Comedian Shows: Some Important Audience Factors

A comedian has complete control over most aspects of a comedian show, including stand-up comedy material development and preparation to deliver the tightest, highest impact stand-up comedy act possible.

However, the one variable that a comedian doesn’t usually have much control over is the collective audience that will be in attendance at any stand-up comedy performance.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some factors that can be known about audiences in general, despite the fact that every audience can be a bit different and that most of what a professional comedian will learn about audiences comes from experience.

With that said, here are a couple of important audience factors that can have an impact on any comedian show:

Seating. Audiences that are seated more closely together will generate much more laughter than those who are seated farther apart.

The reason is simple – laughter becomes more contagious relative to the closer proximity of those who are laughing.

Let me put this another way:

It is far easier to generate big laughs with an audience that is seated more closely together than it is with an audience that is seated sparsely across a room.

From this perspective, I would be so bold as to say that seating is a more important factor than audience size when it comes to laughter generation as opposed to audience size alone.

Audience size. Yes, audience size can have a great impact on the laughter a comedian can generate during a performance.

However, that is relative to the impact of the comedian’s stand-up comedy performance ability AND audience seating.

Here are a couple of points I want to make:
  • A bigger audience won’t make a comedian’s material “more funny”.
  • A bigger audience that is not seated close together won’t generate the same laughter response as an audience one that is seated more closely together, no matter how funny a comedian’s material may be.
  • As a general rule, comedians who are able to generate substantial laughter with smaller audiences tend to generate a far greater laughter response with bigger audiences.

Like I said in the beginning, most of a comedian’s knowledge about audiences (overall) will come with experience.

But what I have presented in this article are some of the basics about comedian shows and audience factors that every comedian should be aware of.

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