Can low energy comics be good hosts?

Someone asked me last night: "If you're a low energy person, what's the best way to host a comedy show?" The honest answer is maybe it's best not to host. When you're MCing, it's different than just doing standup. Your job is to make people feel comfortable and keep the energy level in the room high. Steven Wright is a fantastic comic, but would be a shitty host.

My advice to this person was to let someone else host and then do a spot during the show. Or find a cohost who's a bit more amped. Or do as little time as possible and just keep the show moving (there's nothing worse than a lame host who keeps bringing the vibe down after each comic by doing too much time). Or make funny videos you can show instead of trying to force yourself into something that's not you.

Hosting a show is like hosting a party. You need to make sure everyone's having fun. A regular set can be more selfish, awkward, or low energy. When you host, it's not nearly as much about you. It's about setting a fun vibe/tone for the room and making the crowd feel like a cohesive unit.

1 comment:

Abbi Crutchfield said...

I agree that if you have low energy or a deadpan delivery you need to supplement that in some way. Witty writing, or letting your personality shine through. Jon Friedman is someone I consider to be low-key but have great energy when he hosts. Even though he takes his time when he talks and speaks softly, he has a winning smile and sharp ideas.

I have never seen Mike Dobbins host, but one of the most fun aspects to his performances is that they build momentum. If he's hosting, he would not have time to mine the gold.

Also consider Mitch Hedberg who was low-key but had good rhythm right off the bat.

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