Going to a comedy club is much like going to any other live show with some slight differences. Many expectations you would have for a live show would be the same for a comedy show, so if you are planning your first trip to the comedy club, know that most of the etiquette is the same.
The obvious difference is the form of entertainment, and the potential for audience interaction. Be prepared to laugh out loud, and follow these tips as you enjoy your first experience at a comedy club:
Follow the Rules of the Venue
So you have purchased a ticket to a comedy show, and you are looking forward to seeing your first live comedian. Many comedy clubs also have a drink minimum to support the club itself (profits from ticket sales generally go to the comedian). So if there is a “two-drink minimum,” be sure to purchase your two drinks to support the club.
Also, be sure to follow any other in-house rules posted at the venue. As an additional tip, consider your seating. Some venues have typical seating in rows, while other comedy shows are set up as tables with seating at the tables.
Follow Proper Live Show Etiquette
Hopefully, this is old news and should go without saying, but be courteous to your fellow audience members and to the comedian. Silence your cell phone before the show, and keep any conversations with friends short and quiet. In addition, be respectful to the wait staff and be sure to tip appropriately.
Do not use flash photography, so you do not distract the comedian. Also, do not record the comedy show. While a comedy show is not a black-tie event, you can still up your game from sweats and gym attire to a casual wardrobe choice for your night out.
Do Not Interrupt the Comedian
The obvious difference between a comedy show and other live performances is the fact that the audience is involved (at the very least, laughter is expected), and the comedian will probably address the audience and may even directly speak to members of the audience. If the comedian addresses you specifically or asks a direct question, obviously you can answer, and your response may even elicit laughs and add to the routine. Obviously if impressionist comedians ask you a question as part of their routine, if you can play into their celebrity impression, you will be able to get the whole audience chuckling.
Otherwise, you should not interrupt the comedian or disturb the routine in any way. Unless the comedian is addressing the audience purposefully and has built audience answers into that part of their routine, audience interruption may throw off the routine and may even take valuable time away from the rest of the show. Another thing that hopefully goes without saying is not to heckle the comedian, but if you are going to a comedy club to have fun and enjoy yourself, this should not be a problem for you.
If you are looking forward to your first experience at a comedy club, rest assured that if you follow the rules of the club, follow proper etiquette for live shows, and don’t interrupt the comedian (unless asked to), you will have a great time!