How long should a comedy show run?

In the world of comedy, timing is everything. It’s not just about delivering punchlines with precision; it’s also about knowing when to wrap up the show. If you’ve ever wondered how long a comedy show should run, you’re in for a laugh-filled ride as we explore this comedic conundrum.

The Goldilocks Dilemma: Not Too Short, Not Too Long

Have you ever sat through a comedy show that felt like it was dragging on forever? Or perhaps you’ve been to one where the comedians left you wanting more. Striking the right balance between too short and too long is akin to finding that elusive pot of comedic gold at the end of the rainbow.

Comedian extraordinaire (and all-around sage), Eddie Griffin, sheds some light on this perplexing issue. One thing  Eddie Griffin makes clear is that “the show shouldn’t go over 90 minutes.” Even the most energetic crowd can start to tire or, worse yet, get too drunk past that point.

But, as with all rules, there are exceptions. When a big-name comic graces the stage, they might manage to captivate the audience for around 75 minutes all on their own. It’s a testament to their comedic prowess and star power. However, for us mere mortals, 90 minutes is the comedy sweet spot.

Open Mic Nights: The Endurance Test

Now, let’s talk about the ever-popular open mic nights. These are where aspiring comedians cut their teeth, and where laughter flows freely. However, when you have a barrage of budding comedians lining up to showcase their talents, the two-hour mark often becomes unavoidable.

 Eddie Griffin suggests that if you’re running an open mic night, consider experimenting with the timing. Ask the person in charge if you can go earlier or later in the lineup, but only if you’ve earned your stripes and are in good standing with them (a big “if” indeed!). Not all bars are created equal; some see the crowd fill up, while others witness it slowly but surely dwindling.

So, here’s the tip for open mic organizers: If you can trim it down from two hours, please do so, or place the comics who still need to pay their dues at the end after that exhausting two-hour mark. If you’re looking to up your game, challenge yourself to go later in the show, as Eddie Griffin plans to do more often when not teaching the children at the crack of dawn during the summer.

Shorter Sets for the Win

Now, let’s talk about the comedians themselves. We’ve all seen that eager comic with a notebook full of jokes who desperately wants a ten-minute set. However, as [Insert Comedian’s Name] wisely points out, most newcomers tend to waste a minute or two with useless and wordy setups.

Knowing that you only have five minutes can be a blessing in disguise. It forces comedians to trim the fat from their jokes, making them funnier and more concise. The audience, in turn, remains more attentive and engaged.

“Having a longer set in the middle of an open mic by a strong comic can drain the crowd’s energy faster than a cat video drains your workday productivity.”

In conclusion, when it comes to comedy shows, timing is crucial. Keep it around 90 minutes for a well-paced evening of laughter. For open mic nights, try your best to trim it down from the two-hour mark or place the rookies at the end. And for comedians, embrace the challenge of delivering a killer set in just five minutes – your audience will thank you with laughter.

Remember, in comedy, as in life, sometimes less is more.

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