Running a comedy night, I deserve the booker prize

2 Apr 2013 @ 1.43 pm
| Entertainment

Unlike some stand-ups, Steve’s headliner Sara Pascoe is a complete professional (as well as being very funny)
steve-shooter-bylineThe demands of some stand-ups lead comedy promoter Steve Shooter to ask: ‘Are you having a laugh?’


knock-knock-logo-270So, it has been a while since I wrote one of these. Sorry, sometimes having a day job, a weekly radio show, a comedy club and a wife can be a little hectic!

We have now run three Knock Knock Comedy nights. You know about the first one, the second was Valentine’s Day. We took a risk, booked an amazing headline act in Mace & Burton and a really strong support line-up.

We hyped it, flyered it, advertised it, Tweeted it, Facebooked it and everything else you could think of. Turns out Valentine’s Day is maybe not the night for comedy!

We had a great audience, just a small one. Those who attended were treated to one of the highlights of last year’s Edinburgh Festival, RomComCon. It made us laugh, and I’m not ashamed to admit, it made me cry a little! If you get a chance, see it.

I promised to share tales of trying to book acts, and some outrageous demands. Recently I contacted a fairly famous agency to book an act I hold in high regard. Hhe was unavailable on the date I needed, so the agent offered me a few other acts. I looked into it, researched, checked out a few videos and narrowed it down. The act I chose was available on the date I needed, we agreed a price for his performance and I thought all was set.

Two days later I get an email from his agent informing me that on top of the agreed fee, he would need over £100 in petrol money to attend the gig. Needless to say, he is no longer on the bill…

My current favourite was the guy (again to remain nameless) who asked for a spot on an open mic night. He then later asked if he would be paid for it, and then if the gig (in a tiny room, free entry) would do Edinburgh previews. Seems some “comics” don’t know what an open mic night is.

I was approached at a gig I ran by an aspiring comedian asking to be booked on my next show. His words were: “I have done over 20 gigs now”. You may be familiar with how comedy works, on the circuit in particular, but there are acts, really good acts, with five years and 300 gigs experience doing shows for free in the hope of a paid gig.

This particular comic emailed me the next day asking for a gig. He then Facebooked me a week later, and then approached me again at the next gig I attended. There is a difference between being keen and annoying the hell out of me. Chances of this particular person being booked? I’ll let you do the maths…

Our next show is April 4. We have the incredibly funny Sara Pascoe, fresh from her appearance on BBC1 show Live At The Apollo. You may have seen Sara in Being Human, Twenty Twelve and Free Agents.

The support is from local favourite James Christopher as compere, former York St John student Richard Massara, Nick Banks and Al McWilliam.

  • Knock Knock Comedy Presents Sara Pascoe is at The Post Office Club, Marygate, at 7.30pm on Thursday, April 4
  • Tickets are £5, or £4 for students
  • More details from the Knock Knock Comedy Facebook page