Jan McInnis – The Work Lady®

Setting the Stage for Comedy – Part 2

And here’s more tips for the comedy stage:

–Don’t put the comedy on too late,

or after the most important part of the evening. If we go on really late people are tired and cranky. If we go on after a big announcement or after all the awards, then people leave. Comedy is optional, and unless the comedian is Jay Leno or some other draw, many people don’t feel like staying if it’s late or inconvenient. Comedy or a humor keynote can be a HUGE break during the day. . .so think about that instead of making people stay an extra hour at night.

–Comedy should be about 45 minutes. . .

when you push 60 or more, it gets long. You want a good comedy show, not a long one. Leave people laughing as a nice cap-off to the event.

–Move things out of the way. . .podiums, musical instruments, farm animals. . .whatever was going on ahead of the comedian, don’t make us climb over it to get to the front of the stage. I’ve climbed over drums and guitars and around podiums. . .haven’t had to deal with the animals. . .yet!

–Have imag screens. . .make sure every corner of the room has a view of the comedian. I’ve done shows for 2000+ people and they don’t have imag screens. . .I lost a good 1600 people! They started talking and then I had another issue! Also, make sure the seating is good for everyone to see and the audio is good for everyone to hear.

–Don’t let people record the comedian. This is copyrighted intellectual property and I have had to stop my show to stop the recording. Please be vigilant about people with their cell phones. I want to control which of my jokes and material gets on YouTube, and I don’t want people sharing my joke with their up and coming comedian friend.

–Keep the comedy as one comedy show. On a couple occasions, I’ve been asked to break my comedy show into part one and part two. Comedy builds, and it’s hard to get ‘em started. Plus I have lots of call-backs in my act in which I call back to a previous joke. If I did the joke 2 hours ago before dinner, what’s the chances they’ll remember it after dinner?

So there you have it. . .a few steps to comedy success. Follow these tips and your comedian will be thrilled!


PS if you want more tips on setting the stage for comedy, check out my book “Convention Comedian: Stories and Wisdom from Two Decades of Chicken Dinners and Comedy Clubs” Several of the chapters such as “You Want Me To Perform Where?” will be an eye opener!