The stand-up comedy shticks that've been used, referenced, parodied, and satirized so much that they're tropes of their own, and possibly even cliches. Overlaps with Stock Phrases
and Acceptable Targets
to some extent.
Often a case of Seinfeld Is Unfunny
, in some cases) if a perfectly serviceable joke is ruined by sheer overexposure. Others fall victim to Values Dissonance
(see: most racial humour). May also be Outside Jokes
if they're based solely on the listener's ignorance. Often cause listeners to think, "Never Heard That One Before
Even if it's followed with a Rimshot
, unruly audiences
have been known to respond with a Collective Groan
, or, if the comedian keeps it up too long, Produce Pelting
- Starting off an act with "I just flew in from ______, and boy are my arms tired!"
- "A funny thing happened to me on the way to..."
- "What's the deal with airline food?"
- "Why are the peanuts so hard to get into?"
- "The food on airlines is BULLSHIT!"
- While it's associated with him, Seinfeld himself only ever did that shtick to make fun of how cliched it was.
- "White people go like this, but black people go like this!"
- "How does the man who drives the snowplow get to work in the morning?"
- "Why does my VCR always flash '12:00'?" (Reason: You're an idiot who can't comprehend simple procedures.)
- "Why are there instructions in Braille on the drive-through ATM's?" (Actual reason: they use the same interface as the walk-up ATMs. Not to mention blind people can sit behind the driver and be driven to the ATM.)
- "What's the deal with airline food?"
- "I just can't understand women at all. No guy can."
- "All men are stupid." (oddly, this is mostly used by male comedians, notably Tim Allen)
- "My ex-(boyfriend|girlfriend|husband|wife) is a (bastard|bitch)."
- "In Soviet Russia, comedy stands you up!" (originally the shtick of Yakov Smirnoff)
- "Kids these days..."
- "The music these kids listen to..."
- "Kids are so spoiled with all these electronic toys..."
- "Have you seen the clothes these kids wear?"
- "Bike helmets and seatbelts and sunscreen are garbage! When I was a kid..."
- "Hollywood is so messed up- sex is rated R or X/NC-17, and explosions are fun for kids!"
- "Why don't they just make the planes out of the black box material."
- (Reason: It'd be too heavy to fly, and an unbreakable plane wouldn't help all those poor breakable folks inside anyway.)
- This joke has the dubious distinction of being so dumb and overused that Douglas Adams claims it made him want to never write comedy again.
- "If the Professor could build a radio transmitter out of bamboo and coconuts, why couldn't he fix the damn boat?"
- Parodied in Homestar Runner: Women can't drive!
- Pretending to explain the joke to someone in the front row.
- Soaking up as much applause as possible, commenting that it helps stretch out their act (which stretches out their act even more).
- "How do you like my clothes/hairstyle?" (while sporting an Outdated Outfit or bad hair)
- "The people in the religion I was brought up with are INSANE."
- "The people in my race or ethnic group are INSANE."
- "The people in my part of the country are INSANE."
- "Take my wife... please!"
- Which is so famous as a Stock Shtick that it's possible to forget that it was originally meant to sound like it means "my wife, for example", and some people seem to think it's an example of an Orphaned Punchline.
- "Marriage is an institution, but who wants to live in an institution?" Though attributed to Groucho Marx on many sites, it's really an old vaudeville joke that was overused to death.
- Interfering mothers-in-law as Acceptable Targets.
: I don't like the whole tired old comedy schtick about mothers-in-law. I get on very well with mine. In fact I've just bought her a house. In Iran.
- "But seriously, what's the deal with airline food?"
- "... and then I got off the bus", otherwise known as 'pull back and reveal'. Deconstructed by Lee and Herring.
- A Dilbert cartoon referenced Stock Shticks when Dilbert entered a stand-up competition 'with the mandatory categories; Dan Quayle, Flatulence and the warning labels on mattresses'
- Speaking of which: the warning labels on mattresses.
- "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I'll be here all week." Said after a joke that didn't go over.
- Kids saying the darndest things. Summed up by Stewart Lee as "Some of the things kids say are mad though. It's like they can only understand the world from the perspective of a child"
- "Why are cabbies such bad drivers? And why are they all Middle Eastern or South Asian immigrants?"
- A comedian starting their act with 'I'm [name of comic], just in case you were thinking that [name of other celebrity that comic resembles] has let themselves go recently'
- "So, did you hear about this [insert news story or pop-culture phenomenon] thing?" (Done to death by Jimmy Vulmer on South Park: "Did you see this? Did you hear about this?")
- "Anybody here from out of town?"
- "So a guy walks into a bar..."
- "A priest and a rabbi..."
- Stock heckler putdowns include:
- "I remember my first drink as well"
- "It's a shame when cousins marry"
- "There's a bus leaving in ten minutes time, why don't you be under it?"
- "[Series/[The Golden Girls There's a man leaving in ten minutes. Be under him.]]"
- "Looks like there's a village missing its idiot"
- Awful Wedded Life
- Seriously, what is it with airline food?