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When I started my comedy career, there was no Internet.
Even when the Internet was made available to the general public in the mid 90’s, there certainly wasn’t the volume of information that is available today.
Subsequently, until I had been a comedian for awhile, I had no idea that there even was even such a thing as the corporate market for stand-up comedians.
One of the reasons that I added an automatic upgrade module called Corporate Comedy Secrets module to the new Killer Stand-up Online Course is because…
The corporate comedy market today still remains the ultimate underground market for stand-up comedians for a number of reasons:
1. Very few comedians have the skill to develop a stand-up comedy act that is suitable or acceptable for the corporate comedy market, which pays 10-30 times more than what a single comedy club headliner performance pays.
2. Once a comedian has committed to a “dick joke” or “edgy” act, they are usually disqualified from working in ANY well paying market outside the comedy club market (corporate gigs, conventions, cruise ships, wedding entertainment, etc.).
That’s not meant as a negative; it’s just the way it is. Simply verify that information by asking any working comedian who has been around for awhile.
3. Comedians who do work in the corporate market as a comedian simply will not tell you how they are getting work as a corporate comedian (which is mostly by referrals or through talent and booking agencies that broker such acts).
I was very fortunate that early in my comedy career, I managed to read some small passage in a stand-up comedy book somewhere that went like something like this:
“You can always make clean material blue. But it is difficult or impossible to make blue material clean.”
Related Wall Street Journal Article: At Stand-Up Comedy School, Students Clean Up Their Acts
For some reason this stuck with me. And being a guy who likes to have many options when possible…
Well, I was able to work both comedy clubs and corporate gigs without issue because of how I chose to develop my act right from the outset.
It also didn’t hurt that I didn’t have the usual problems comedians have developing comedy material because I wasn’t trying to “write” one joke at a time.
For the record: I would never discourage any comedian from working in comedy clubs — they are best suited for comedy, there’s more freedom of speech, and on and on.
And if you can develop a huge following, whether from TV exposure, using the Internet, etc.—as a general rule, you can command more cha-ching when you perform in the comedy clubs (it’s called being a “draw”).
There are only about 300 dedicated comedy clubs that hire acts on a weekly basis.
There are over 17,000 businesses in the U.S. that have 500 employees or more — not including government agencies and other entities that are in a position to hire a corporate comedian for their entertainment needs (which many budget for and NOT just for December holiday parties).
Note: You can use the U.S. Postal Service website to verify that information about the number of businesses.
Someone also told me recently (which I cannot verify), that there are only about 300 corporate comedians working right now.
Well, it doesn’t take a math wizard to figure out where tremendous opportunities are for comedians who can deliver corporate clean or family friendly comedy material at headliner levels.
One last thing…
Many comedians are under the false impression that you have to have “corporate” knowledge or corporate “experience” to work as a corporate comedian.
Not true. A band or DJ doesn’t have to have “corporate” knowledge or experience — they simply provide non-offensive, general audience entertainment, just like a corporate comedian would.
So it should come as no surprise given the information above why opportunities abound as a corporate comedian with the right stand-up comedy act.