The usual method of the standup comedian monologue is apparently casual connections. For instance, Elvira Kurt once started a monologue with the simple idea of bad hair. “As a five-year old, you never had bad hair days. You woke up with hair straight up, and you said, ‘I look great! I slept in my swimsuit and I feel wonderful!’ Mother made clothes for me—horrible outfits. She probably laughed herself to death. I got back at her. When I told her I was gay I said it was because of those clothes.” Note the deliberate movement from plain detail to plain detail, with great leaps between the details—the mother making clothes to the coming-out declaration. We are not expecting this transition (nor for that matter the simpler transition from bad hair to mother making clothes). But the transitions are funny, and they affect us, shock us even in this day and age. Write a 600-word standup comedy monologue, fitting it into a story situation you’ve already begun working on. Don’t make it obvious to your reader that you are doing a stand-up routine—just tell a story as if you were doing a monologue in front of a smoky, irritable audience, with a Late Show talent scout scribbling notes at the bar in the back.


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