Tips for Hiring a Comedian

Chelsea Pellegrino


If you're looking for a night of laughs, hiring a comedian for your event is the way to go! According to Rick Lewis (Scottsdale, AZ), comedy is a bonding experience. "Comedy is the most painless team building exercise there is." A comedian can offer a great way to break the ice, lighten spirits and get guests talking at an event.

There are a few things to consider when hiring a comedian for an event. That's why we asked our top comedians for their advice on how to choose the right jokester for your function.

Discuss the Material
The most important part of a comedian's act is of course.the material! This is also the most important factor to consider before booking a comedian.  When you find a performer you are interested in, make sure you discuss their material at length. Talk about topics or people to avoid mentioning and whether swearing is permitted.  Describing things about the audience, such as age or careers, can help give the comedian a good idea of what jokes to include and what to leave out. If you have a good idea of your guests' likes and dislikes, you can even suggest subjects or people to to help your comedian create personalized material. If you're completely unsure of what's appropriate for your guests, you can always choose to hire a clean comedian like Steve Mittleman (New York, NY) or Patrick Hanifin (Anaheim, CA). Clean comics are a great choice for professional events or family-oriented gatherings.

Consider the Event
It's important to keep the type of occasion in mind when selecting a comedian. If you're planning a corporate shindig, it's best not to call the local comedy club. Jerry Carroll (Parnell, MO) shares that "The comedy club definition of `clean' is a world apart from the corporate definition of clean." Instead, find a comic who specializes in corporate settings and knows what is and isn't appropriate. When searching for a comedian on GigMasters, you can view the types of events they typically book directly on their profile. You can also read client reviews and watch videos of the comedian to get a better understanding of their style and expertise.

Communication is Key
Sharon Lacey (Portland, OR) can't stress enough how important it is to keep in contact with your performer before, during, and even after the event. Besides clarifying date, time and venue, you'll want to confirm the show length and agreed upon payment amount. You should also let the performer know what the attire will be for your event. "Comedians want to blend in properly with your group and not look like outsiders," says David Ferrell (Greenville, SC). Be sure to discuss the dress code so the comedian can dress appropriately. In addition, be sure to find out if any special lighting, room setup or props are required for the show. Considering these accommodations before-hand can help avoid delays, and ensure that the comedian will have everything necessary to put on an awesome act. Performers recommend signing a contract in advance. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and that the comedian is clear on your vision for the event.

Timing is Everything
You may know that you want to hire a comedian, but you might not be sure of when to schedule their performance during your event. Our top comedians offered some scheduling suggestions: If it's a dinner party, Larry Weaver (Raleigh, NC) recommends you schedule the entertainment after the meal, so guests can enjoy the show without distraction. Awards event? Have the comedian perform before prizes are given, says David Ferrell. Guests tend to leave after awards are acknowledged, and you don't want anyone to miss out on the fun!

Ask Away
GigMasters' comedians recommend asking questions before hiring a comedian for your event. Here are a few they suggested:

  • What do you rate your style of comedy (G, PG, PG-13, R)?
  • Can you work clean?
  • What comedian(s) inspired your work the most?
  • How long have you been in comedy?
  • Can I have the contact information of at least three previous clients? You can also read GigMasters reviews.
  • Do you have past experience with this type of crowd?
  • What type of venues do you have experience with?
  • Do you have video demos? Find as many clips of the comic online to make sure they're crowd friendly (and funny!) 
  • What are your technical requirements?
  • Can you personalize my show?
  • Why do you perform? 

If you need help finding a comedian, contact our Account Specialists by calling 866-342-9794 or emailing