Everyone has gone to school with that class clown, who always made jokes every chance he had. Everyone also finds there are still people like that after growing up, who try to make jokes and make everybody laugh and have a good time. Many of these people aspire to become a comedian, but aren't quite sure what the right steps to take are. It can be a very challenging experience, considering the rather steep competition, and will probably not bring in large sums of money, but it is ultimately one of the most rewarding career paths out there in the world.
First and foremost, arguably one of the most important steps in becoming a comedian, study the strategies and likings of great comedians in both the past and present. These people all generally share the same formula in presenting comedy unto others, with crucial techniques such as comedic timing. All comedians have some sort of personality to present on stage. Chris Rock is angry, Adam Sandler is silly, and so on.
Try to find out what kind of comedy suits you best. Ask yourself if you are the type who would talk loud and fast while being active on stage or if you are the type to barely move and talk quietly. Ask yourself if you are good with stories or if you're better with one liners. This decision is crucial in jump starting a career to become a comedian. If the audience thinks you are awkward, they won't hear the comedy in your jokes.
Sit down and write your routine. List things about yourself, both faults and positive things, because this will help you make your routine more personal. Your audience wants to have a personal connection with the comedian. Try freestyle writing, which is writing absolutely anything that comes to mind. Don't take this time to try to be funny, simply write what comes to mind. The results might be surprising.
In the instance that you find you are a more active comedian, working with physical comedy or moving around on stage to act out your routine, then you may perhaps wish to sign up for improve acting classes and public speaking courses will prepare you for the big stage. Once you've fine tuned the routine, try it out with a test audience and tune it a little more based on the common reaction. Ask others for their personal opinion on your routine and take everything into consideration when rewriting your routine.
Whenever you feel you are ready, take to the stages. Find local comedy clubs that will let you up on stage for a few moments and dazzle the audience. This is the best way to start up your career to become a comedian and open up your world of networking. Make sure you do not make the common amateur comedian mistakes by assuming you're already good at what you are doing, or by putting down other comedians or reacting poorly to hecklers. The world does not need another giant ego. Keep performing at various comedy clubs and soon enough, your world will open up to greater opportunities.