Without props the Blue Collar Comedy Troupe wouldn’t be half of funny as it is. If you’re scratching your head right now wondering what I’m talking about it might have something to do with how you define props. They aren’t just obvious physical objects and while the props used on the tour where quite subtle, they still helped to make the stand-up routines funnier. Larry the Cable Guy’s clothing is his prop and his onstage persona wouldn’t be the same without it. Ron White’s glass of booze and a cigarette serve the same purpose. Props are the little details that give an act life. We’ve put together some other famous props used in comedy below.
One of my favorite stand-up comedians, other than the guys in the Blue Collar Comedy Troupe of course, is Jeff Dunham. He is quite simply the best modern day comedian that uses puppets for all of his routines. A good puppet master like Dunham makes the conversation between puppet master and puppet seem perfectly real and Dunham’s a pro at bringing his puppets to life. Comedians have been using puppets on stage for decades, but unfortunately they’re not as popular as they once were. That’s why it’s nice to know that Dunham’s keeping the tradition alive.
If you’ve never had the chance to see Rowan Atkinson perform a live stand-up routine I highly recommend you rent one of his movies and check it out. He’s a gifted comedian and if you’re not sure who he is he’s most famous for playing the character Mr. Bean. In his stand-up routine he’s quite fond of using chairs for props. There’s a great skit where he drops into his Mr. Bean character and takes him for a drive through the country. His car is a chair and he makes this simple prop work quite nicely. A good comedian doesn’t need elaborate props to make his/her audience laugh.
The Old Pie in the Face
One of the most famous comedy scenes is the old pie in the face gag. It’s one of those gags that never seems to get old – that is as long as you’re not the recipient of the pie in the face! The three Stooges were probably the most famous comedy act to use this gag in the early days of cinema. When you consider they stopped performing their routing way back in 1970 it’s pretty impressive that a pie in the face still draws lots of laughs from and audience.