This industry is full of varied personalities.
Entertainment alone showcases a wide array of characters, but when you focus on the comedy niche personalities become wackier, more complex, and even a bit darker.
I’ve had the pleasure (and displeasure) of dealing with many of these personalities so here are the top personalities I find to be the most difficult to deal with.
Oh, the “has-been.” The “has-been” comic is always a trip because these are the comics that have been on the comedy scene ten, even twenty years, but their career didn’t really go big like they thought it would.
It’s highly likely at one point they gained traction in their career, but it was lost and their current progress is now equivalent to someone maybe four or five years in; these are the comics that’ll call themselves “veterans” in comedy when the real comedy veterans don’t even use that label.
They’ll sell themselves like they’re Sam Morril or Jessica Kirson, but it always falls short and they often are the example of longevity not always being a good thing.
The Overly Friendly Comic
Now, there is nothing wrong with being friendly. In fact, friendliness is a great tool for networking and making connections.
However, there is a point where friendliness can become too much and creates that overly friendly comic persona.
As a producer, whether it’s me producing for Comedians on the Loose or another producer on the scene, you do have to be careful; that overly friendly comic will likely be someone who is only nice because they want something from you (a spot on your lineup, podcast, etc.). It’s often the person who hasn’t done anything to earn recognition that acquires this persona because they’re trying to overcompensate for what they’re lacking by being friendly.
Additionally, this person will likely also be a follower: someone who jumps on the bandwagon all the time and doesn’t really have a thought of their own. They also may be the type that if someone is doing well they only boast about the person (often publicly) so it looks like they’re in the “in-crowd.”
The Moral Crusader
Let’s face it, with the increasing presence of political correctness (both with audiences and comedians), there have been increasing occurrences of “schooling” comics for their NSFW views.
This has birthed “the moral crusader”: the comic that’ll write bland opinions, have few punchlines and operate with a moral code so they don’t offend anyone and feel others should operate accordingly. This is the comic that will dedicate their set to ripping into another comic at an open mic just for writing a joke they don’t agree with.
This personality is exhausting because they’re the most sensitive and from experience, they’re usually going after another comic’s comedy because their own comedy is as unexciting as a Sweet Sixteen in Connecticut.
Comedy really is the place where if something said in jest makes you react to the point of schooling another comic, then you don’t belong. Comedians are meant to make people laugh; just because a joke doesn’t match your ideals doesn’t mean everyone else feels the same.
The Shady Producer
As a producer for COTL, I always believe productions should be transparent and fair to have whatever you are producing run smoothly and to ultimately maintain respect. Sadly, not every producer operates in that way.
On the scene, anyone can call themselves a producer. I’ve seen people run shitty bar shows while operating with the mindset that they’re the best producer in town; however, it takes a certain personality to be an effective producer.
When I speak of the “shady producer” it’s usually relevant to someone that commonly uses the bait and switch. For example, maybe someone gets you on their show and promises you a ten-minute set. Then you get there and they overbooked so now you have seven minutes. Then just before your turn, they say you’re only doing five minutes.
I’ve even had a friend tell me about a producer that was hosting a birthday bar show that he wanted to have her on and then pulled out the “but you’ll have to bring six guests…” crap.
The only thing shady producers equal is time wasted. You never feel good after dealing with them and their only goal is to use you.
The egomaniac is probably one of the most versatile exhausting personalities in the business because it is highly possible that each personality listed previously has elements of this personality. The unnerving thing is that egomaniacs at their best CAN be successful and you do have to have some level of ego to be successful.
Egomaniacs are exhausting because it’s all about them and they will do everything in their power to make it about them. Think about it, you’re running a show and you need the comics there at a specific time. The egomaniac will say “I’ll be there at this time,” not caring that you tell them to arrive at a particular time for a reason. It all boils down to if it’s not about them, they’ll resort to being stubborn.
Additionally, this person is charming and only interested in getting their way. They’ll act in ways that garner attention: playing the victim, being aggressive (often on social media), or completely altering their behaviors so they get immediate satisfaction.
When dealing with these personalities, it takes a certain level of conviction to deal with them. You definitely have to stand your ground and not give in because each one has their own motives that will not benefit you.
Got questions or something to add? Comment below and tell us your thoughts!