50/50 crowds

Everyone loves a hot crowd. They're juiced and laughs come easy. All you have to do is not fuck it up. Just ride the wave and keep it going. You can even throw in extra tags that normally wouldn't work and extend the laughs.

But the best crowd for getting better as a comic is a 50/50 crowd. A 50/50 crowd laughs at good jokes but gives you nothing on lame ones. They're either on the bus or off the bus on a joke-by-joke basis. It's tough to build momentum with a crowd like that, but at least you're working with a judge you can actually trust. There's a fairness there. When a bit does work, you know it's actually got legs.

50/50 crowds won't always give you the best set in the world. But they teach you more about what's funny than a hot crowd does.


7 Comment(s)

Blogger Abbi Crutchfield said...

50/50 crowds can bite me. They're not there to have fun, and they're thinking too hard. If I need to learn what to abandon, I wear my joke-ometer on my hip. It buzzes me every time I say something unoriginal or the words, "what else...?"

8/12/09, 1:39 PM  
Blogger myq said...

Sincerely, I think I would rather alternate between hot crowds and cold ones, rather than have consistent 50/50 ones.

While hot crowds may respond favorably to jokes that other crowds might not, you'll still have SOME jokes that might not hit as hard, and that's valuable information as well.

Just like with a dead crowd, if something hits at ALL, that can be a very helpful indication about that thing.

Cold crowds can tell you what some of the best jokes are, and hot ones can tell you what some of the worst ones are.

Not that this 50/50 crowd business is bad. It's good to have a crowd, period. Better a 50/50/ than a 0/0.

8/12/09, 5:26 PM  
Blogger Matt Ruby said...

All true Myq. I guess the bad thing about a dead room is it can convince you that a joke that's actually decent sucks. Meanwhile, hot rooms can do the opposite. 50/50s feel the least biased.

8/12/09, 5:41 PM  
Blogger myq said...

That's the thing, I certainly wouldn't judge a joke by the reaction it gets in front of one audience. I'd much rather hear what a good audience thinks of it, and a bad audience. Ideally many good audiences and some bad audiences, actually. I understand what you're saying about the mid-level audience, but I just wanted to type some more words that people didn't really need to see.

Mission accomplished!

8/12/09, 5:49 PM  
Blogger Abbi Crutchfield said...

I'm selling joke-ometers for $14.99 each. Who says you can't recycle old pagers and stretched-out headbands?

8/13/09, 9:55 AM  
Anonymous london callling said...

it can be annoying when you can't get a momentum going ...if its just joke to the joke your set never really flies and it can be frustrating cause you think there's some energy there but you just can't harness it properly . It's like trying to orgasm on anti depressants ! you're almost there but never quite .Give me a stone cold dead audience , cause that is a challenge

8/14/09, 12:52 PM  
Blogger myq said...

Or give me an audience on anti-depressants and I'll try to make them orgasm.

8/14/09, 1:23 PM