Punchline Magazine poll: Where do you want your live comedy?

By | May 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm | 3 comments | News, Opinion | Tags: ,

In an article about a rise in independent comedy shows in LA, Brand X writes, “…these gatherings serve as proof that Angelenos want to see fresh new comics without having to pony up for a two-drink minimum, and that they’re willing to travel a little farther down Sunset to do so.”

For any of you who have never been to a comedy club, the staple “two drink minimum” is one of the primary ways the club makes money, which is why they haven’t really budged on making any changes to charging patrons a required two drinks, or in some cases, a combination of a drink and some type of appetizer or entreé, to watch a show.

Usually, the drinks are expensive– beers are $6 and a glass of Coke can run you $4. On top of a cover charge and parking, going to see live comedy, can be a pricey proposition.

The article in Brand X voices many people’s frustration with going to a traditional comedy club. And that’s why we now see comedy fans seeking out non-traditional venues like the back rooms of comic book stores and Chinese restaurants. In those scared places, there is no such thing as a drink or food minimum and there usually is no cover, or a very cheap one. Since comedians are so hungry for stage time, plenty who get paid on the road will play these type of shows in LA or New York for no pay.

It’s unlikely that established comedy clubs will do away with item minimums, despite their indie counterparts doing just that. So, are you more of a traditional comedy club person or are you all DIY all the way? Or are you cool with both?

Give your thoughts below.

About the Author

Jake Kroeger

Jake Kroeger has dedicated his life, for better or probably worse, to comedy. Starting and continually running the Comedy Bureau, a voice for LA comedy, by himself, he also writes and performs stand-up comedy in LA and watches more live comedy than is probably humanly tolerable. He's been a daily contributor to Punchline Magazine, now Laughspin.com because he loves and believes in comedy so much. Said of Kroeger, "...without his dangerously insane, unhealthy work ethic, certain comics would not have any press at all."

  • 6 100

    Drink minimums are a pain in the ass, especially if you’re new and only doing bringer shows and open mics. After the second show, you’ll have exhausted the wallets of your circle of friends, and they’re a litle weary when it comes time to see you perform.

    Know what’s even worse than 2 drink minimums?

    A:Open mic’s where you have to pay to perform AND have a drink minimum. . . .

  • Doug

    “Since comedians are so hungry for stage time, plenty who get paid on the road will play these type of shows in LA or New York for no pay.”

    It’s probably gonna come to a point in the next 5-10 years where a comic can’t expect to make money doing comedy. On the road or in LA. The comic’s currency will become solely stage time.

  • Josh Homer

    people forget comedy clubs are not about comedy, they are about making money by selling drinks and chicken wings. Comedy is only the method to them getting customers to sit down for an dour and a half and buy things.