After Seeing Stand-Up Comedy at The Ice House

What is the impulse that stand-up comedians have to lay themselves bare on stage, to berate themselves, to draw attention to the parts of themselves that are shameful to them—their weight, their height, they can’t get enough sex (the men), they get too much sex (the women), they’re older than everyone else, their brother is in jail, their girlfriend cheated on them and subsequently divorced them, they work at a call center, they are broke, etc? Is it the same impulse memoir writers have? It is strange to me that I am such a private person (as many writers are), and yet in my writing, I lay it all out. I tell stories I would never tell in real life. I wonder if comedians are the same way, or are they always performing, always trying out their material?

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