20 thoughts on “How To Find Your Comedy Niche

  1. I enjoy talking about race but being a single, white male it’s a hard pill for most people to swallow. It’s easy to “bag on Whitey” nowadays and I like to lean in to that to start and in my mind, making it easier to then take jabs at all other races, sometimes with limited success. What’s a good niche for an ex-jock who grew up in the Midwest, had good grades, rarely got in trouble and liked talking smack with my jock buddies?

    Geoff with a G.

  2. Josh Spector says:

    Hey Geoff, it’s tough to say exactly based on what you said in your comment, but here’s a couple quick thoughts.

    Try thinking about what you’re interested in that’s not comedy related and then melding that into your comedy. For example, if you’re an ex-jock who’s still interested in sports, then you may want to think about trying to appeal to other sports fans. Or, for that matter, you could go narrower and try to target ex-jocks. For example, launching a blog or video series about the life of an ex-jock would likely appeal to other ex-jocks and start to form the beginning of a niche for yourself.

    “Talking about race” isn’t really a niche because there’s not really people out there whose passion is “talking about race.” There’s lots of people that may be interested in it in passing and I’m not saying not to do it, but it’s not really a niche you can target in the same ways as something like sports would be.

  3. You always come up with such great informative articles Josh. Where do you get your ideas for post?

  4. Josh Spector says:

    Thanks Justin. My ideas come from a variety of sources but I read and watch a lot of different stuff and keep my mind open to seeing how different things can connect to comedy careers.

    Also, I interact with lots of comedians – including my readers – and I’d say that most of my article ideas come from things I see them struggling with or observations I see from things that they’re doing.

    For example, I had a conversation yesterday with a comedian about how to brand himself in a niche and it reminded me that many comedians don’t ever take niches into account so I thought it would be a good topic for a post.

  5. CG BAXTER says:

    Ok heresone for you. I am 45 and 3 years ago my wife died. And I have had some jokes about it, but I am always careful about it. But that along with having no other family left is a big part of who I am. I have gotten back to the dating scene, and that is ripe for material, but it seems to common or overused. Anyhow, the article was a good one and gave me some other ideas, but whaddya think of the “niche” above?
    Thanks, CG

  6. Josh Spector says:

    Hey CG, sorry to hear about your wife. Obviously, dealing with something like that is tricky. However, for what it’s worth I will say this.

    There’s probably a huge community of people who have had to deal with something like you have and you would definitely be able to connect them on a certain level because you’ve been through what they’ve been through. From that standpoint, it actually could be a really strong potential niche – though obviously it would have to be handled very delicately because of the nature of what you and your audience would have in common.

  7. George Poe says:

    Your niche sounds like finding the humor even in the midst of a tragedy. Grief counsellor could use you.

  8. Jerry Myers says:

    I’m new to this site so I just came across your post, and in my opinion, I think that would be a very appealing niche to large, diverse target audience. Even us who dwell in misery, appreciates someone who can make the best out of an unfortunate incident. I imagine that fans, or any who could relate to your situation, would not only be accepting but would ultimately be routing for you to have a good performance from the get-go. It could form an almost sympathizing connection between a comic and it’s audience in that situation, which might even make it difficult for those who aren’t fans to dislike, or heckle the material.

  9. Andy Shaw says:

    Hey Josh:
    I am starting to figure out two niches, one older and one newer. For a few years, I’ve written a blog (with some success) that at many times has a 90s-nostalgic theme going with it. I have some jokes in my act along those lines. The problem is that those jokes usually only go over well with people in my demographic, as the older crowd could care less about Oregon Trail, whereas the younger crowd is thrilled at the mention. I am wondering how to balance that interest with the interest of the crowd. I am thinking of organizing my own comedy night to cater to my demographic, but I’m not sure what to do on most nights.

    The other one is about becoming a vegetarian, which I think has a ton of possibilities. But part of the reason I’m a vegetarian is because of animal rights issues- not exactly what restaurant/bars want comics talking about, and not what a lot of the rural crowds like. How do I go about that? I was thinking of mostly making fun of myself.

  10. Josh Spector says:

    Hey Andy, I think those are both potentially strong niches. Here’s a couple thoughts:

    Keep in mind that there’s a difference between being able to entertain a broad crowd at somebody else’s show and actually building your own fan base. Your fanbase is never going to include “everybody,” so don’t worry about trying to. I’d recommend focusing on your passion and building your own fans that enjoy what you like to do – trying to appeal to everybody is a recipe for failure.

    Re: the vegetarian angle, that’s a huge potential niche and again, remember that you can create your own career opportunities. For example, instead of a regular restaurant or bar, why not approach a vegetarian restaurant about putting on a show there? Suddenly what you’re seeing as a potential negative becomes a huge positive and you’re able to perform directly for people in your niche (which will increase your chances of success and growing your fanbase).

  11. Andy Shaw says:

    I’ll keep that in mind about having a focus. I’m still figuring out how to do that though in those broader shows, because although you don’t want to pander, you also can’t benefit much from doing material most aren’t relating to…

    The vegetarian restaurant idea could work, although I’m not in a metropolitan area (Harrisburg is far from it) that could do that. But I can look farther away.

  12. I think it would be funny if you just call attention to the fact you’re a vegetarian in a restaurant/bar. What are all the ways you’re discriminated against or how do rural people treat you when they find out you don’t eat meat? What’s it like? What would you compare it to? I was a vegetarian while living in the mountains of Tennessee. People thought I was crazy. The only veggies they grew there were to feed the cattle. Don’t worry about what people are going to think. Shine a light on it and call it out.

  13. Jerry Truman says:

    Nice article Josh, looks like I’m going to have an audience full of gambling addicts.

  14. Leo Flowers says:

    Hey Josh,

    I love your website. I’ve been doing stand-up for ten years and have yet to find my niche.

    I have a M.A. in Counseling/Psychology (counseled inmates, married couples and families), so I love talking about my relationships. I’m very health conscious…lost 70 lbs after playing college football and now stay in “Men’s Health” shape.
    I have a blog, “Inspiration from Perspiration,” but now I’m thinking a video blog would be better. The blog is about life lessons i’ve learned from my workouts.

    I was even thinking about posting workout videos on my youtube channel, but thought that might be distracting.

    I want to make people’s life better through my comedy.

  15. Will Paine says:

    I think what I’m trying to go for is that I am getting married to my fiancee Christina. We have been dating for over 8 years which has made me soo out of touch with the outside world. I think the only time I go out anymore is for open mics.

    I have good premises for this niche, which I know has a large community I’m sure, but I want to make it stand out. We want to have kids, but I hate kids shows I’m more of a John Carpenter and Martin Scorsese film fan. Your thoughts on this matter would be great.

  16. Andrew Hall says:

    I’m doing atheist comedy on my blog (actually the blog has serious posts as well as comedy bits) while my stand up is much more mainstream.

  17. Sarah says:

    Hey, Josh. I am a 15 year old girl who is interested in pursuing a comedy career. How can I deviate away from any possible predjudices that may come along with my atypical situation (that being that I’m a young girl).


  18. Cindy Sisson says:

    I just turned 58 and I’ve been doing stand-up (mainly open mics) for a year and a half. I almost always sing, not my whole act, but it’s the framework. I sing known, usually older tunes, with my own words. I don’t play any instruments. I often make fun of myself, my age, and stories about raising kids, and now they’re grown (and have lawyers, and won’t let me use their names *jk* but I’m not risking it). I think people my age can really relate to me, but i have a lot of younger “fans” ‘cuz that’s who’s in the clubs. Any advice?

  19. Hey, I know I’m late to the party, but I just found this post and it is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for.

    I’ve been doing comedy for about five years and so far my subject matter and ‘niche’ are pretty generic. I get great reviews from audiences, but myself and other comics are all in agreement that my humour is very much that of ‘the everyman’.

    After studying my backlog of material, a large chunk of it is stories from my various travels, and another large chunk is about my fiancee. The rest is generic observational stuff.

    I’m really passionate about reading high fantasy novels, and renovating my house, but I can’t for the life of me find anything funny about them. ARGH! Help…

  20. Mark Miller says:

    I’ve developed a style over time that incorporates “overly intellectual” references to things like Jack Kerouac quotes and the quirks of former presidents and links them to very simple, sardonic and ironic concepts (like what would a JFK Pez Dispenser be like)

    I feel like my niche or at least my audience is intelligent people with an irreverant appreciation for history, literature and high-brow trivia…

    But, I’m not real sure of where to find a good crop of those kinds of people. I feel like most people who read or care enough about those things to appreciate a joke about them, also think that comedy is too beneath them to support it or follow a comedian…

    Should I just go with an “if you build it, they will come” sort of model? How can I make sure that such people find me? How do I publicize my content without seeming “needy” I’m tempted to go find “Drunk History” videos on college humor and leave comments like “if you like this then you should like me…. I have a joke about Howard Taft…” but that seems too trolly….

    What is a tactful way to introduce yourself into a niche once you think you know where you fit?

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