In comedy, being a good host is a blessing and a curse. If you're good, you're anointed "all time" host for shows. Talented hosts thanklessly work their quick thinking skills and crowd work, skills comedians often don't have or desire, even though, these skills are often needed as a club headliner. Clubs like Zanies Comedy Club used to require a monthly hosting residency before comedians were considered for headliner spots.
When I first started, all I wanted was to host to prepare for my dream of hosting my own show. I never thought I would write enough material to be a headliner and I preferred crowd work. Still, I knew to end my hosting set with a joke before I brought up the first comic. Of course, I developed over an hour of material, mostly from hosted shows.
I was fortunate to have the greatest mentor in legend Tom Dreesen who taught me the host’s job is to keep the show moving forward. If a comedian crushes, bring the crowd back to earth for the next comedian. On the flip side, if a comedian bombs, bring the energy back up for the next comedian. Otherwise, keep the show moving! And if I had $1 for every audience member who said afterwards, “You should try comedy, you were good up there!” I would have like $69! #comedyshow #laughs #hosting
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Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy