How to be sure your corporate comedian is up to the task

by | Aug 19, 2023 | Comedy

Not all businesses are the same.

Your corporate event could involve a bunch of blue-collar, get-your-hands-dirty workers.

Maybe you have a crew of tie-wearing, white-collar accountants. Is your staff mostly female, or majority male?

You know your group, so it’s time to cater to them.

1 – Can the comedian customize their set to your audience?

Diverse audiences require a versatile comedian. Look at your comedian’s previous clients. Are they mostly homogenous, or is there variety?

You want to see a mix of comedy clubs, shows, and corporate events. All comedy clubs, for example, is not a good sign that your comedian can clean it up if needed.

A comedian that plays to only one audience might not be able to change things up for your particular crowd, and the ability to “change it up” is critical.

2 – What kind of show does your audience need and want?

The most important information I get as a comedian is knowing exactly what type of show you want.

Do you want…

  • a squeaky-clean, PG-rated show with no swearing at all?
  • a mostly clean PG-13 show with innuendo, but nothing explicit?
  • a “pull no punches, they’re adults and they’re here to laugh” show?

A comedy show of any style, when delivered to the wrong audience, is a disaster.

Your rough-and-tumble auto mechanics don’t want squeaky clean.
Likewise, a corporation with a spiritual background and set of ideals doesn’t want to hear four-letter words.

Specific instructions to the comedian about this is essential, and a good comedian will ask for instructions.

No comedian should have a one-size-fits-all act, because different people have different tastes.

3 – Are any topics off-limits?

Most comedians will shy away from politics. But if you want politics, ask for it.

Perhaps you’re fine with sexual innuendo, but no graphic sex talk. Maybe one of the company leaders is sensitive about his bald head, and “audience jokes” are a no-go.

It’s on you to communicate any land mine topics, so your comedian doesn’t unintentionally wander into one, but your comedian should be asking for this information.

Dress for the job you have.

Your comedian should ask about the formality level of your event, so they know how to dress for your show.

If your event is business professional, your comedian shouldn’t come in wearing sweatpants and a stained shirt. Advise them on attire that the crowd will be wearing.

Most comedians will be clever enough to dress accordingly. Most comedians will default to a shirt and jeans, but you can make no assumptions. Give clear direction.

Your comedian should ask you what you want every step of the way.

Length of show, content, and dress code, but also what time you expect them to arrive, who to check in with once they get there.

The more information you share, the better your show will be.

Contract signed, retainer paid, comedian booked!

You did it! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your fun-filled evening. Rest easy knowing that you planned an awesome event and bask in the rave reviews from your boss and guests.

Other posts in this series:

Photo by llyass SEDDOUG

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