Raymon is a stand-up comedian: ‘It is sometimes an ego world’ | NOW

Lookalikes, snake milkers, mattress testers and Netflix subtitles. In this section we interview the people with a non-standard answer to the standard question: What are you actually doing? This time Raymon Hofkens, stand-up comedian.

  • Who: Raymond Hofkens
  • What: stand-up comedian
  • Secret of a good joke: “The element of surprise. Do it at the last minute, for the most impact. Tell your joke with dedication. And with the right energy and emotion.”

“If your joke doesn’t go down well, blaming the public is the worst thing you can do,” says stand-up comedian Raymon Hofkens. “As a comedian you have to dare to be vulnerable. That also means being able to admit that a joke turned out not to be as fun as you thought.” What does he do then? “Sometimes I just say: OK, for this joke I have to go back to the writing desk.”

According to Hofkens, self-mockery and vulnerability are essential parts of the profession of comedians. “In a joke there is always a ‘victim’, the one the joke is about. The best thing to do is start with yourself as a victim, by sharing something that bothers you, and present it in a funny way. This creates rather a safe atmosphere and a relationship with the public; by sharing your own vulnerabilities you open up.”

Layered humor distinguishes beginner from advanced

Hofkens then tries to create more friction. “For example, that the audience laughs, but at the same time thinks: can I laugh about this?” According to him, this layering of humor is what distinguishes advanced comedians from novices. “A simple joke is fun, but also quickly kills.”

He himself started his comedy career fifteen years ago at an open mic evening in the castle of Woerden. “My repertoire then was a series of loose jokes,” he recalls. “But people liked it, and I immediately got a taste for it.”

“Sometimes it is an ego world. But we also give each other a lot.”

Hofkens has now played for small and large venues and runs a company with which he organizes large comedy shows. “We provide comedy shows with comedians who are known from, among other things, The LlamasRaymann is LateThe Comedy FactoryBNNVARA and Lowlands.”

Hofkens has benefited greatly from feedback and tips from colleagues in his career. He thinks it is important that comedians can support each other and learn from each other. “It is sometimes an ego world, although that may sound a bit heavy,” he says with a laugh. “But we also give each other a lot.”

Catching up on a colleague’s joke

When comedians interact well with each other, it’s not just a pleasure to work together; According to Hofkens, you also see it reflected in the quality of a show. “A line-up of several comedians on one evening becomes a whole if the different participants pick up on an earlier joke of their colleague. In our profession they call this a callback

Hofkens also mentions the importance of a good mc, the host of the evening who announces the various comedians and talks the show together. He sometimes also takes on this role at comedy nights. Anyone who has ever been to a comedy show may know the fear of being picked out by the MC and being asked a personal question.

Hofkens: “Yes, that is somewhat the task of the MC. To gather some information about the public, so that the comedians can respond to it later.” Do you absolutely not want that? Then a good comedian will sense that, according to him.