Have you had enough of gory displays of human fleshes intermingled in manners of all kinds? Are you tired of the unimaginable vulgarity blaring in your ears? Or have you come to your senses, finally realizing that all these romances and fantasies that you see broadcasted are nothing but a sham? Whatever the reason, it is time for exposure to the real world. What better allows you to encounter the real world than growing your character by honing your diction, elocution, and rhetoric in public? All at an affordable cost? Perhaps the Standup comedy and its open mics may be what you are looking for.
Standup Comedy in Korea: The Scene
The scene of Standup Comedy in Korea has long undergone a dormant period since who knows when. However, these days, with an influx of both unique talents from abroad and locally, comics seem quite determined to raise and expand Standup comedy in Korea. You can now find ample options in both English and Korean.
As an open mic-er whose meager experience in this art has spanned a few years in Seoul, I can vouch for such a phenomenon. And who knows what lies ahead in the future? Especially in this era where other genres of K-pop seem to have far exceeded expectations – perhaps there is room for a new art form and type of artist.
As of right now, February 2023, in Seoul, a total of four to five comedy open-mic standup comedy shows are held consistently during the week. Rising comics hold open mics and showcases in Itaewon, HBC, Hongdae, Jongro, and Apgujeong districts. They have attracted much attention from various audiences. Their showcases normally sell out and pack the entire theater.
Can I Do Standup Comedy in Korea?
If you are a fan of spoken words, that be English or Korean, and also a fan of laughter, it is hard to imagine any other platform that offers you a more ideal setting than Standup comedy and its open mics.
Play of words and wits; hilarious insights into things, ordinary to extraordinary to wrench out sarcasm or puns while creating tension for a release of laughter. It is a platform where words are used as bullets on the battlefield to either Kill your foe, the audience, or yourself – gotta love dead silence. Standup is an exercise of thoughts and rhetoric all with one crystal clear aim, laughter.
Styles of comedy also vary widely; From set-up/punchline classics, to confessional stories, musical comedies, and one-liners. There seems to be no rules when it comes to this art form. As it is from you, anything goes when it comes to standup comedy in Korea, which quite parallels the scene of standup comedy in New York City. ‘I’ve seen physical comedy, alt-comedy, political comedy, set-up/punchline, long confessional stories.’ (Saturday 15 October, Life & Arts, Financial Times International edition).
Although exertion of the physique is minuscule in this art, surprisingly challenging weights of psychological burn and guilt are likely to be expected. Of course, that is unless you are born a comedic genius. Yet no professional of the world has asserted with arrogance their everyday success in comedy. This makes it one of the most difficult tests of one’s talent and the truest art form where no arbitration or manipulation has room. Instead, you need an inherent sense of humor that touches the guts of every dear audience member.
Since you made a move this far, to Korea, why not attempt to discover your hidden talent to be the next K-Star. Test your sense of humor and words in a foreign language! Dig deeper into the culture and minds of locals and spice up your ordinary days with the thrills of public elocution. Or, why not just hang out with people of brutal honesty, shocking transparency, and probably the most liberal mindsets in this conservative city?
Stand up Comedy in Korea is waiting for you.
Regular Standup Shows in Seoul
|Name||Language||Address||Open mic||Show case|
|#standupseoul||English||Refer to Instagram||O||O|
|#darkdegary_comedyclub||Eng/Kor||Refer to Instagram||O||O|
|#punch_line_s||Korean||Refer to Instagram||O||O|
|#comedy_Sunday||Kor/Eng||Refer to Instagram||O||O|
|Seoul Comedy Club
|#seoul_comedy_club||Korean||4, Jong-ro 14-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울 종로구 종로14길 4
|336 Apgujeongro, #208, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
서울시 강남구 압구정로 336, 208호
Want to learn more about Lofty Aspiration? It is a standup comedy space in Apgujeong for avid readers and writers from all backgrounds and languages. Click Here for more information!