For $4,499, Jay Leno and Adam Carolla Won’t Promise to Make You Funnier
Are you the person on the Zoom calls of whom everyone says, “You oughta be a comedian”? Now’s your chance, Chuckles. Starting tomorrow through Sunday, big-timers Jay Leno and Adam Carolla are hosting the first-ever Comedy Fantasy Camp, a chance for you to hone your stand-up skills alongside the legends of the game.
Actually, you might have to wait until next year. According to comedyfantasycamp.com, the two camp’s main packages are SOLD OUT (although you can still get your name on a waiting list). It’s easy to see why campers bought out all the primo spots. The VIP Mentorship Package includes a video of your first set at the Hollywood Improv, “access to the top agents and managers in the world of comedy,” and a dinner with a former producer for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Also -- snacks! It’s a dang bargain at only $4,499.
The only thing you don’t get for your money is a guarantee that you’ll leave camp as an actual funny person. Leno and Carolla agree that if you have no sense of humor to begin with, there isn’t much they can do except help you relax and enjoy your lousy set. “We’ll really just teaching people to be themselves and be relatable to the audience,” Leno told The L.A. Times. “Jay is right, it’s about being comfortable with who you are,” agrees Carolla.
Takes note: “Work on self-esteem…”
Aspiring comics won’t have to worry about getting “canceled” at Carolla’s camp. “I could care less about any of that. My No. 1 rule is you can talk about anything, as long as it’s funny,” Carolla said. “I find myself talking about politics and other so-called no-fly-zone issues that other people won’t talk about, but they have to be funny. If it’s funny, then game on, it’s forgiven. It needs to end with a zinger or a punchline, because if it ain’t funny then it doesn’t work.”
Takes note: “Forget about comfortable and relatable, we have to be funny after all…”
While anything goes at Comedy Fantasy Camp, Leno still wags his finger at aspiring comics with potty mouths. “I’m not necessarily against using profanity, but I just think using profanities more than you need to is just being lazy,” he says. That goes double for dealing with hecklers. “When you destroy a heckler you destroy a part of the audience, and they think as a group. So it’s probably better if you can let them down easy without snapping their neck. For example, this one time I had a big, huge, fat guy heckling me at a show, and so I called him out and made fun of his tie.”
Takes note: “Make fun of tie but don't call it ‘shitty’…”
Both Carolla and Leno agree with the rule that fewer words are funnier. Here’s Leno’s long-winded explanation: “Humor is the economy of words. It’s using the least amount of words possible to get your point across and make people laugh. Nothing is harder than writing a joke. I meet comedians who will do anything to get out of writing jokes. Comedy has to come from a natural place. When you tell jokes, you‘ve really got to take the audience to a place where they don’t expect to go. The first five minutes of your act define who you are.”
Takes note: “Use the fewest number of words possible to fill killer five minutes…”
But in the end, both comics agree there’s only so much they can do. As Leno admits, “You can’t teach people to be funny.”
Takes note: “Why did I spend $4,499 again…?”