How to Organise a Stand Up Comedy Show

Organising a stand up comedy show is a great way to raise money (for a charity or yourself) and to promote an art form which is universally loved. If you are an aspiring comedian, it is also a great way to create stage time for yourself as well as make connections with other people in the scene.


  1. Image titled Organise a Stand Up Comedy Show Step 1
    Choose a show format. What kind of show will it be and how will you structure it? If you're just starting out, it would be best to organise an open mic. You'll need an MC to open the show.
    • The other performers will be anyone who wants to give comedy a try, or anyone who wants to work on their material. Give them five minutes of stage time each. How many spots you make available depends on how long you have the room for, though more than 20 is pushing it.
    • Open mics are usually free, but if you have a professional headliner close the show with a 30 minute spot, you can justify charging money at the door (5 to 10 dollars per person which you would split with the headliner).
  2. Image titled Organise a Stand Up Comedy Show Step 2
    Choose a location. Find a bar which has a stage, a mic, and a PA system (so that you don't have to rent your own) and ask to speak to whoever is in charge of booking.
    • If they have an open slot, book your show. Book your show at an establishment which will let you keep the money you collect at the door (as opposed to a venue which charges a rental fee for the room).
  3. Image titled Organise a Stand Up Comedy Show Step 3
    Choose the performers. If you are not already involved in the stand-up scene in your area, go see some shows (which will also help prepare you to run your own show) and introduce yourself to the performers.
    • Choose someone with experience to be your MC. The MC is responsible for warming up the audience, introducing each individual act, dealing with hecklers (if any) and winning back the audience if another performer has a bad set. For the headliner, choose someone with at least 30 minutes of solid material. The headliner is what the audience is paying for, so you need someone who will make them feel that they got their money's worth.
    • Because it's an open mic, you won't be choosing the other performers. But make sure that the local amateur comedians are aware of your show to ensure that you fill up your spots.
  4. Image titled Organise a Stand Up Comedy Show Step 4
    Promote the show. Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or anything else that you use on a day-to-day basis. Print off posters and go to coffee shops, bookstores, barber shops and anywhere else where you see posters for local events and ask whoever is in charge if you can put your poster up. Pressure the amateurs who might be performing on your show to bring friends and to promote the show through whichever social media sites that they use as well.
  5. Image titled Organise a Stand Up Comedy Show Step 5
    Set up the venue. At the very least you'll need a microphone, a microphone stand, and a PA system. Set up a table at the entrance to collect payments and make sure you have a float in order to give change and a stamp so people can prove they've paid. If possible, dim the lights but keep the stage lit. If the audience members are sitting at tables, light a candle at each one. Set up a table for the comedians to sit at. Put a sign up outside the venue to attract people passing by on the street. Once this is all set up, the show is ready.

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Categories: Performing Comedy