How to Start Comedy Club Business

by Lex Hubbard; Updated September 26, 2017
Comedian standing on stage, rear view

Opening a comedy club is similar to opening any nightclub, with a few key differences. You need comics, a stage, and, of course, a microphone with a good sound system. If run properly, comedy clubs are an extremely efficient business. You can make money from ticket sales, drinks and merchandise. However, starting a new club can be tough. You’ll need an audience to get big-name comedians, and you’ll need big-name comedians to get an audience. Despite the risks and difficulties, running a club can be satisfying and profitable.

Step 1

Make a business plan. It’s important to have your ideas written down and to be able to show why this club will succeed. You need a good location, and you need to know the demographics of that location. You’ll also need to show how the comedy club appeals to that demographic. What will your average ticket prices be? How much will drinks cost? Will you serve food? How many people does the venue seat, and how many shows will you do each week? Observe other successful comedy clubs for ideas. This will not only help you obtain funding, but also will act as a guide for you as you run the business.

Step 2

Design the club. It is pretty easy to turn any building into a comedy club. All you need is a stage, a seating area, a bar and a sound system connected to a microphone. You may also want to consider having a lounge area where people can drink while they wait for the next show. It is also a good idea to put your club's logo on the wall behind the stage. You can take pictures of the comics on stage and display them around the club.

Step 3

Book comedians. It is easiest to do this through a talent agency. They will offer you the best-known talent with the least amount of searching. However, it will be more expensive. You can also search for comedians yourself. If you put out the word about the club, many may come to you, and you’ll get advertising as well. If you’re unable to draw a crowd with names, do it with other methods such as themed shows, e.g. political, gay and lesbian, amateur night, X-rated.

Tips

  • If starting your own club is not feasible at the present time, it is still possible to start a comedy show. Many existing nightclubs are already equipped and welcome the additional business.

About the Author

Lex Hubbard began writing professionally in 2008. He has written numerous published articles about a variety of topics such as video games, guitars and science. He is currently writing a novel. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in telecommunication from the University of Florida in 2009.

Photo Credits

  • Mike Powell/Lifesize/Getty Images