How To Book, Promote, And Produce A Live Comedy Show

comedy booking agent

On December 4th we held our monthly “First Wednesday” concert promotion conference call. The theme of the meeting was on how to promote a live comedy show. Booking Agent Kevin Morrison and his guest, Comedian Brian Clay, touched on the key ingredients to booking, promoting, and producing a great show. Here are the 8 basic points he talked about, along with an audio excerpt on ways to make additional revenue with a comedy show.

Producing A (Headline Format) Stand-Up Comedy Show

1. Know the type of comedy you want (clean, explicit, prop, etc.)

2. Understand the structure of a “headline” format comedy show
A. Three comedians: host, feature, and headliner
B. Host opens the show, warms up the crowd, interacts with the audience, makes announcements, and and does a 15 minute set before introducing the feature comedian.
C. The feature (sometimes there’s multiple comedians doing shorter sets) will do a 20-25 set.
D. The host will return, work the audience, do another 15 set and introduce the headliner
E. The headliner performs for 45-60 minutes
F. The combination of comedians should total approximately two hours

3. Create your budget

4. Choose your comedians and venue
A. The headliner is who sells the tickets, so choose wisely
B. Find a venue and select talent based on the budget. Or, select your talent and find an appropriately sized venue

5. If you are doing two shows in one night, ask for a reduced performance fee (50%) for the second show. Host and feature acts may have to reduce their sets to squeeze in both shows before your rental agreement ends for the night.

6. Use 60 sec. radio commercials. 30 sec TV ads and use any 15 sec radio drops for the headliner to push and acknowledge he’s coming.

7. After parties, selling food/drinks, sponsors, etc. can bring in additional revenue.

8. A good booking agent can help you navigate through all of the above. If he/she can’t, find one who can.

To download a copy of our 8 tips (pdf), click here.

Audio excerpt on ways to make additional revenue with a comedy show

Join us on the first Wednesday of each for our concert promotion conference call. Please feel free to use the comment form below if you have any questions about the meeting or our services.

by Kevin Morrison


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