Picture comedy like a band: first, Animal from The Muppets is the dummer (always funny). Internet comedy writers are sort of like bass players (always feeling under-appreciated, pants optional for work). Screenwriters and TV writers' rooms are like songwriting guitarists, crafting material for others to perform. Then stand-ups are the lead singers: alone behind the mic, basking in success or absorbing hecklers (sometimes both, if they're Carrot Top). And like bands, stand-up comics experience weird things on tour.
A few of us here at Cracked are actually stand-ups—the rest of us cling desperately to pantlessness—and have some thoughts about joke theft or how to break into stand-up. We've also spent time searching for the first stand-up comic and honoring trailblazing women comics. Just when we thought our research was getting too thorough and exhaustive, we decided to talk to Patton Oswalt about stand-up.