Topic: The craft of comedy
Seeing Patton Oswalt at the Warner Theatre tonight. It's awesome that he's playing the Warner now - he deserves it. Louis CK, Brian Regan, and Jim Gaffigan are also big enough now that they played the Warner last time through. So, the world's not completely unfair.
I saw Patton at the Lisner Auditorium in February 2009; it was the taping for My Weakness is Strong. He did a bit more than an hour. I'm sure he'll do about an hour tonight, most (if not all) of it new. And that, to me, is when you know that you're an elite comic: when you're writing a new (high-quality) hour ever year.
George Carlin did a new hour every year for the last thirty-something years of his life. That was also about Bill Cosby's pace in his prime. Right now, Patton, Louis CK, Regan and Gaffigan (hey, all the Warner Theatre guys) seem to be going at about that pace.
That is an absolute breakneck pace. You have to really be on top of your game to do that. Right now, I write about 20 minutes of A material a year (that is to say: I write 20 minutes that I end up keeping and using as A material. There's a whole lot of other shit that gets thrown away). If I had a following, less material would get thrown away. And if I was a full-time comic, I'd write more and have more stage time to test things out. But I still don't know if that would get me to an hour a year. It's something to aspire to, though.