Here are several tips on how to succeed in Swedish standup. Traditional methods be damned, the Swedish way is far superior! Follow this guide and you’ll be a Standupgala-nominated comic in no time.

What’s the best way to get a gig?

The single best way to get gigs is to make an open post on social media saying that you would like to get booked by anyone and everyone. All club owners in Sweden see all of your posts, even, bizarrely, the ones who don’t follow you, so you can just sit back and wait for the offers to roll in. Be sure to include statements like, “Ideally I perform for twenty minutes,” so no club owner wastes your time offering anything less.

How do I know how long an ideal set should be?

Using the above example, a traditional comic would say that a twenty minute set would include a minimum of forty punchlines, but this is old-fashioned as we now know that punchlines are overrated. If something funny happened to you and it takes six minutes to tell the story, why bother adding any jokes? It’s already six quality minutes!

Ideal set length doesn’t depend on how many jokes you have or how long you can keep the interest of the crowd, it’s simply a question of how long you can physically stand on a stage. Since some comics sit on stage, the sky is truly the limit!

How often do I need to perform to improve?

Old-school comics say that the only way to improve is to perform as often as possible, in as many different clubs as possible, but this is false. As an outspoken female Swedish comic once said during an interview, that is a myth created by white male comics, because only white male comics can perform often. Improving your skills has nothing to do with how much time you spend on stage. Just like learning piano, someone who practices five minutes a month will improve at the same rate as someone who practices an hour every day. That’s basic science!

Is it okay to steal material?

It is absolutely, positively never okay to steal material.

Is it stealing if I hear someone do a joke in English and I translate it into Swedish for my own act?

Absolutely not! If Håkan Hellström has taught us anything, translating material from other artists into Swedish without giving credit isn’t stealing, it’s paying homage. Developing quality material can be difficult, so if you hear an English comic succeed with a joke, they’ve done most of the work for you! Simply run that joke or entire bit through Google Translate and you’re golden.

And why stop with jokes? If you hear a successful English podcast, go ahead and lift their concept wholesale and do it yourself in Swedish. Since the original pod will continue to create content to, uh, inspire you, it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving!

If I want a gig at a club I’ve never been to before, should I visit before contacting the club owner?

Why bother? All clubs are the same. There’s probably a stage and a microphone and anywhere from one person to four hundred people in the crowd. Any comic who says that different clubs have different vibes, or that some material will work great in certain clubs but not others, is simply mistaken.

What attitude should I have when I ask for a gig?

You want to portray extreme confidence, which is easily achieved by being aggressive and exaggerating your abilities. Fake it ’til you make it! Club owners are incapable of detecting false confidence.

Is it important to have a high-quality clip to offer to the owner?

Not at all! Club owners should be prepared to take your word for it that you are funny. But, if for some reason, a club owner requests a clip, just send them a complete recording no matter the quality, maybe from one of the times you got six minutes but did twelve. Club owners have nothing but time on their hands and they’re smart enough to judge you on the one good minute and ignore the eleven of dead air.

What if the club owner says no?

Accept their decision politely and say you hope to be considered for an opportunity in the future. This will show the club owner that you are respectful and cooperative.

And then keep asking, even several times a day! Far from finding this annoying, club owners will be impressed by your drive and determination and will be sure to book you as soon as possible.

What if, despite my best efforts, the club owner still doesn’t book me?

The only reason a club owner won’t book you is that they are jealous of your talent, and this is their petty way of exerting power over you. When this happens, it is imperative that you take the power back. If the bridge is closed, blow that bridge to smithereens! Send a harshly-worded DM to the club owner full of insults (and typos, to illustrate your rage). And why not blast the club on social media? They hurt your pride, the least you can do is hurt their reputation.

What about that inner voice that says, “If the club owner thought I was funny, they would’ve booked me”?

That is the voice of self-awareness, the single largest obstacle to your success, and there are only three ways to deal with it: suppress, suppress, suppress.

Good luck out there and happy hunting! Don’t be discouraged that the vast majority of the population has never heard of you, nor ever will. They haven’t heard of any new comics since Johan Glans.