Story telling is an integral part of stand-up comedy. Most comedians, in some form, tell stories. Maybe a story comes as a quick aside to further explain the premise of a joke; sometimes it takes the form of an extended tag at the end of a minute-long bit. At times, a comedian will tell a story about his or her day to break up the more scripted part of their set. For most comics, the story is just one of many tools they employ to urge laughs from their audiences. But for other stand-up comedians, telling stories defines who they are as a performer; it’s not a means to an end. The stories are the end. And when a comedian does it right — see Bill Cosby: Himself — this kind of live comedy could be the most satisfying type of art you can take in.