When stand-up comedians make their stand

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Every Sunday night in the heart of Aarhus, people hear laughs coming from a small cocktail bar named Alberts. That joyfulness is the result of English Stand-Up Comedy Aarhus, a community of stand-up comedians that started in March 2016, founded by Conrad Molden and Jacob Taarnhoj.

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Belly laughs on a Sunday evening

A diverse audience 
A normal show at Alberts lasts from 20:00 to 22:00. It’s not an one-man show, but is rather an open-mic night when the audience get to meet several comedians making their stand in 5-10 minute slots. Though most of the comedians are Danish or British, there are also other nationalities: Irish, American, Finnish, Belgian and even Chinese, despite stand-up comedy not having an identity in China. Nationality varies in the audience too – only 20-25% are Danish, while others are from the international community in Aarhus, mostly from other European countries.

Speaking with Jutland Station, Molden recalled when the show began. As two young men who love telling jokes and making people laugh, he and Taarnhoj teamed up with a few others to make the event happen. At first, it was small. But then, by word of mouth, the show started becoming more popular as more people got to know about it. Now, it’s official, and people can attend for high jinks every Sunday night. Or, if they dare, try their hand at some stand-up comedy themselves.

“Everyone can do stand-up,” enthused Molden. So if you are up for it, you are just a phone call or message away from giving it a go on Sunday.2016 Nov - Stand-Up Comedy-6

One of the brave ones who took on the challenge of cracking us up 

Is it easy to do stand-up comedy?
When a stand-up comedian speaks on stage, everything he says seems to be spontaneous. But in reality, everything is prepared beforehand. Comedians always think about what they will say, and practice before the show. Once on stage, they create the illusion of spontaneity. However, they are also flexible, and new jokes may enter their routine at any time, maybe due to something they didn’t expect, like the reactions of the audience.

Molden says his formula for being a good stand-up comedian is talent + work attitude. This means that good comedians must be persistent and put a lot of work in. Before the show, he writes down every idea that he thinks can make people laugh. Then practice makes perfect. After the show, he generally asks the audience for feedback.

“There are things you can not realise when you are on stage,” says Molden. Besides, a good comedian needs to “have fun with himself”, added Taarnhoj. “If you don’t have fun with your jokes, your audience won’t. So you have to feel the moment,” expressed Taarnhoj when describing what he thinks makes a good stand-up comedian. Hence, you definitely don’t need any ‘stand-up comedy degree’ from school!

Taarnhoj and Molden

Laughing at the same thing, no matter where
It’s hard to be sure what people think of the show. Though the audience keeps quiet at some jokes, Molden thinks they receive good feedback more often than not. To Molden and Taarnhoj, Aarhus is a great place for stand-up comedy due to its energetic atmosphere and the open-minded international community they have as an audience.

Said to be the first international stand-up comedian in Aarhus, Molden believes that a great thing about stand-up comedy is that it gets a lot of people from different countries to laugh at the same thing. In return, stand-up comedy brings him a little recognition when encountering his audience on the street, as well as some paid gigs performing for international communities in other places, like Odense and Copenhagen.

Molden and Taarnhoj told Jutland Station about their hopes for future. Both wish to have more internationals on stage, more helping hands, and more fame in the community so that they don’t have the need to create events on Facebook. And of course, more good shows.

After some good talks and laughs with these guys, Molden’s last words were: “You can even perform if you want, just let me know and we’ll practice.” Maybe someday I will…

Alberts Bar is located in Store Torv 3, Aarhus C. Try their amazing cocktails while you enjoy the English Stand-Up Comedy Show, which is held every Sunday from 20:00-22:00. Entrance is free. Visit the Facebook page for more details on the event, and drop them a message if you are up for the challenge of getting on stage!