There are a number of factors that can have a noteworthy impact on a comedian’s ability to generate big laughs when delivering a stand-up comedy routine.
These factors can be divided into three primary categories: performer, venue and audience related factors.
I will cover each of these individually.
Performer Related Factors
Basically these factors involve the comedian’s talent and skill to develop and deliver stand-up comedy material that will generate laughs.
While everyone who attempts stand-up comedy is under the impression that they are funny enough to be a comedian, the reality is that there are always people who simply don’t have the comedy talent they need to progress as a comedian.
Comedy talent cannot be learned. What a talented person can learn is how to harness and structure the comedy talent that they do have in the process of developing a stand-up comedy routine.
Audience Related Factors
While every audience has its own uniqueness so to speak, there are audience factors that will impact the laughter levels a comedian can generate, such as the size of the audience and seating.
Note: Many comedians are under the false impression that audience size is the most important audience related factor when it comes to generating big laughs.
The most important audience related factor is actually seating. Comedians can generate significant laughter levels from even small audiences (15-20 people) provided the audience is seated properly (in close proximity in order to capitalize on the contagiousness of laughter).
Venue Related Factors
Venue related factors that can impact a comedian’s ability to generate big laughs include such things as:
- Distracting activities happening during a show
- A large amount of spacing between the comedian and the seated audience
- Poor sound system that impairs the audience from being able to hear the comedian
- Poor lighting that impairs the audience from being able to clearly see the comedian
The important thing for all comedians to be aware of is that while they may have little or no control over audience related factors or venue related factors, they do have complete control over all performer related factors when it comes to laughter generation as a comedian.