Suggestions For A Successful Show

Turning Knee- Slappers into Side-Splitters!

Here at the Just Another Hangover Tour we strive to put on the best show possible, creating the most enjoyable experience for your customers and staff.

While all members of the tour have (and no doubt will again) preformed outstanding shows in less than opulent (sometimes atrocious) conditions, we feel it is in the best interest of all involved to take all possible steps towards setting up the optimal environment for a live comedy performance. To that end we supply the following list of recommendations designed to create the most enjoyable comedy experience for all involved as well as maximum profitability for the venue.

Promotions & Ticket Sales

Well placed and informative posters are a great way to get the word out before a comedy show, allowing you to pre sell tickets. If properly marketed a comedy show may sell out weeks, sometimes months, in advance.

We strongly recommend the presale of tickets.

Reserving tables for larger parties is also helpful and greatly appreciated by customers.

Stage & Room Considerations

Stand-up comedy, unlike music, cannot be successful as background noise, and cannot be enjoyed passively. Focus on the performers helps immensely. Common bar ambiance can inadvertently tarnish or even destroy a show. To that end we suggest designating a performance area that is:

  • ·Well Lit
  • ·Slightly to Moderately Elevated
  • ·Away From Restrooms, Entrances, Exits & The Bar
  • ·Provides More Than Adequate Sound (Without Feedback)

It is also a good idea to locate the stage in an area that provides for semi-circle style seating, wrapping the audience in a full 180 degree arch around the stage. Also it is recommended that the front row be located no more than 3 feet from the front of the stage. We also highly recommend cutting ambient lighting in the room to an absolute working minimum, dimming not only the room lighting, but also shutting down any decorative lighting such as neon beer signs.

The last room consideration deals with gaming. Pool tables, video games, touch screen games, slot machines, shuffle board, air hockey, etcetera All of these should optimally be closed down, or in the case of revenue creating devices such as slot machines, set to a silent mode as not to distract from or interrupt the show. As an added touch, candles on the tables provide ambiance and a calming effect.

Staff Considerations

As noted earlier, common bar sounds can provide un-due distraction for audience members, who may feel slighted if they miss out on a good punch line or are otherwise distracted from the show. To that end, we feel that it is a good idea to ask the bar and wait staff for a few variations on their usual routine. When taking drink or food orders it helps a lot for staff to adopt a quitter than normal tone, perhaps placing a hand on a shoulder to get attention, and speaking as quietly and closely as possible. This alone helps immensely. Other helpful practices include:

  • ·Softly placing glass bottles into trash cans (as opposed to throwing or dropping them)
  • ·Refraining from general conversation with audience members during the show
  • ·Not yelling drink orders across the room

Though it should go without saying, we also greatly appreciate not being heckled by staff members, as it creates not only a very odd situation for the performers, but also a tone in which the general audience may feel it is not only possible, but acceptable and possibly necessary to heckle the performers.


Hecklers are an inevitable and usually highly entertaining aspect of comedy. Every comic has their own opinion of hecklers, and the opinions are incredibly diverse. Some comics enjoy the challenge and spontaneity of dealing with a heckler. Others despise any and every encounter with an unruly audience member. For the most part hecklers are effortlessly dealt with by the comic on stage. Still, we feel it is a good idea to bring up the topic here.

Hecklers come in a variety of styles, some wish to improve the show, some seek to destroy it, some simply want their voice heard, and believe it or not certain people might heckle at a show simply because they enjoy being insulted by a professional. (It happens.)

Some hecklers are simply too drunk to keep quite or form rational thought. These individuals will occasionally, despite the best efforts of the comic continue to interrupt the show at regular intervals, adding essentially nothing, and spewing absolute gibberish. 99.9% of the time this can easily be dealt with by the comic on stage, many times resulting in some of the funniest and most spontaneous jokes of the evening. Still, in rare instances there will be a heckler who is so drunk and/or malicious as to be fully capable of ruining a show for everyone else in the room, despite anything done by the comic on stage. When this is encountered it is always helpful for the staff to get involved in some way shape or form. Usually a few kind yet stern words from the wait staff or bartender will suffice, but in rare instances it may be necessary to remove the offender entirely. If and when this happens (and it is incredibly rare) the remaining audience will typically cheer and applaud to upon seeing the nuisance removed.

Dealing witch hecklers is as much an art as it is a science, and varies from room to room, night to night. If your feel your establishment might be prone for whatever reason to excessive heckling, it is always a good idea to discuss the situation with the comics before the show and make sure you are all on the same page.

The End Of The Show

The first few minutes after the show can set the tone for the entire rest of the night, and determine weather or not the audience gets up to leave, or hangs out until last call. It is a good idea to have appropriate music ready to go as soon as the final comic exits the stage, as this helps keep the energy in the room up. Unlike most forms of entertainment, after a comedy show the audience is free to mingle with the entertainers after the show, and many people enjoy taking advantage of this, sometimes right up until last call.

If you have any announcements that you would like to make -such as drink specials, upcoming events or music, charity drives- the closing comic will be more than happy to make these announcements. Likewise, if you prefer, it is perfectly acceptable to have a member of your staff (or possibly the DJ or a local personality) take the stage to relay such information.

Final Thoughts

The suggestions outlined, which may seem minor, can be the difference between a good show and a great show. At the Just Another Hangover Tour we strive to put on the best show possible each and every night.

A successful comedy show is not only a great revenue generator for the venue, but also a great time for all involved, staff included. By implementing the suggestions above you can help insure the best show possible. A properly marketed and constructed show will not only be an enjoyable experience for your regulars, but may also attract new clientele who may themselves turn into regulars, and will most certainly tell others of the good time they enjoyed in your establishment.

We hope you have found this list to be helpful and informative.