Six rules to being a good stand-up comedy audience

By | March 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm | 3 comments | News, Opinion | Tags: , ,

W. Kamau Bell

W. Kamau Bell

A bad stand-up comedian can be pretty unpleasant, but even worse is a bad stand-up comedy audience. I’m sure many of us have had the experience of sitting near some special few who deign it necessary to heckle, to laugh annoyingly, to drink too much, to arrive late, to otherwise not understand that there are people in the crowd beyond himself or herself. But what can we do?

Comedian W. Kamau Bell, in SF Weekly‘s Kamau’s Komedy Korner, (his weekly plot of real estate for the publication) offers some rules, to guide you on how to be a good stand-up comedy audience member. Or, to generalize, how not to be a douche bag. For example, he offers this:

Your cocktail server has many other better things to do than to argue with you over the why there is a two drink minimum. And no, it doesn’t matter if you’re not thirsty. Buy two drinks. It doesn’t matter if you “don’t drink.” Have a coke and a smile or buy an overpriced bottle of water. You have left your house so the rules are not your own anymore.

There are six rules– all of which we firmly stand behind. They are as follows:

1. Get to the club at least 15 minutes before showtime.
2. If you don’t want to pay the two drink minimum, then stay home.
3. Do your research!
4. Don’t heckle.
5. Tip the waitstaff.

To benefit fully from Kamau’s words, you’re going to want to check out the full SF Weekly piece, which also includes some very informative videos. Do it!

About the Author

Carrie Andersen

In addition to writing for Laughspin, Carrie is a graduate student in Austin, Texas, where she researches popular culture, new media, music, and social movements. When not reading or writing in any official capacity, she spends her time playing the drums, watching crappy TV, and eating copious amounts of tacos and barbecue. She also blogs sporadically at

  • Beth Schumann

    We shouldn’t have to say this one, but 7) Don’t throw a full plate of nachos at the front door!

    Thanks for posting this.

    At Rooster T Feathers we’re still coming down off a great week with Kamau and a (mostly) well-behaved audience.

  • W. Kamau Bell

    Oops! I meant, Thanks, Carrie!

  • W. Kamau Bell

    Awesome! Thanks, Dylan!

© 2011-2013 Laughspin. Some rights reserved. Hosted by ServInt
/* CODE */ This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below. ]]> ]]> ]]> ]]> ]]> /* Code */