There's more to being a stand-up comedian than sprinkling a few four-letter words into a routine and talking about sex.
But that's not to say comedian Danny Browning is purely a "clean comedian." His acts can be edgy and are built around adult situations. As he recently said in an interview to promote his Saturday appearance in Marietta, he doesn't have any jokes about Sesame Street.
"I'm not going to talk about Grover and Elmo. I'm going to talk about real grown-up stuff," he said. "I'll go with whatever the audience wants. I always read the audience and figure out where the line is and whether it can be crossed or whatever the situation warrants, whatever they need."
For instance, certain jokes don't go over as well at corporate events. The Indiana-based comedian is on the road 42 weeks out of the year, performing in comedy clubs, at colleges and universities, corporate events and casinos.
Corporate meetings or holiday parties for companies are often sterile environments, he said, since people are either still in suits at six in the evening or afraid to laugh at an off-color joke in front of their boss.
"People don't want to laugh as much when they're with their co-workers or their boss," he said.
If you go
What: Comedian show
Where: The Riverview Lounge at the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta
When: 9 p.m., Saturday
Who: Comedian Danny Browning
How much: $10
Venues like The Lafayette Hotel's Riverview Lounge are a favorite of Browning's, who's second stop on his first full-time comedy tour about eight years ago was in Marietta.
"As far as one-nighters go, Marietta is a great room," he said. "It's small, intimate and in a nice venue. The people are always ready to laugh."
Browning decided to make comedy his career because it was better than washing dishes at a Mexican restaurant for the rest of his life, he said.
He spent his childhood watching comedians such as Ellen Degeneres, Rosie O'Donnell and Jeff Foxworthy, on TV every Saturday night. As he got older, he gravitated to Richard Pryor, studying "his style and the way he did things."
When he worked in broadcasting prior to comedy, he looked to Johnny Carson and David Letterman.
The lean toward a clean, or inoffensive, comedy styling was made initially out of necessity.
"The cleaner, the more inoffensive you are, the more appealing you can be to more people," he said. "That's not to say a famous comedian who's dirty doesn't have a large fanbase, but I'm not a famous comedian. The cleaner one is the one more people would be interested in watching."
When he performs shows in colleges, younger crowds often don't mind the edgier material.
"A lot of shows in smaller towns are older crowds and older crowds don't want to hear a bunch of 'f' bombs or sex jokes," he said.