9 thoughts on “Connected Comedy Podcast Episode 4: A Perfect Storm Of Sh*t

  1. Trin3ty says:

    I have enjoyed your podcast since the first episode which was just a few weeks ago. I appreciate the advice that anyone can use not just an established comedian. I listen to WTF Podcast and dream that might happen to me. When I listen to this podcast I have a plan of action which is more useful than a dream.

  2. Ward says:

    TV appearances are still the best, sure-fire way to get booked at the top national comedy clubs. For every guy who got noticed because of youtube, there are fifty who have a TV credit that the club wants to put in the ad, on the website, or on the ticket. Sit in a comedy club office one afternoon and listen to the people who call in and say “Have the comedians been on TV?” Ask a comedy club employee how often they get asked that. All the time. The average audience member still equates “TV” with “FUNNY” and “Worth my five dollars”. All the great twittering in the world has not changed that fact yet.

    Sure, if you promote yourself, you can fill some seats in some clubs. But can you do it full-time? Can you do it forty weeks per year in forty cities? TV helps with that. Sure, The Internet can help, but we’re still in the beginning stage of The Net’s power to really make stars.

    I’ve sat in many a comedy club and listened as people call in and ask “have the comics been on TV” or “When are you going to have people from Comedy Central at your club?”. I’ve also had booking agents who, upon being asked for work at their clubs, ask for a list of credits before they ask to see minute one of a demo. It leads one to believe that, if TV credits are NOT important, why do people keep asking for them? Why do club bookers keep wanting them? Why do the clubs keep using them to promote with? And why do comedians keep WANTING them?

    Like it or not, if you want to get top-pay in actual comedy clubs (not makeshift gigs, corporate, or cruise work), the TV credits are the surefire bet. Even more so than being downright hilarious. Never underestimate the “BUSINESS” side of this business.

    BTW – I did a short TV appearance that was watched by a million people in one sitting. I have TWO full-length comedy specials (filmed live and with several cameras) online that have been watched–for free–by hundreds. I’d gladly have done them for free for TV instead of the money I got from The Net.

  3. I don’t think we even disagreed with you there, Ward. Getting a whole bunch of TV credits is still the best way of getting stable comedy club work to fill your calendar. But as we said, it’s all based upon perceptions – of the booker, the comic and even the audience, as you stated.

    Clubs book comics with TV credits based on the perception that they draw more. They perceive that putting a Comedy Central and Last Comic Standing logo next to a comic’s name on an ad makes a huge difference on the attendance for shows. They perceive that “have these comics been on TV?” questions on phone calls from customers mean that without credits, those customers wouldn’t ever come. (Nevermind the fact that virtually every headliner of any stature has *some* type of TV credit, no matter how small, that could be paraded to a customer) They perceive that 100% of customers think that way, but have nothing more than anecdotal evidence.

    To use the most cliched quote of the ad industry that rings true – “Half of all advertising works. Just that no one knows which half.” That’s primarily my point. I really don’t think clubs know exactly why customers came out to a show or what attracted them specifically. Was it the comic? The radio ad? You just wanted a night out? You come here regularly? Walked by the place and thought “let’s go check out tonight’s show?

    Aside from acts with *major* TV/film credits and “celebrity” headliners, which there is usually obvious evidence that a large portion of the crowd is there specifically for them – I don’t believe clubs have any cold hard data that will overwhelmingly prove that comics with only a few late night credits (Letterman, Conan, Live at Gotham, etc.) draw any more for a given week than comics who don’t have said credits and/or the fact that the comic had credits was the deciding difference for a majority of customers on coming out that night.

    The proof is in the pudding. If a club can show that, then I’d easily admit I’m wrong. But until then, I believe they’re working solely off of perceptions and purely anecdotal accounts as if it is indeed true. And this is why it brings back your original point, Ward – TV credits are still your best bet in getting club work due to this.

  4. Eric says:

    Comment cards should and typically do have a multiple choice question regarding what brought them out tonight – including answers that extract that exact info. And good clubs save that info and analyzed it to utilize how to best adapt to their customers attraction.
    It’s simple to collect the “hard data” it’s a matter of doing it – having emcee mention a couple times thought the show or adding incentive to fill them out.
    A lot of clubs DO use this, almost all that I work with.

  5. Enjoyed te podcast, offered great insight on comedy festivals and contest. Felt it was a bitt too long. I felt like you could have covered all of the info anf half te time, it was over a hour, and although it keppt my attention I would not listen to it again because it took too long.
    Great chemistry from the hosts, good energy and clear speaking voices.

  6. mike bunker says:

    In my experiance contest winners who list this on their bio is probably one of the most ignored items people in charge of hiring comedians for any decent event look at. I have an individual who majored in media and worked for a casino as event manager and has seen 1000’s of promo kits and he works for me now. he also does other media work but the point is simple. You need to be able to have a variety of video clips from corporate comedy events to some club appearances and event centers, theatres etc. T.V credits are good but not the deciding point according to the ones who hire for the bigger events. comedy clubs NEVER pay what they should as a rule and if your too funny or have a variety of sets you won’t be going on for an established headliner who has used the same set for 3 years and still gets away with it. The reason is simple, people who go to clubs have come to accept substandard service at the door and even being embarrassed by comedians. Whereas this is not an option at the corporate level or high end event centers. The best advice I ever got was from tom hayes of bosston. Mike you got material coming everyday people like you and thats a must . people usually dont laugh at someone they dont care for. So simply STOP working for shit! if you were not funny and didnt have the material i would say keep working clubs but if you want the money put the videos out there with all the diferent venues with 200 or more people laughing hard. that is when they will call you. he was right. Bookers can claim what a guy has done but actual video with an upscale crowd laughing and not 5 years old but 2 years up until recent with different material is what gets the money paying gigs. show me the laughter! Just my opinion. You asked and usually I ignore these type of things but you sound sincere in trying to help comedians so here is my two cents worth. thanks, mike bunker. A good example is try searching google for comedian in the state you live and see where you are or if your listed. event planners rarely go through more than the first five pages. try googling maine comedian. thats what get me the gigs i dont even have to advertise because the fee is already set. I like that and rarely do clubs now. (not many in maine anyway) I certainly wouldnt waste time with a contest. Im 54 and comfortable with what i can bring. Thanks for asking hope this is taken as positive and not arrogant. thanks, mike

  7. Kyle says:

    Another enjoyable podcast.

    I think the questions and statements made here are true and a lot of it can be tied back to Connected Comedy Podcast Episode 1: Pick Yourself. If you’re relying “solely” on comedy club promoters for exposure and to “give you a career” that is in fact lazy. You should be firing on all cylinders for self-promotion which does include more prestigious contests but I believe it was agreed in the first contest you’re going to have to bring a entrepreneurial and innovative approach to become known and creating leverage rather than relying on one method of getting “discovered”.

    This is why I love for Connected Comedy to give comics resources to find, develop and engage and audience. I would recommend the Noob Guide to Online Marketing for comics bit.ly/NoobGuide for a more step-by-step way for developing a fan base.

  8. Courtney Ca says:

    Thanks for the info on the contests. They do feel like such a rip off. Thanks for letting us know that this is NOT an easy path we comedians have chosen.

  9. Ryan Budds says:

    Hey loved this episode! Listened to it while biking 16 miles, so I felt really productive in two areas of my life. The biggest thing I enjoy about this podcast is that EVERYONE gets a solid amount of time to talk, share stories, reply, etc ALL IN ONE CHUNK without people talking over each other. My biggest beef with comedy podcasts is when they have three or more guests and no one can get a word in edge wise. Well done.

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