How Will Comedy Clubs Survive?

Seattle Comedy UndergroundJon Fox, owner of the Seattle Comedy Underground (one of my absolute favorite clubs in the country to perform at), presented an interesting question on his Facebook page recently looking at ideas for how comedy clubs will survive in the face of Netflix, YouTube, On Demand, and the myriad other ways people have of getting their dose of comedy these days.

You can check out the full thread and comments here.

As with anything that involves comedians, the comments involve a good amount of both ridiculous answers and self-interested complaining.  But there are some solid ideas in there too.  I decided to sleep on the idea and this morning, a lot more ideas were in my head.  Too many for a facebook comment.  Not that I have any concrete answers.  If I did, I’d be opening a club.  But I do have some ideas.

Getting A TV Set – An Interview with Sammy Obeid

Sammy ObeidA lot of people talk about hard work.  But few people embody that ethic like Sammy Obeid.  On Sept 21st, 2013, Sammy finished 1001 straight nights of doing comedy sets.

There’s no typo in that sentence.  One thousand nights.  In a row.  No breaks.  I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the world I want to do for 1000 nights in a row.  I don’t care how much fun it is or how hot she might be.

International Touring – An Interview with Tah Phrum Duh Bush

Tah Phrum Duh BushI’ve yet to do any real international touring, with the exception of two weeks of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival back in 2005.  But my friend Tah Phrum Duh Bush has been hitting the international scene hard for the last couple years.  So I asked him for some tips about how to get it going and keep it going on the international touring scene.

– Tell us a bit about your art and what it’s about.

How I Double My Gig Money With Merchandise Sales

Phil at the Merch Table


I just finished a show where I doubled my take for the night on merchandise sales.  I’m not getting rich off it, but I can usually do that or better on about 75% of my gigs.  Tonight I was getting $250 for the show and sold $266 worth of merchandise.  Not bad for a redneck bar in a town of only 1200 people. 🙂

What You’ll Learn

  • Why having multiple items (but not too many) will help you sell more
  • My main 3 items and how I price them for maximum sales