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Profile of Alex1
The deacon at church often tells jokes that end up flat. I know a magician practices an effect until it's perfect before he presents it. Along the same lines, do comedy-magicians test their humor beforehand as well?
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Profile of Rizzo
Have to try them out but lets face it, not everyone can tell a joke. Im sure the deacon laughed his *** off when he heard it so had to re-tell it. But the thing is it is not always funny unless it is told right with timing etc.
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Profile of nathanallen
Yes, work on the timing and words and delivery... but you can never really know if a line or a bit is gonna work until you try it out for an audience. For this reason, you should "cusion" your new material in between 2 solid chunks of your act, and be ready to bail and move on, just in case the bit goes south.
Nathan Allen, The Maniac of Magic

To buy a prop is nothing.
To write a good routine is something.
To really entertain an audience is everything.
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Profile of RJE
Some will try out their material beforehand with someone they trust and respect. Some do not.

In the past, I would occaisionally mention a new idea to a particular friend that I was working a lot with at the time. Now that I work on stage with my wife most often (except when I'm doing straight stand up comedy, then I work alone) I can ask her what she thinks.

Still though, I work out all new material in front of an audience.

Over time and with experience, you can generally get a good read on what is going to work. The audience helps you to fine tune the new lines. I find the timing, delivery and tags come from that.
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Profile of georgecoolla
I think it's important to test out everything before you use anything on stage...
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