Choose a bad open mic
Location is vital when it comes to bombing at an open mic. Don’t be one of those comics that only frequents open mics run by women and marginalized groups. Those safe-spaces are too welcoming and supportive, what you need is an open mic that’s run by, and caters to, the majority, a.k.a. white dudes. This is your ideal crowd. This is where you’ll find your audience of tomato throwers and boo-ers. This is most likely taking place in a run-down basement in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Be a woman
Men will joke about being feminists but at the end of the day, they don’t actually want to hear about your lady problems so definitely go into all the gory details. Tackle topics like fatphobia or street harassment. If you’re feeling frisky then get a little, or a lot, political. It’ll make their anal sphincters seize up real quick. Men find female rage very off-putting and putting off men is always a key ingredient in achieving failure—which in this case, is success. Bonus points if you end your set by covering your face with all of your hair and screaming.
Pick an open mic with a gaggle of white dudes
Once you’ve established that you’re a woman looking to perform comedy in a non-inclusive, non-safe space, make sure the audience is overflowing with groups of white men who only came to support their one “funny” friend. The venue needs to be chockablock with white dudes in 3?4 sleeve baseball-teas and light-wash, denim jeans. If at any point you hear a man jokingly say, “I’m a real feminist because I would never tell a woman to smile. In fact, I yell at them to frown,” then you’ve found the right crowd.
Don’t arrive in a group
Ideally you’ll attend the open mic alone, but if you must bring someone then limit yourself to only one more person. You can’t bring a group of friends because they’ll support you and laugh loudly at your jokes, and that’s not what you want. The venue should be brimming with men and their friends and their friend’s friends. This is a sure-fire way to guarantee they’ll get uproarious laughter and you’ll get zilch. Which is exactly what you want!
Alter the venue conditions
If the venue is A/C controlled, ask the host(s) to increase the temperature. The hotter, the better. Make sure to also pound at least three beers before you go on. The heat from the room combined with the body heat from drinking alcohol will send you spiraling. You want to sweat so intensely that you’ll need to take your shirt off mid-way through your set so you can dab your forehead with it.
Open mics aren’t always free and honestly, they shouldn’t be. You should have to pay for the chance to bomb in front of random strangers, who’ll no doubt come up to you after the show and provide unsolicited feedback. Most open mics are no more than $5, but whatever the cost, you should double it and pay that amount. Consider it a tip! People who say “you can’t buy happiness” clearly never spent their hard-earned cash at an open mic for the sole purpose of being humiliated. That’s the happiest you’re ever going to be.
Don’t hold the mic
If you’ve ever watched a seasoned comedian at work, you’ll notice the way they hold the microphone is effortless, seamless even. So do the complete opposite of that. When the previous comedian hands you the mic as they step down, just put it back on the mic stand, hold your hands behind your back, and bend over to speak into the mic. Yes, this stance will give you a back ache but when you see the bewildered looks on everyone’s faces, it’ll be totally worth it.
This can’t be stressed enough: you don’t want to go on early when the crowd’s moderately eager and slightly tipsy. You need to sign up as late as possible so that by the time you take the stage, the crowd is foaming at the mouth with desire for the show to end. Finish off your set by wrapping the microphone cord around your neck and pretending to strangle yourself with it.