Dating a Comedian

John Powers
John Powers

There’s no reason not to try something once.
It might be everything you ever wanted, or it may disappoint you and make you wish you had never thought to try it.
… but at least you’ll know.

I’ve often heard comedians (male & female) say they will never date a comic and are surprised comics can find relationships at all. These same people have typically dated a comic in the past and it didn’t work out. Standup comedy is more than just a bit incestuous. The only dating pool I’ve seen that was smaller was when I worked at ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. It was the only major company in town. The only options were coworkers, the karaoke host, or that cute barista at Starbucks. That’s why I moved to Manhattan.

Most comics are not stable. We work late, we party hard, and we have trouble with mundane tasks like paying rent and tying shoelaces (I’ve been wearing slip-ons since 2005). Most comics are not right in the head. We are paranoid and self-centered. We are the creative ones and that comes at a cost. We are sensitive and fragile. Dating a comic is not like dating a normal person. We require constant attention and admiration…

Dating is hard regardless of who you are and what you do, and the only thing you accomplish by limiting your options is… limiting your options. We like attention. What’s wrong with that? Listen to our latest jokes and laugh at them. Laugh harder at some and less enthusiastically at others. That’s how we will know which ones are the best. If you don’t laugh at all we will throw a tantrum and storm off to get drunk. Indulge us in our creative genius. We are tortured souls and nothing soothes us better than laughter. Most comics get addicted to the sound of audible approval. A good set can make us feel great for a week, but a bad one can put us in a bad mood for a month. Our egos need constant stroking. Lube up and stroke us. Come to our shows and be the loudest laugh in the room. You are guaranteed to get lucky.

I’ve dated comics. It’s tough. The hardest part is finding a night that neither of us is performing. Once you are alone together it’s still hard to leave the stage behind. I found that sitting on a couch with a female comic is far less relaxing than a couch should be. There was one time that a comic started bit-ing me during foreplay. Not biting… bit-ing (bít-iñg) … the process of using one’s standup comedy material during supposed normal conversation. I never saw it coming (that’s not what she said). Right in the middle of foreplay she starts breaking into her act. Nothing ruins the mood quicker than a joke about menstruation. I never called her again.

It’s also tough to read a female comedian. Most women can be subtle about what they want, but comedienne are just plain absurd. Several times I’ve been invited over a comic’s apartment “to shoot a project” only to find out that the project is… she takes off her clothes, and I film it. It was not a video meant for youtube. Click here to see the video!
There are benefits to dating a creative genius. We certainly keep things interesting. You will be entertained even when you are not seeking entertainment. There is always a new project (like this blog) to distract you from your day at the office or make you smile before you put you iphone down for the night. If you’re a thrill-seeker who likes adventure and doesn’t mind taking a risk… dating a comedian just might work for you.


– John Powers

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