11 thoughts on “4 Misconceptions Comedians Have About Stage Time

  1. DANIEL FISHER says:

    BOTTOMLINE: Confusing Kindness for Weakness!
    Having Produced 3 different Comedy Venues, I’m amazed at the give an inch take a mile. But in the most part Comics seem to know what to expect (Respect), those that can’t are one & done! Promoting their own Show on the same night. Passing out their Flyers at my event of Their Event on the same night, Giving an :30 second imfomericial about their upcoming show, with their announcing of “Real Funny” comics and No Cover charge after they finish their set still on stage.
    I provide a Free Drink of their choice and Food to the comics performing (average 10 minutes), with some asking for a “Doggy-Bag” on their way out beacuse they can’t stay! WOW! Be upfront with your intentions, you may get to work-out some new material or not! Support, Post, Bring or some that have said.. I’m waiting for a big show before I tell everyone! Happy Waiting!

  2. Ruthie Glynn says:

    Once again Josh you provide an honest reality check for us without bashing anyone’s dream. You’re Awesome! thanks for the continuous encouragement! ruthie

  3. Jim says:

    When I started doing stand up comedy there were no venues in my town doing any stand up shows shows of any kind. I put together workshops for people to work through their material and eventually started doing open mics, currently running two per month.

    Like Daniel I’m amazed the most comics have no connection between what they’re constantly asking for and what they’re doing to show appreciation. I once had two comics bail on me two days before a show and act like it wasn’t a big deal. I had comics bail on New Year’s Eve shows that I only booked because they wanted to do them.

    I had a comic who wasn’t getting laughs as the MC of a show quit telling jokes after about a minute. He didn’t do jokes that we agreed ahead of time I would play off of in my set, then couldn’t read the credits he had written down for the headliner so he just introduced him with “Whatever, here’s….”. Two weeks later he asked me to book him for a 30 minute set, tape it for him and then make a DVD so he would have something to show venue owners. Two weeks after that he said I wasn’t making him feel welcome at the writing sessions, even though he hadn’t written any new material in four months. After that he quit, bombed at the comedy festival I had booked him at before hand, then defriended me and my wife on Facebook.

    I ran into him last week and didn’t talk to him. He sent me an email asking what he ever did to me…

    Ah, that felt good to say out loud. Anyway, stop treating your local booker as an automated favor machine and do something to help the shows continue to succeed.

  4. The capacity for self absorption in comics can be amazing. Guys that book comedy rooms cause they like comedy & comics are an awesome blessing to our ilk. If you think he’s worth giving another shot, tell him what he did. If not, trudge on that road to happy destiny with talent that appreciates what you do.
    Thanks for promoting comedy!

  5. I love what you had to say about stage time and yes, some comics do think
    if they have done a few gigs. they should automatically get more time than some others, but it is a business and like a-n-y other business, it’s not always about fairness…
    Think of the guy in a job, who gets a promotion because he is the son of the VP of the company, or something like that – It happens everywhere –
    Take pride in what you do, if you believe in yourself (as corny as that sounds, I have found it more and more to be true) keep doing what you’re doing and like anything else…work at it – it’s not going to just come to you –
    The advice about putting on your own show, or starting your own venues, is more and more becoming the thing to do (or realized more and more, the thing to do) – Stop waiting for life to happen to you, happen to life!!!

  6. Ben Gonzalez says:

    As always, Josh is right on the money here. You have to use your stage time wisely. Only work out your new stuff at bars and small comedy nights, and always sandwhich a new joke between two dependable jokes. Only go with your proven killer set at clubs and big shows. You never know who is watching and you dont want to bomb in front of the wrong person, cause they’ll remember.

  7. HELAINE WITT says:



  8. G.G. says:

    In the spirit of ‘there are no stupid questions’….if you are a standup comedian with a Facebook account and you friend your fans you meet at shows, plus other comics, and bookers and others in the comedy business…is there a value to using Facebook to share jokes to ‘prove’ you are consistently funny?

    I use my Facebook account 99% for joke dropping and 99% of the jokes I drop on Facebook are not in my stage act that people see live. I have fans tell me all the time they love the Facebook jokes and I tell them if they want to hear more that they haven’t read on Facebook, come see me live at such and such venue/show. Curious if you have any opinion on this Josh, thanks.

  9. Josh Spector says:

    I wouldn’t think of it as “proving” your funny, I’d think of it as providing value to your fans. People follow you on Facebook because they think you are going to provide value to them by entertaining them, etc.

    So, whether it’s jokes or other content, your goal on Facebook is to provide them as much value as possible to make it worth their while to follow you and to give them reasons to tell other people to follow you.

    Facebook isn’t an extension of your stage act, it’s its own thing – just another distribution outlet for your comedy and every bit as valid as the stage. In some ways, you can argue that it’s potentially more valuable because anybody in the world can see you on Facebook and only local people can see you on stage.

  10. G.G. says:

    Thanks for the fresh perspective. I do love creating comedic content. Great way to look at it.

  11. Dan McGowan says:

    I think there is a lot of truth to the statements made here regarding the somewhat unbalanced view comics have with “stage time.” Yes, the clients ARE the audience… at the same time, without comedians, a venue HAS NO SHOW. So it’s not just about pleasing the audience. It is also about pleasing your performers. There is a balance there, of course, but let’s give SOME credit to those who have the courage to get up on your stages and make your clients laugh. Without those comics, you’re doing a 2 hour show.

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