How To Put On a Urban Comedy Show
By Jeff Carroll
There are a variety of styles for Comedy Shows. Some may argue that if you know how to do one you know how to do them all. I would say to them that I agree that most of the principals are universal. However, to audience members the slight differences are enough for them to choose one club over the other. Throughout my 14 years as an agent and club promoter I have recognized the differences and how important they can be to campus comedy shows. 

I always thought something like this was necessary. As a student programmer I got a chance to approach a comedy shows the way most programmers do. Student Programming is for the most part a service for the campus population. The shows are free and the money is provided and that’s one the main factors that makes a different between program board shows and professional promoter shows. 

If you watched an episode of Def Comedy Jam and Premium Blend you will be able to see the value of a host. A host is a valuable part of an Urban Show because a host differs from an MC who warms the audience up. With Urban shows the audience and performers may interact more. Having a host who starts the interaction with the audience. The host also gets the audience limitations of interaction. Sometimes the audience can interact too much and a good host can keep them in check. Next, music a live DJ is best for large venues, however a CD player is good enough. The DJ keeps the energy high. Urban shows have a higher level of energy than other types. Now, the music should be R&B sing along songs not hard dance rap songs. Be careful not to get the crowd to hype because then they would loose the concentration for a comic. To foster the energy level the seating is also important. The seating should play off of the room configuration. The basic principals are to first have the seating close to the stage filled in first. Then have the seats as close as possible so the people where they can almost touch each other. If you have a big room a cafeteria or gymnasium is best to seat the audience by sections. Open the front section first. If you have big tables put them in the back of the room. Theater style seating is best for the front area by the stage. The shape of the room is important as well. If you have a long rectangle shape room try not to put the stage at the long end. If you have a choice the stage should be in the middle of the room. Centering the stage along the long wall of the room allows the most people to see the performance. The lights should be bright or a spot light on the stage and dim or dark over the audience. Too much light allows for the potential for distractions to the audience. Finally, the performers order and performances time is important. To put your performances order together you need measure the show time first. No matter how many performers your total show time should be 1 ½ to 2 hours. If your show time is over 2 hours you need to schedule an intermission your intermission should be 2/3rds into the show time. Now, the total show time should be divided by the number of performers. The performers should be put in an order which leaves the last performer the longest performance time. To give you an example a 1 ½ hour show with 3 performers and a host. The hosts opening spot 5-8 minutes and 3-5 minutes and the longest spot right before the last act. That a max of 18 minutes the first two performers should get about 20 minutes each and 30 minutes for the last performers. This structure leaves for a strong finish.. A standing ovation is best at the end of the show. Your audience should leave excited and ready for the next show. You want to avoid having one comic blow out your show by going 1 st or 2 nd and doing better than the comics following them. This may ruin your show people may loose interest and walk out or heckle. 

Well, overall this suggestions can work for all types of shows not just Urban Comedy Nights but, for other Comedy shows and even slam poetry shows. If you have any questions on the information feel free to contact me or if your are using an agent then they should be able to help you. I hope my information is able to help you make your Urban Comedy Show the best most enjoyable program of the semester. Peace-out.