Stand up comedy is the last one-man show that still exists. Stand up comedy routines have involved music, sketches and other performers before, and are- or have been- heavily edited and reduced before mainstream exhibition, but ultimately the entire performance rests on the shoulders of the performer. If you're not funny, you can't make it.
And what is 'funny'? Stand up comedians walk a lot of strange lines. Even what constitutes a 'joke' is disputed, and every comedian tells some of them. Between telling them, they insert social commentary, charisma, showmanship, and personal experience. There's a lot of things that make people laugh. People laugh because they feel out of place or they feel solidarity. They laugh because they relate to the performer or the performer is someone from another planet. They laugh in spite of themselves.
I've imagined I could 'make it' or at least 'fake it', or faked it, in most types of creative output. For better or worse I think I'm at least as talented as my least favorite musicians and my least favorite writers, but I never even imagined myself in the company of comedians. Comedians are smart, they're creative, they're charismatic, and above all- they're courageous.
I've never been afraid of a crowd, I have plenty of material, and I've been invariably described as 'funny'. So why haven't I tried my hand at stand up comedy?
For one, I'm intimidated, for two, I'm overwhelmed, and for three, I'm scared.