Open Mic Etiquette

By David Gavri

Open mic comedy plays an essential role in the daily grind of the stand up comedian. But simply showing up doesn’t mean you’re making progress. Believe it or not, there is a proper way to go about it. Although stand up comedy is treated with reckless abandon, there is still a level of respect that should be practiced. Afterall, you might be pissing off alotta people without even knowing it.

Comedy Scene in Houston went around the city and asked our fellow comedians about their thoughts on open mic etiquette. Here is what they had to say.

“When you go up on stage, have a purpose. Don’t get up there and waste other peoples’ time.” -Andy Huggins

“Be quiet in the showroom. Don’t talk while other comics are on stage.”             -John Wessling

“Prepare more material than you think you need.” -Kristen Lindner

“Perform with the same amount of enthusiasm, whether there are 5 people or 100 people in the audience.” -Slade Ham

“It’s more entertaining to watch someone who’s having fun on stage. So, have fun.” -Chase Durousseau

“This goes for the Host / MC—do your set, and then bring up the next comic. There’s no need to do five more minutes of jokes every time you bring up a new comic.” -Rob Mungle

“Dont blame the audience if you had a bad set. A good comic can turn any crowd into a good crowd.” -Ryan Thauburn

“Stage Etiquette—when you take the mic out of the stand, move the stand away so it’s not directly in front of you.” -Owen Dunn

“Be different and original. Watch the other comics. No matter how good or bad they are, you just might learn something.” -Danny Rios

“Dont go over your time.” -Tim Mathis

“Quit bragging about how you “Killed It”. It’s just an open mic!” -Steven Padilla

“Yaa…get me a drink!” -David Gavri

Feel free to add things that should be added to the list under comments.

For more information about open mic comedy in the city of Houston, click on our Open Mic List

Interviewed by Steven Padilla

Twitter: @StevenPadilla78


Written by David Gavri


14 thoughts on “Open Mic Etiquette

  1. STAY…if people have to listen to your shitty 5 min set you should stay to listen to theirs. Too often, the audience thins out as comedians leave after getting off stage. Support your fellow comic as they support you.

  2. Pingback: 20 Things Comedians Should See This Week

  3. don’t get to ahead of yourself, just because you may have had a good set doesn’t mean that you deserve to be paid or get free drinks because you think your hot stuff after two months of open mics. this is a process and you have to put in the work and if you do that and learn from those who have been through it before and if you are serious about this career path things will fall into place for you.

  4. Keep writing new stuff. It gets tiresome to hear comics do their same stuff over and over and… Also, if you keep going up with notes and don’t fly without a net after awhile, then you can’t really improve your presentation. I don’t give a shit if you drink on stage but I do give a shit if you come up drunk and bring the audience down. Hugs from a 69 year old cougar grandma.

  5. Take your PEDs. Without Ritalin, lipstick on a cocktail napkin can throw off your set. Trust me random jokes are usually not as funny as rehearsed jokes. I need to clip my nails.

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