Book Comedians for Private Parties
You’ve seen us on TV! Some stand-up comedians from The Ivy League of Comedy are available to entertain at your private party. Live or virtual stand-up comedy. You can hire us for everything from an informal back yard family get-together to a formal, catered event in your mansion, or at a rented venue.
Studies have shown that people value experiences more than we value possessions. The pleasure we get from buying something new wears off very quickly but a pleasurable experience lives on in our memory. A comedy show is a great, fun experience!
We’ve been in business since 2004 and our company is run by a Wharton-educated, New York Times featured comedian who has headlined shows on five continents. Comedy is all we do- we’re not some big booking agency that mostly hires musicians but added comedy to their roster just to have a larger product line. We Are The Comedy Experts.
Private parties are different from a show at a theatre, comedy club or charity event.
A few things to note:
- Many of us worked in other professions – law, finance, architecture, education, engineering, insurance, marketing, publishing – before becoming comedians. We may have humor specifically about what you or your guests do for a living and we understand your business. Ask us.
- With very few exceptions comedians really don’t like hecklers. At a comedy club most of us are pretty good at shutting them down. We use various techniques, depending upon the type of heckler (the drunk who thinks he’s just in a conversation is different from a bachelorette party, which is different from the guy who wants to impress his friends by trying to show how much funnier he is than the person on stage, etc.). At a private party it’s a little different. The heckler is neither anonymous nor invisible, and our responses are more limited.
But our goals for the show are also different. We’re there to make sure your guests have a good time. So we may view ourselves not as the center-of-attention entertainer but more like The Facilitator Of Fun. If your friends interrupt and we just converse with them, and everybody’s laughing, that’s fine. If your friend gets plenty of laughs too we’re good with that- as long as everybody’s having a good time.
Most of us are very skilled at what’s known in comedy as Crowd Work- conversing with the audience. You may see this at the start of a comedy club show when the emcee asks some people in the front where they’re from, what they do for a living, etc.
The purpose of crowd work is to get the audience used to the idea that someone will be taking over the conversation, to build a connection with the audience, and to get the laughter started. It’s an odd psychological dynamic to just sit and listen to a stranger and laugh. Crowd work helps break through that.
- Here’s what we won’t do- we won’t make fun of you or your guests (unless we’re provoked). Sure, some people like the attention but it’s not easy to tell the difference between someone who wants the attention and someone who’s unhappy but is trying hard not to show it. So we don’t pick on audiences.
- If you want to try a few jokes we’re happy to accommodate. Be aware that you won’t look great compared to the professional you’ve hired- we’ve all done thousands of shows and we tell original jokes. Not jokes half your friends have already heard. But here’s something we can do- we can help you write your own material. We can also provide lessons so that by the time your party rolls around you’ll be ready to tell a few minutes’ worth of jokes. Many of us aren’t just performers but also comedy instructors. And your friends know you’re not a professional comedian.
- The audience needs to be seated and facing the comedian. We can work with you prior to the event to talk about where to put the ‘stage’ and how to arrange the lighting. It’s best if the comedian stands near the center of the longer wall in the room and is well-illuminated while the rest of the room is darker. We can provide stage lighting. Or could could buy, borrow or rent a spotlight.
- We recommend a performance of around a half-hour. If the audience wants us to keep going they’ll let us know. A typical stand-up comedy show is much longer but then it’s the focus of the evening. At your party your guests will want to eat and socialize with each other and we should allow time for that.
- We prefer that the entertainment be post-dinner. Have the meal, clean up, then have the show. You don’t want people choking because they’re laughing and swallowing at the same time. You also want their sole attention on the comedy show. If your schedule is tight and you want the performance during dessert we can accommodate that but please, no dessert cart. That is super-distracting to the audience. We learned that the hard way!
- We may ask you questions about your group so that we can select the optimum entertainer for your party. If you want something specific please don’t hesitate to ask.
To hire a comedian for your private party please contact Shaun Eli: email Shaun (at) BrainChampagne dot com, or call or text (914) it’s-funny (914) 487-3866