Friday, September 10, 2010

Open-mic Instructions

Stand-up comedy is hard! But that is what makes it so exciting. If you have ever dreamed of doing it, or if your friends are encouraging you to, or if you are looking for a challenge, then you shoud perform at one of Humor U's Open-mics held four times a year.

If you perform at one of Humor U's Open-mics and you do really well, we will invite you to perform in... one of our "Green Spots" at our regular shows, and that could then result in being invited to be a full Humor U cast member. But Open-mic is the first step. Below are rules, instructions, and tips. If you are serious about doing stand-up comedy and you want to be a performer in Humor U - make sure to read everything here very carefully and then email us at if you have any questions.

1. You must be a BYU student, staff, alumni, or spouse of one of these to qualify to perform at Open-mic.
2. Your material/jokes must be clean and appropriate for family audiences. (if you don't know what is or isn't appropriate for family audiences, see "Bonus Tips" below)
3. You will not be allowed to use the tec podium for any multimedia. This means you can't project anything and that you can't play audio through the tec podium.
4. No one may assist you or be on stage with you during your performance. You must be completely solo.
5. Inappropriate language, actions, or subject matter will get you escorted off the stage immediately. Humor U may end your set at any time for any reason. (to avoid this from happening to you see "Bonus Tips" below).
6. All material must be original. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.

1. RSVP to this event.
2. Write a set. (see "Tips" below)
3. Arrive early to fill our an Information Sheet and get on the list to perform. If you don't arrive early enough you may not get the opportunity to perform.
4. Turn your fully completed Information Sheet in to get on the list.
5. When you name is called come to the stage immediately and begin your set - do not wait for a signal to begin.
6. Stop talking and sit down before the timer hits three minutes.

1. Come to one of our shows (go to for show dates and ticket info) or watch our YouTube clips to see how it's done:
2. Write a set.
3. Brace Yourself.
4. Ask a critical person for feedback on your set and make changes to improve your set.
5. Time your set and cut out as much as you need to to be under 3 minutes.
6. Rehearse your set in front of as many people as possible.
7. Ask the people you rehearsed in front of to give you critical feedback on your set.
8. Cut, replace, or rewrite anything from your set that isn't funny or that is a waste of time. If you go more than 20 seconds without getting a laugh - you have had a failure.
9. Repeat steps 4-8 as many times as you want, or until there isn't anything left in your set that isn't funny.
10. If you didn't repeat steps 4-8 until there wasn't anything unfunny left in your set - cut all the unfunny things from your set, even if it leaves you with less than 3 minutes.
11. If you are serious about becoming a Humor U comedian and want to impress us, don't include any jokes or material in your set that references anything specific about BYU or LDS culture.
12. Another thing if you are serious about impressing us, try to cover at least three different premises so that you can demonstrate your ability to write about different subjects.
12. If you want to hit it out of the park when you perform at Open-mic - come to one of our regular club meetings to check out the club and get a feel for how things work. If time permits in a club meeting you can perform material that you plan to use for an open-mic and we will give you feedback to help you polish it up. Club meetings are Wednesdays at 8:00pm in the MSRB.
13. Follow all instructions. If you don't follow all instructions here or additional instructions at the Open-mic we will be very unimpressed.

Bonus Tips:
Humor U does not keep a list or document of “Things You Can’t Say”. But here are some principles and guidelines that will help you to be successful.

Gospel principles are the foundation of successful joke writing and performances. Humor U shows are regularly attended by church leaders, university officials, and audience members of all ages.

Never offend. Never be crude, crass, vulgar, racist, bigoted, mean spirited, insulting, belittling, accusatory, etc. Anything inappropriate for a family audience has no place in Humor U. One sour note in a set can lose your trust with the audience that may spoil your performance beyond recovery. Self-censor first, and when it doubt – leave it out. If your material is questionable – write a better joke. There is an infinite amount of good jokes to be written, don’t waste time with the bad.

Never, in any way, say or suggest to the audience that they are unintelligent or prudish because they did not react the way you wanted them to. The burden of getting the audience to react favorably to your performance is entirely on you. You do not get to decide what is funny or entertaining; the audience holds that privilege exclusively. If you blame the audience for anything (any way, any time) they will turn on you. It is essential when writing jokes to imagine yourself as an average member of our audience in order to understand how they will react.

Humor U audiences are some of the most forgiving and gracious you will ever perform for. Never take advantage of this. Learn to tell the difference between an audience’s genuine laughter and awkward/uncomfortable responses.

Sacred things must never be made light of, although circumstances surrounding sacred things are different. General Authorities should always be referred to by their proper titles.

Derivatives of curse words should not be used. Words such as "crap" or "suck" should not be used, instead use higher language.

Subjects that generally are unworkable for joke material: sex, bowel movements, polygamy, cross-dressing, same gender attraction, and disabilities.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Internt Celebs Get Own Show

(the following article was written as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign to run in the Daily Universe, but their editorial board vetoed it because it sounded too real):

by Pete Kern and Matt Stringham

LOS ANGELES – The Fox network announced yesterday a new ground-breaking reality television show based on the lives of so-called internet celebrities. With one-time ratings juggernaut American Idol seeing its viewership decline in recent years (and with the departure of judge Simon Cowell from the show), Fox executives are hopeful that bringing already well-known YouTube video personalities to the television screen will help boost the network’s sagging numbers. Among those celebrities already announced for the as-yet untitled show are the double-rainbow dude, the Russian Trololo guy, and BYU student Stephen Jones, famous for his dead-on impression of Old Spice pitchman Isaiah Mustafa.

“It’s kind of a mix between ‘The Real World’ and ‘Last Comic Standing’ with a little bit of ‘Lost” thrown into the mix” said Bob Saget, the show’s host and executive producer. Saget is familiar with the fame that can come when obscure videos are given a wider audience, having hosted “America’s FunniestHome Videos” on ABC from 1989 to 1997.

The show will follow the celebrity as they live together in a sprawling Miami mansion while competing to make the next hit YouTube video. Each week the cast member whose video receives the lowest number of views will be sent home, with the winner receiving his or her own future reality show. Jones is the odds-on favorite to win the program but has tough competition from fellow cast members keyboard cat, Susan Boyle, and the woman who fell down while stomping grapes on a live news broadcast. The show already faces legal action from The Star Wars Kid, who claims producers purposely did not invite him to participate.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The History of Humor U - Chapter 2

So the BYU student that started Humor U was Tanner Kay. He chartered a new student club on campus and decided to call it Humor U. He had two friends at BYU who he had seen do stand-up comedy before and so he asked them to join his club. They did. One was a seminary teacher, the other was a Muslim from Gaza (yes, he was a BYU student). Tanner made some super dorky fliers with clip art and distributed them on campus. Amazingly, fifty people showed up and paid two whole dollars to get into the show. Tanner was the very first Humor U act and performer ever. The show netted $13 after expenses, which must have been a lucky number. Because 100 people came to the next show, and the one after that sold out. Ever since then Humor U has been adding more and more shows in larger and larger venues and selling out all along the way. Humor U has been an explosive roller coaster ride of success. Humor U attracted the funniest students at BYU who are brilliant comedy writers and performers. Over two dozen comedians make up the cast and they win recognition and notoriety more and more all the time. Everyone at BYU hasn't noticed yet, but now the world has. With tens of thousands of YouTube hits from around the world, Humor U just keeps growing and growing. We hope you can make it to the next show or see us online at our YouTube channel.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Humor U Diversity

People always comment on how diverse Humor U is. They ask us if we have quotas. The truth is we don't. We're just accidentally diverse. Humor U attracts all kinds of funny BYU students from very diverse backgrounds. By percentage, Humor U is the most diverse organization at BYU. We pride ourselves in having two black students, a Mexican, a Brazilian, a white guy w/ a Mexican name, an Asian, a Jew, and a Muslim. How does that help our writing? You wouldn't believe. Sometimes our writing meetings turn into the model UN. We don't go recruiting minorities, they just find us. I guess Caucasian people just aren't as funny, but we have plenty of them too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stephen Jones - New Spice video

Check out Stephen Jones' HUGE viral video. Click here. Stephen Jones is a stand-up comedian in Humor U, BYU Stand-up Comedy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The History of Humor U

Chapter 1
In the summer of 2006, one particular BYU graduate student was suffering from extreme boredom. He was so desperate for something to do that he dreamed up a crazy idea of starting a stand-up comedy club at BYU. This was impossible. The BYU administration would never let that happen. Stand-up comedy is all dirty and there is no way that BYU with it's overly sanitized performance groups that squeaked when they smiled, would ever allow a supposed art form of filth and sleaze on campus. But this crazed student wasn't deterred by the threatening obstacle of bureaucracy and suffocating tradition. Instead he march right into the offices at BYU and announced his intentions - comforted by the boredom that had been numbing his mind all year. (more to come)

Bryson Kearl - "Party Mascots"

click here

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Family History

Humor U is currently doing it's family history. We are going through all our old footage from the past four years and converting it to a digital format that can be edited and uploaded on the internet. We have a goal to cull through the nearly 500 hours of footage and clip out the best jokes and performances from all of it. Then we'll post them on YouTube for the world to see and enjoy. There is enough laughter and funnies in those 500 hours to cure cancer I'm pretty sure. We'll probably squeeze about 10 hours of fantastic footage out of those 500 hours. Only the best for our fans. It's our service to you. It's like the Humor U scrapbook for the world. Along the way we will discover and reveal some unfamiliar cast members to many of you. Also some moments that we can't believe we forgot. Let's all remember them together and laugh again. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch these nuggets as we release them:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's spring training time for Humor U. It's time to get back to drills, stretching, working out, beefing up, and practice, practice, practice. We have some promising rookies this year. Will they make it through spring training?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ticket Info

Tickets on sale now!

Show times are:
Fri Nov 12 7:30pm
Fri Nov 12 9:30pm
Sat Nov 13 7:30pm
Sat Nov 13 9:30pm

For more info on Humor U, videos, pics, and more - go here:

This show will feature the regular Humor U cast and at least one new face.

Tickets are $5. Group discounts are available with advanced purchases: buy 8 or more tickets and get 20% off your total purchase.

To purchase tickets go to the Information Desk in the Wilkinson Center on BYU Campus, or call them at
422-4313. Tickets may be purchased over the phone and held at Will Call. There is a service charge for phone purchases. The Info Desk is located near Jamba Juice in the Wilk. Fall Info Desk hours are: M-F 8:00am -5:45pm (closed Tu from 10:45am - 12:15pm for university devotional. Closes at 4:45 on Mondays).

If the shows do not sell out in advance, tickets may also be purchased at the door of the show for the same prices (no group discounts available at door). Available tickets go on sale at the door at 6:30pm each show day. Check our twitter feed on on the days of the show for the most current ticket sales information.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Open-mic was last week and it was a big success. We had some very good performers. You'll see some of them in our next show. June 4 & 5, mark your calendars.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Open-mic is May 5th. We are really excited to see the diversity of talent that is new to campus. Open-mic is one of our favorite nights because we get to relax while some of our bravest fans get to sweat a little. It isn't so easy is it? But that's what makes it so fun. I'm hoping to see some new personalities - that's always a hoot. Humor U Open-mic is better than reality TV.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Upcoming Humor U Shows

Nov 12 & 13

Jan 28 & 29

March 4 & 5

April 8 & 9 Best of Ever

June 3 & 4

July 29 & 30

Friday, April 9, 2010

The semester is almost over and it's the weekend of our last show. Sigh. It's been a fantastic year. We have never had so many milestones or so many laughs in a year before. One of my favorite new traditions this year is the Humor U Freestyle Rap and Beat Boxing Face Offs. We have two black cast members and neither one of them is our best freestyler in the group. Who knew! I bet you're guessing who it is. Well, it's probably me. But I've never actually competed because I can't freestyle and drive at the same time and all our Face Offs seem to be in a car while I'm driving. But the proven champion so far is as white as Wonder Bread. I wish we could show you that on stage because it's the most priceless trash talk I've ever heard. You'll have to join the club to find out who it is I guess. It doesn't need to be a secret, but it's so much more fun that way.

Don't freestyle and drive - Safety first! But if you're not driving, by on means, say it brother!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


or copy this link into your browser:

Tickets are available online now for this year's "Best of Ever" show! This will be the funniest Humor U show you've ever seen! Four years of writing and polishing jokes will result in this hilarious show.
Please post a comment on this blog entry to request your favorite jokes or songs. We want to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Show

It's that time again. More funnies coming your way from Humor U. Tickets go on sale on March 15th.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January Show - Haiti Relief Fundraiser

This show will be bomb. Laughing saves lives! Proceeds go to Haiti to help earthquake victims.

Fri at 7:30 and 9:30
Sat at 7:30 and 9:30
Varsity Theater
tickets at 422-4313

Featuring the Battle of the Bands winners, the Empirates!