Comedian’s Survival Kit

Comedian’s Survival Kit post image

Every profession should have its own version of a survival kit. For example, Disgruntled Green Berets have their Rambo knife. How awesome was that? It had a hollow handle containing matches, water purification tablets and even a sewing kit in case he needed to hem his pants. Man, I really wanted that knife when I was a kid.

Another really good example would be Batman’s utility belt. I really wanted that belt when I was a kid. But I’m talking about Adam West’s Batman, who had Batsleep Gas or Shark Repellent Batspray at the ready. Or Michael Keaton’s Batman, who had a grapple gun and a bolo launcher on his waist. Not the Christian Bale useless Batman belt containing firecrackers and a remote that turns off lights. Ooh, a clapper? How utterly un-superhero.

Villain: Hey, who turned off the lights? If I fall down in the dark I’m suing somebody, I swear to God.

Batman: Swear to ME!

Villain: Aw, Batman, is that you? Hey can you throw some of your non-lethal bullshit firecrackers at my head so I can see?

Now I’m an adult, and my job is neither “disgruntled Green Beret” nor “Dark Knight billionaire vigilante.” However, I am the next best thing: professional comedian. And much like Rambo or Batman, I need to have equipment at the ready in my line of work. So here are the Top 5 things I’d have in my survival kit / utility belt:


I suppose this goes without saying since anyone doing business should have these. Even Batman had a “business card,” which is essentially what the bat signal was. If we’re talking about actual paper business cards, I imagine Spider-Man had those cheap-ass VistaPrint ones because of his budget as a student.

Professor X was a genius, but didn’t think to use a smaller font so there wouldn’t be a cringe-inducing line-break, orphaning the word “children” in its own line.

But comedians should definitely carry these around. Especially if you have a simple, yet apparently-difficult-to-remember-or-pronounce name such as “Ogata.” Hand this card to the MC and if they get your name wrong now, you should be allowed to punch this idiot right in his window-licking tongue. Seriously. I’ve had people pronounce it Orgata, Otaga, Ogayda, Ottawa and even Ortega. Really? Ortega?


Or any other kind of merchandise. It may cost you just a couple of bucks per piece, but to hand one out is to grease the wheels of commerce. One time I gave a CD to a special ops soldier and he ripped a patch off of his uniform and gave it to me in exchange. Hell yes.


Because. Comedy is lonely.


Not really a tangible item, but instead a handy tool for the internet. Buffer lets you schedule post to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can set up a bunch of posts/tweets in advance and let Buffer dole them out at predetermined times to your followers, friends and whatever LinkedIn has. LinkedInners? For example, if I’m going to be away from internet access for a couple of days, I can have Buffer send out tweets so my Twitter followers don’t grow despondent like I’m certain they do.


You never know when you’re going to need to write down an idea for a joke, autograph a CD for a fan, or sign a poster/headshot for a club. And if you’re only going to bring one pen along, make it the legendary Sharpie. It’s really the Swiss Army Knife of pens. Last weekend a fan gave me a bottle of wine at a show. Upon returning to my hotel, I realized I had no way to open it. Enter the trusty Sharpie. Instead of pulling the cork out, the Sharpie is the perfect size to push it in.

A fine wine deserves a fine point.

(To read more on how big a Batman fan I am, I suggest reading Fk Halloween or How I Outbatmanned Batman.)

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Mark Manderson March 20, 2014, 10:41 pm


    • Paul Ogata March 20, 2014, 10:51 pm

      Aw shucks, Mr. Manderson. Thanks!

  • Gwei Lo Jackson ~ the Lo is silent March 21, 2014, 9:01 am

    I was going to comment that for Millienials ~ Sharpies have given way to Samsung Note 3s and iPhones for jotting down ideas. But no! You had to pull out the bottle of wine from the excitable audience member example. Holy analogies Batman! #facebookisthenewheadshot #linkedinisthenewonlinedating

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