Comic Strip Marathon: Post #19 Know your audience

This is no ordinary show, and certainly not an ordinary audience, and yet I’ve seen several comedians approach the stage without keeping that in mind. Comics who deliver their regular 20-minute low-energy set when the crowd isn’t having it, and needing the opposite. Comics who rely on crowd work with audience members who have been talked to and at again and again. Comics who yell at the audience. Comics who complain about the hour in the day, when you don’t hear any audience members complaining. Comics who repeat their material to the same audiences within hours. Comics who are too crude for the hour. Unnecessary racist or misogynist material. Now, I’m not saying that any of the performers need to have watched the entire show, but they should keep in mind the circumstances of this marathon showcase. Plenty of young people and tourists taking advantage of the free show (only a cover charge between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.) and some staying several hours already. So I offer this simple advice: Know your audience. Because some of you are making me weary. And if you’re making me weary, just think of the impression you’re leaving on these men and women.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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