Whats a Saver

It's a line used to save you from embarrassment when a joke bombs. Johnny Carson frequently uses, "I knew that joke wouldn't work." (If he knew, why did he use it?) Others are "That's the last time I buy a joke from (the president of the club)." Or, "When did you all become members of a jury?" Comedy writers have to prepare a fistful of savers for their clients. Your most dangerous time is when the fist is empty.

There are also savers when a performance is interrupted by an "unexpected" event—but no professional performer is ever unprepared.

A plane flies overhead: I hope it's one of ours.

Police siren: Here comes my ride home.

Electricity goes off: Call (Con Ed) and tell them the check is in the mail.

Pretty girl enters late: I thought I told you to stay in the tub. Man enters late: Don't worry. I'll tell you what you missed. A fire in the theater: Let's get the hell out of here.

The worst thing a performer can do about an onstage emergency is to publicly complain. A humorist should alleviate tension, not cause it.

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