This article is from the Stand-up Comedy FAQ, by Steven Rosenthal and Steve Silberberg (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
A. The crowd laughs at what the crowd laughs at. It's our JOB as
ENTERTAINERS, not as artists, but as ENTERTAINERS to entertain. I and many
others on this NG make our living making the Yahoos laugh. The amount of
work we get is often directly proporsional to the laughs we get, so in my
case, yes if I sense the audience isn't going understand my clever edgy
well written material (for whatever reason) I go right to the hacky crap I
keep in my back pocket and I clench my teeth as I do it. And sure it might
be Men V. Women or some assortment of dick jokes du juor, but A) they're my
dick jokes, and B)I'm not doing fart jokes. So I guess everyone has a line
in the sand that they won't cross.