The hard-core practitioners say there is no greater feeling than winning over a room – not sex, and not having children. (Roseanne Barr immediately doubts the wisdom of putting that last comparison on the record.) “I need it,” says Roy Johnson, working as an emcee at the Tampa Improv. “My wife and I split up, and more than I need that love and attention and affection, I need that stage.”
That last comment in particular is a bit of a worry. I suspect he was exaggerating for humorous effect, as comedians so often do. (Even if he were, there's definitely a kernel of truth and honesty there.)
In any case it certainly shows that comics are generally a bit more screwed up than most people. And it's that emotional imbalance that compels them to get up in front of complete strangers and risk traumatic rejection for maybe half an hour of approval and something vaguely approximating affection. It's a very strange profession, no doubt about it!