CNLP 259: Andrew Stanley on Making the Move from a Career in Finance to Full Time Stand-Up Comedy, Why and How Comedy Works, and on Being Andy Stanley’s Son and Charles Stanley’s Grandson

He never even thought about doing comedy until his final year in college. Less than four years later, Andrew Stanley quit his day job and went on the road full time as a comic whose career has really taken off.

Andrew shares how he learned to write jokes, what makes for a good bit and bad one, how to deliver lines to engage an audience, and what it was like growing up as Andy Stanley’s son and Charles Stanley’s grandson.

Welcome to Episode 259 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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3 Insights from Andrew

1. Order matters when writing comedy

The order of a speech or performance can make or break how well your audience receives your material. Sometimes a show can go really well when you order your points 1-2-3-4-5, but can crash and burn when you order it 5-2-4-1-3. Andrew has learned that the earlier the audience can learn about him and his background, the more they will be able to understand and laugh at his jokes later on in the set.

Another note Andrew makes is that when you write a joke, the punchline has to come at the end. If you mix this up your audience will be left confused about when to laugh. This does not help you or your audience move forward.

2. When communicating, forgetting what to say next is never as tragic as you think it is

It is extremely common for a communicator to lose his place while giving a performance. For preachers, we can often just go off on a tangent or re-route to a different point. But for comedians, the stakes are a bit higher. Comedians can get away with one slip-up where and say, “You know what, I totally just forgot what I was about to say. Let me go back.” Admitting that humanizes the situation and gives credibility with the audience – but you son’t want to make the same mistake twice from stage.

Andrew has learned that when he’s having that panic attack of forgetting where to go next, it’s always much less noticeable to the audience than it feels like in the moment. Surprisingly, it is easy to play off those pauses as a completely normal part of a set. A few ways he does this is by laughing at the previous joke, taking a pause to breathe, or even beginning to engage with the audience.

3. Leverage an online presence to keep your distant audiences engaged

One thing that Andrew has noticed is that successful comedians have found a way to keep their audience engaged even when they haven’t seen them live in a while. Whether it’s a podcast or Insta-stories, giving fans regular chances to see and hear from them online is important.

This has massive implications for the church as people are attending Sunday services less and less often. Using the internet to engage people who rarely come to church can greatly impact and influence those lives. The key is to find whatever platform works best to reach people and own it.

Quotes from Episode 259

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Next Episode: Ruth Haley Barton 

It’s so easy to run non-stop as a leader in the church and business world, and it’s killing us. Ruth Haley Barton is an incredibly driven leader, but she found herself pushing burnout at 30 as a young mom with a rising platform in ministry. In an effort to recover her soul and her life, she embraced Sabbath, rest and retreat. Ruth talks about how to begin taking a Sabbath (even if you think you don’t have the time) and offers beginner tips and some profound insights on connecting with your soul so you can thrive in the long run.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 260.

4 Comments

  1. Sue on May 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Well….all the best to Andrew, but this article is sad in so many ways. You have a young man who grew up most likely witnessing severe legalism under Charles Stanley, watching his father, Andy Stanley, deal with that and not really ‘win’ at it to then being left with no one to adhere to–so…he goes into stand-up comedy. How sad. The gifts and talents he could have used had there been solid biblical, grace-based faith around him just end up being used for the world–the result of confusion it might seem. I pray that he finds his way, God’s Way, and that his father also finds it. To all budding legalists, this is what happens when you tell God to step aside so that you can control His flock. For the last time: It’s not about tithing, it’s not about works and/or pride, it’s about faith in Jesus Christ alone. Add to that, and it’s a false gospel, which is no gospel at all.

  2. Nath on May 3, 2019 at 2:05 am

    Great episode! As a Christian Comedian, it was so lovely to have you validate what I am doing by interviewing a Comedian.
    Love ya podcast.
    God bless you.

  3. Craig Gleason on April 28, 2019 at 10:57 am

    It’s too bad Andy’s son didn’t take up the mantle of making disciples and preaching the gospel. He could spend his entire career explaining to believers why and how his dad Andy is teaching heresies at North Point Church. Another pastor living in a million dollar house, tickling ears and changing the true message of repentance and faith to a self serving, tolerant of sin, watered down dogma.

    There are plenty of pastors and preachers denouncing what Andy Stanley has done and is still doing weekly. If you want a rock and roll show by a bunch of worldly wanna be rockstar christians, go to Northpoint and live the dream. Will be interesting to see if this gets posted on this website, it’s all about tolerance and acceptance, please tolerate and accept my comment. Thanks.

  4. aostv.apk on April 28, 2019 at 10:41 am

    That was truly the best podcast I have ever listened on careynieuwhof! mind blowing one, thanks for this.

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