The COTL Booking Guide
Ever since our inaugural Comedians on the Loose show back in October 2016, a lot has changed in regards to the output of shows. We increased the frequency of our New York shows to a monthly capacity and are expanding into areas outside of NYC (i.e. Punch Line Philly).
Growth is the main goal and there is one question from comics that consistently comes our way: “how can I be on one of your shows?” Our show promotes quality and strives to have comics on the lineup that can generate a certain level of appeal and features a balanced blend of professional and newer talent.
So how does one exactly get on a Comedians on the Loose show? Here’s how. Your set is solid and can be done without notes. On the shows, we currently offer featured comics an eight to ten-minute spot for a lineup of six to eight comics (including the headliner and host). It’s also crucial to be able to do this set without notes. Headliner spots are cast differently in that we need the comic to have AT LEAST forty-five minutes to an hour of polished material, just so they always have something to pull out of their hat during their twenty to thirty-minute set. Additionally, we would prefer the headliner to have some type of credits or projects occurring. Our shows are kept within the time frame of ninety minutes so a tight set is essential to not only fit into the lineup but to also showcase your best material. We offer a free tape as part of performing so we want you to develop a set that not only does well for the audience but is also something that you are proud of so you can use it for other things (i.e. festival submissions, bookers, agents, etc.).
We’ve seen you perform. At least 80% of the comics we have cast on the shows are comics we have seen at our open mics; however, we are aware that people’s availability may not align so we have an online submission page where you can submit the required materials.
We never cast a comic without seeing their set. Unless you are undoubtedly a pro comic, we need to see something to assess so we can figure out if and where to fit you in a prospective lineup. Keep in mind that not every request will be accepted. The show is continuously evolving to promote a higher standard, therefore your set must stand out among the fray. You bring an element of diversity. Diversity can mean a lot of things, but for us diversity means you bring something different to the show. The shows are primarily built off of the energy of the comics and what they have to offer in their stand-up. We’d rather have our show be a blend of different comedic styles as opposed to the same type of comic going up on stage. That gets boring really quick. Emphasizing diversity means there is something for everyone in the audience to relate to whether it’s political, gallows, or blue humor. You are professional. We cannot emphasize this enough, but professionalism is key for booking a spot on one of our shows. While we run a professional show regardless of the venue, club shows, in particular, are ones where we are expected by the club to follow certain guidelines and, for comics, this entails being punctual, not running the clock, and overall being easy to work with.
Additionally, you need the basics for us to be able to promote you effectively: a high resolution headshot, social media for us to tag on promo, and responsiveness (we don’t want to chase someone for days to get a headshot). It’s more than just being funny for the stage. Being professional makes the experience better for everyone and is usually what tips the scale in our decision-making process for debut AND recurring appearances.
Overall, our COTL show focuses on quality over quantity. This is why the show is cast the way that it is with only a certain number of comics; with such venues, we want you to showcase your best set so you feel good about it too. Got questions or comments? Write below and tell us your thoughts!