Comedy is a part of human nature that keeps us happy and joyful. Our humor is one of the most important parts of ourselves, and that’s why much of our entertainment revolves around it. Comedy has been present in all different types of entertainment for centuries. There is no feeling quite like capturing an audience and making them laugh.
Contemporary comedic monologues can help hone your acting skills, but also inspire you to have fun with your acting. We’ve compiled a list of the best comedic monologues for you to master and get your audience laughing.
1. Dotty Otley in “Noises Off”
This play was created by Michael Frayn and premiered in 1983. It is play-within-a-play and tells the story of a touring comedy cast; their rehearsals and lives while they prepare for an upcoming show. Dotty Otley is an actress that plays Mrs. Clackett in the performance. Mrs. Clackett is the family’s not-so-smart housekeeper.
During the very first scene of the play, Mrs. Clackett (Dotty Otlet) answers the phone. This monologue is quickly-spoken, but hilarious, and can showcase a female’s comedic capabilities. It begins with Dotty making a very witty observation that she “can’t open sardines and answer the phone.” It opens up the entire play for its humorous content, and it’s a great way for a comedic actress to use the stage and props to draw in the audience.
2. Bluto in Animal House
This is a classic comedy film and if you’re looking for inspiration, you should watch it. The film surrounds the story of college kids and it’s rife with comedic talent. The funniest character is probably Bluto, who is crude, rude, and disgusting; but he is hilarious. His speech in the 1978 classic is one of the most-used contemporary comedic monologues on the list.
Bluto attempts to “rile the troops” in a loud, nonsensical speech that actually works (to everyone’s surprise). He gives examples of how other underdogs in history have come back, but how he performs the speech is the key. This monologue is mildly psychotic and will need a lot of practice, but you’ll have your audiences in-stitches when you master it.
3. Milo in “Not Smart”
In this play, a normal day is turned into chaos by simple mistakes or misunderstandings. Milo and Fannie have a maid who they find out is pregnant. The day leads Fannie to believe that Milo is the father. Milo is hilariously distraught and fears for his safety when a man shows up for the maid. The man turns out to be the maid’s husband and father of the child.
The strange woman’s face in the throng–pale, alluring, baffling–with lips like the poppy–and that sort of thing. The wind carving her figure as in warm and sentient marble. Ankles and so on. Perfectly inflamed, our hero pursues her, careless of the hereafter, reckless of the eyes of the world. Of a sudden, a vision of his beloved one–at home, you know–right in the middle of the street–flaming sword sort of thing–and–and–I didn’t read any further.
He is reading a magazine, discussing the models in it. The monologue isn’t short, but it’s one of the easiest-to-perform contemporary comedic monologues on the list. It’s a great way for men to stretch their everyday comedy skills and maybe make use of some props.
4. Tommy in Tommy Boy
If you are aspiring to be a slapstick comedian like Chris Farley, you should try your hand at this quick monologue from Tommy Boy. It’s quick and easy, but it is full of emotion and overdramatic comedy so you’ll want to master your facial and physical expressions. Many comedians have found inspiration from this hilarious film, and it’s easy to see why.
Tommy is trying to save his family’s business after his father dies, and he is realizing how hard being a salesman truly is. He hasn’t made a sale yet and as he sits down to eat lunch, he cannot contain his frustration anymore. He takes his anger at himself out on the unsuspecting waitress in a beautifully hilarious speech.
5. Lucy Van Pelt in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Everyone knows and loves Charlie Brown because of its innocence, humor, and character-personalities. Lucy Van Pelt is one of the most beloved characters, but not because she is sweet. Lucy is outspoken, honest, and doesn’t really care about other people’s feelings. She is especially rude to Charlie Brown, which makes her one of the funniest characters in the play and this monologue one of the simplest, but funniest contemporary comedic monologues on the list.
Lucy is best played by a female who is either young or can master the innocently-honest voice of a young girl. “Now, this is what you call a Failure Face, Linus,” Lucy says in reference to Charlie Brown. Her sheer rudeness in her explanation of Charlie is enough to get a good chuckle out of any audience.
6. Alan in The Hangover
This film became an instant classic when it hit theaters in 2009. Four men travel to Las Vegas for Doug’s bachelor party. What starts out as a simple night of fun turns into an all-out, chaotic, hilarious circus after Alan accidentally roofies everyone in the group. But before they venture out on the town, Alan delivers one of the most awkwardly, contemporary comedic monologues in film history.
Alan, who is socially awkward and pretty weird, pulls a hand-written speech from his fanny pack. This speech discusses the “wolfpack,” which he names the group of men. He extremely-awkwardly gets his point across that he loves his friends in this weird monologue. With a few props, you can master this monologue and make your audience feel like they’re a part of the “wolfpack.”
7. Annette Raleigh in “God of Carnage”
This NYC-based play premiered in 2009 that hilariously depicts the ignorance and humor of the differences in sexuality, gender, income-status, and race. During this particular scene, Annette (a wealthy mother) unintentionally degrades Henry (a working-class father). The audience gets a real taste of her shallowness and ignorance with lines like, “There was a man, once, I found really attractive, then I saw him with a square shoulder-bag, and that was it.”
Annette tries to diffuse the situation after her son and Henry’s son fight at school, but she fails miserably. This monologue is one of the least-obvious contemporary comedic monologues on the list. It isn’t too long or too hard to memorize. However, it takes just the right attitude, stage-presence, and natural humor to pull it off just the right way.
8. Clark in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
It is pretty safe to say that most people have seen this classic comedy movie, featuring Chevy Chase. The movie revolves around the antics that come with a house full of people at Christmas time. Clark, the father of the family, tries extremely hard the entire film to make this Christmas the very best one for everyone and his family. But nothing seems to be working out.
Throughout the movie, he continually mentions his plans for the bonus he will be receiving from his boss. In this particularly-famous scene, Clark finally receives his bonus; but it’s a certificate to the Jelly-of-the-month-club. He cannot contain his frustration and anger any longer and goes off one on of the most famous, angry, contemporary comedic monologues in film history. Beware though, since this monologue shouldn’t be spoken in front of little ones.
9. Man In Chair in “The Drowsy Chaperone”
This play is loaded with hilarity. It’s more of a slapstick style and certainly isn’t in the least bit subtle. If you’re trying to span your comedy wings, you should give this satirist monologue a try. “The Drowsy Chaperone” is based around the Man in Chair, who is lonely and escapes that loneliness by listening to his favorite musical. As the play proceeds, Man in Chair leads the audience through the musical.
In the 14th Scene of the 1st Act, Man in Chair prepares the audience for a romantic scene. He is completely sarcastic as he discusses his idea of love. If you are ready to really get into your comedic role, try one of the most sarcastic contemporary comedic monologues on the list. You can charm audiences with love-related wit with lines like, “And one day you it out loud… then it’s a trial separation and couples counseling and all your conversations are about her eating disorder and your Zoloft addiction.”
In the film Bridesmaids, Annie’s best friend is getting married and she begins to feel serious pains of jealousy when her other best friend, Helen, seems to be getting the spotlight. This particular scene is a genuine comedy, as Annie and Helen have an awkward, speech face-off at her best friend’s wedding reception.
Annie’s character is funny because she does not try to be funny; she is awkward and weird. This is one of the best contemporary comedic monologues for females with a subtle, yet witty personality. Master this monologue and you’ll have audiences believing you are the master of wit.
If you’re looking to stretch your comedic wings or leave your audience crying with laughter through some comedy monologues, try one or more of these contemporary comedic monologues from this list. Each one will show off the type of personality you want to exude to your audience, no matter what you’re looking for. Which monologue is your favorite?
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