Presentation Elements of Live Comedy- A Research Project

Over the last week, we have been looking at how people presenting live comedy skits use their face, voice, body and language to enhance their performance and bring further meaning to their jokes.

We have looked at Michael McIntyre and brainstormed some of the things we saw him do in his skit about the pronunciation of peoples names. After breaking into small groups to discuss ideas, we then collated them into a full class brainstorm.

The class brainstorm after watching Michael McIntyre’s skit.

We then looked at Kevin Hart and his the elements of his performance of a skit about parenting his kids.  Again, we discussed this in small groups and came together as a class to brainstorm.

The class brainstorm after discussing Kevin Hart’s skit.

Students now have the chance to look into a third comedian of their choice over the next two English periods. During this time, they will create their own presentation that identifies the way their chosen comedian uses their face, voice, body and language to enhance their performance.

At the end of these two periods, students will present their findings to the class in a 2-3 minute presentation. They should have a Power Point, Prezi or some kind of visual prompt to aid them during this presentation.

To extend themselves, students could look for ways to imitate their comedian during their presentation e.g. use gestures, facial expressions, body language, interact with their pair in a way that might be similar to how the comedian would present the same presentation.

The comedian that the students explore should:

  • Use classroom appropriate language
  • Use jokes that are appropriate for our Year 10 classroom
  • Use a range of presentation features that they can point out to their classmates.

Students should include at least 1 slide at the end of their presentation explaining why they felt the comedian had an effective performance or pointers for that comedian to improve next time.

Posted by Renee Plunkett

Teacher of English at Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand.

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