre, and many of the most popular current comedians fall into this category. Comics using this genre focus on storytelling. Here, you are not likely to hear many short quips but rather engrossing stories. It is no surprise that anecdotal comedy is growing in popularity as successful storytelling can truly capture an audience. Some of the most famous names in this genre include Dave Chapelle, Hannibal Burress, and the late Norm McDonald.

Insult Comedy

We probably don’t need to explain this type of comedy. If you are someone that enjoys when comics pick apart the audience, you are probably a fan of insult comedy. This brash style focuses on roasting others, often in very profane or rude ways. In fact, one of the best ways to witness this type of comedy is by watching a Roast. Pioneered by Don Rickles, leaders in this type of comedy include Jeff Ross and Jimmy Carr.

Deadpan Comedy

Deadpan comedy involves a delivery style that is incredibly dry with a matter-of-fact delivery. The punch line is typically said without any emotion, helping to catch the audience by surprise. A major feature of deadpan comedy is that it typically sets the audience up to think one thing is coming before shifting to something else. Top performers of this genre include Steven Wright and Anthony Jeselnik.

Topical Comedy

Topical comedy is often also called social commentary. Comedians that practice this particular style will typically write material that criticizes aspects of society such as government, movements, or other social structures. In fact, many stand-up comics will weave social commentary into their acts while using another style. For example, Dave Chappelle’s recent specials are very topical despite using anecdotal delivery. George Carlin was another comic that weaved social commentary into his observational style. Today’s cutting-edge topical comics include Hannah Gadsby and Vir Das.

Wordplay Comedy

If you are a practitioner of puns, you will probably enjoy wordplay comedy. This type of comedy tends to involve the use of tactics like puns, double entendre, and rhymes to entertain audiences. Thus, delivery tends to be filled with many one-liners. This style of comedy does not have as many performers. Some of the more well-known ones include Daniel Sloss and Demetri Martin.

Improv Comedy

Many people would likely not call improv comedy true stand-up comedy but rather a bit of a blended genre between traditional stand-up comedy and theater. After all, improv comedy often involves multiple people on stage interacting with one another as well as the audience. Improv comedy requires creativity and quick wits as performers must constantly adjust to the unexpected actions of other performers as well as ideas shouted by the audience. The iconic show Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a great way to see this genre while perhaps the most famed practitioner was Robin Williams.

See Many Comedic Styles at Comedyville Comedy Club!

If you would like to experience a wider variety of comedy and different styles of stand-up comedy, you can attend one of our hilarious shows at Comedyville Comedy Club. See some of the most hilarious Montreal comedy shows by checking out our list of upcoming shows.


Post by Eddie Case, exclusively for, All rights reserved.
Comedyville is a Comedy Club located in Downtown Montreal.

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