How to Promote Comedy Shows

Photo by Jorge Louzao Penalva

Things You'll Need

  • Website
  • Posters
  • Promotional copy for radio and newspaper ads
  • Digital camera

Comedians, sketch troupes and other performers need to draw in audiences for every performance. These performances allow comedians to work on their craft, gauge interest from comedy fans and earn money from ticket sales. The problem for most comedians is that audience members have movie theaters, restaurants and malls that provide entertainment. Every comedian needs to develop creative promotional tools in order to drive up attendance numbers.

Create a website for appearances, previews and sketch shows that can be updated on a regular basis. A comedian should work to get her links added to blogs, comedy club websites and message boards to generate fan loyalty.

Develop a presence on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to promote comedy shows for free. Every comedian can send out bulletins, leave private messages to friends and provide details on upcoming shows in a matter of minutes.

Track down a venue in your community that can host previews for sketch comedy, plays and standup routines. Every comedian should test out new material and gauge audience reactions in preview shows before setting out on the road.

Use your relationships with show hosts, club owners and MCs to promote upcoming events without spending money. The best times to advertise future shows and productions without straining these relationships are weekdays and open mic nights.

Create a video for distribution online using clips from past shows. This video should be posted to a comedian's website as well as websites like YouTube that allow international exposure without spending a penny.

Aim your promotional efforts at younger audiences that are open to new forms of comedy and humor. This demographic can be reached through ads in alternative weeklies as well as appearances on college radio shows that are heard by thousands of students.

Perform a crazy stunt outside of the venue for an upcoming show in the preceding nights. This stunt can be as simple as previewing your act outside of the club for audience members for other shows. Sketch comedy teams will confront audience members and show off their skills during these stunts to prepare fans for interactive experiences.


  • Mobilize the growing network of comedy podcasts and blogs to promote upcoming comedy shows. These virtual resources are useful for comedians with limited budgets who want exposure to diehard comedy fans. Allow your fans and friends to develop a brand name for a comedy routine that can be used on promotional materials. This brand can be a logo, catchphrase or show name that becomes familiar to local comedy fans.


  • Establish a maximum spending limit for comedy promotions to ensure profitability from upcoming shows. The profit earned from ticket sales and merchandise can be lost quickly with newspaper advertisements, flyers and website design.

About the Author

Nicholas Katers has been a freelance writer since 2006. He teaches American history at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis. His past works include articles for "CCN Magazine," "The History Teacher" and "The Internationalist" magazine. Katers holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in American history from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, respectively.

Photo Credits

  • Photo by Jorge Louzao Penalva