Suggested Event Guidelines for Stand-up

Below are some guidelines that will help you create your very own comedy club to ensure your event is enjoyable, memorable and successful for you, me and your guests.  These are elements I’ve noted over years of doing shows.  The more of this that’s followed, the better the show.

1)  Dinner after the standup: Many people tend to leave after dinner so having dinner after the show ensures everyone will be there to participate and enjoy.

  • Never ever have dinner DURING stand-up.  Not only is it distracting for the servers and diners, it is distracting for those who already have their food and are trying to listen to the comedy.  It never works out for anyone and ends up looking messy and chaotic.   A truly successful show is built on and perpetuated by an engaged and enthused audience.

2) The entire program, including the comedy, should be no longer than 1.5 hours: People just get bored and stop paying attention after.

3) The Stage: An elevated stage is always helpful – even if it’s a small elevation.  A stage that allows the comedian to move around a bit and walk will be conducive to engaging the audience and holding their attention.

4) The Microphone and speakers: a clear, loud mic is vital.  Testing it beforehand is always a good idea to ensure clarity and distribution of sound.  When the sound is not evenly distributed, for example if the back of the room can’t hear, people will start talking and it makes the show less enjoyable for those in the front trying to enjoy the show.

5) Lighting: Please try to keep it dark in the crowd and the stage lit – it creates a focus in the room.

6) Please keep everyone as close to the stage as possible:  Just like with desi (South Asian) wedding functions, a close packed crowd is a fun crowd and a fun crowd creates its own fun energy.

7) Please keep it as quiet as possible in the crowd: Usually a reminder from the host to turn off all phones and to stop talking before the show starts does the trick.

8) Comfort: Please make sure people are sitting comfortably so they can focus on laughing. I’ve done shows where people are standing and they just get tired and antsy after a while – and I don’t blame them.