Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ask Abbi: And You Are...?

Chris of writes:

What is a comedian? Is Ricky Gervais a comedian? Is Ricky Gervais a standup? What is humorist compared to comedian?

"Comedian" is a general term that primarily means stand-up comic, but could also imply an actor who is funny when performing (i.e. Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Will Ferrell). Even though "comedian" is used for performers that make us laugh, the cast of Friends does NOT count as a group of comedians. They are actors who have good comic timing and great publicists.

People who do improvisational comedy are technically comedians but they haughtily insist on being called, "Players" or "Improv actors", so they are exempt from consideration here.

Then there are the Slashies. Most of these are found in the UK. Ricky Gervais is a writer/actor/comedian. Eddie Izzard is an actor/comedian/drag queen. Russell Brand is a drag queen/personality/vampire. Wouldn't he make a stunning lead in the Broadway adaptation of Drop Dead Fred?

I always take humorist to mean comedy writer. You are the writer whose genre is comedy, but in the field of journalism. All humorists are comedy writers but not all comedy writers are humorists. Some are bloggers.

Feel free to post your questions for Abbi in the comments section, to be answered in a later post, or write curlycomedy (at) with "Ask Abbi" in the Subject.

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