Riffing is the biological design of comedians - I think. That's not a scientifically researched statement, so don't take that as fact. I just thought I'd throw that out there. It's probably not true but it sounds good, doesn't it?

"There's been a man riffing in these words for quite some time." - Jonah Ray on The Nerdist Hostful

So, what exactly is a "riff"?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

The Oxford Dictionary. Definition of riff in English: 



    1. 1 A monologue or spoken improvisation, especially a humorous one, on a particular subject:
      ‘extended riffs on the pitfalls of contemporary romance’
      • ‘A personification of the bomb appears near the end, portrayed by Sotor's cousin, in a satirical riff off an old cliché Sotor rewrote himself.’
      • ‘"Detective work," someone mutters to an eager graduate student in A. S. Byatt's latest fictional riff on things Victorian.’
      • ‘Last week's riff on how the coming ubiquity of wireless networks could lead to a new and better form of digital rights management brought out both supporters and detractors.’
      • ‘Her conversations are never completed, her ideas left unexplored, and her truths half spoken while Hatanaka indulges in another riff about the story.'
Essentially, every single one of those entries can be thought of as a riff. Riffs are hard for me to define.

It's just easier to show you:

This one is a comedian handling a - not really a heckler, but someone who cheered at an inappropriate moment. A lot of comedians hate that, but it's not really a heckle, it's just evident that this audience member wasn't paying attention.

A RIFF is something that comes from the moment. It's a genuine improvisation that is funny and witty. It uses the context of any situation to create genuine laughter.

Am I a riffer?

Sometimes. I quite enjoy the sport.

Yesterday, I was in the Cricket Wireless store riffing up a fucking storm. I was riffing left and right. I was riffing like a fucking clown.

When comedians say that "comedy is a defense mechanism," the ultimate form of defense is the RIFF.



Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America and I think he's a fucking monster. I can't come up with anything to say about him because I am SOOO emotional right now.