Your Complete Guide to Booking a COMEDY ACT
Finding the right Comedy Act is easy with our unique and comprehensive guide, bursting with essential tips and answers to all those important questions. We help you book with confidence, so that you and your guests can relax and enjoy a truly fantastic and memorable event!
- WHAT WILL A COMEDY ACT DO AT YOUR EVENT?
- WHAT TYPE OF EVENTS ARE COMEDY ACTS HIRED FOR?
- HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMEDY ACT FOR YOUR EVENT:
ADULT STAND-UP COMEDIANS
CLEAN STAND-UP COMEDIANS
DRAG QUEEN ACTS
- HIRING A COMEDY ACT FOR YOUR WEDDING
- HOW MUCH DOES A COMEDIAN COST TO HIRE?
- HOW LONG WILL THEY PERFORM FOR?
- SUITABLE VENUES FOR COMEDY ACTS
- OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:
- ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR BOOKING A COMEDY ACT:
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK?
WHAT EQUIPMENT AND SET UP REQUIREMENTS WILL THERE BE?
DO I NEED TO PROVIDE FOOD?
DO I NEED TO PAY A DEPOSIT?
WILL I HAVE TO COVER TRAVEL EXPENSES?
- CANCELLATION AND INSURANCE:
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ACT CANCELS?
WHAT HAPPENS IF OUR EVENT IS CANCELLED?
INSURANCE / RISK ASSESSMENT
CHECK & CLARIFY DETAILS IN ADVANCE!
- HOW TO BOOK A COMEDY ACT
- HOW CAN I FIND AND BOOK A COMEDY ACT FOR AN EVENT NEAR ME?
WHAT WILL A COMEDY ACT DO AT YOUR EVENT?
Essentially, a Comedian will attend your event and entertain the audience with jokes, stories and physical comedy. Comics come in all shapes and sizes. There are stand-up performers, impressionists, comedy singers and a variety of other funny men and women, just waiting to raise a smile and a giggle among your guests.
Stand-up comedy has made a huge comeback recently, thanks to Live at the Apollo and other shows. Stand-up Comedians make us laugh out loud with their own unique take on current affairs, celebrities and everyday life.
They can be clever, witty, whimsical, silly or downright absurd. There are adult-only stand-ups (think Lee Mack or Eddie Izzard) whose comedy is darker or more grown up (and sometimes more risqué), and family-friendly entertainers who appeal to all ages (Michael McIntyre).
Comedy Impressionists wow the crowds with spot on impressions of politicians, actors and other celebrities. Comedy Waiters are guaranteed to get your order wrong and Comedy Singers combine comedy and music for laughs. For a comedy diva with a big heart and even bigger eyelashes, it’s got to be a glittering Drag Queen.
WHAT TYPE OF EVENTS ARE COMEDY ACTS HIRED FOR?
Comedians are hired for all manner of events, including birthdays, weddings, corporate events, award ceremonies, parties, festivals, fun days, community events, dinner entertainment, receptions, bar mitzvahs, trade shows, product launches and shopping mall entertainment.
There is no better form of entertainment to break the ice and get people talking, so if you’re looking for a memorable and engaging focal point for your event, then tickle those funny bones by hiring a comedy act.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMEDY ACT FOR YOUR EVENT
Comedy can be a great tool for bringing people together, but you need to hire the right act for your event. Think about your audience, their age range and whether they are most likely to enjoy entertainment that’s mainstream, or something a bit edgier.
Adult Stand-Up Comedians
As the name suggests, Adult Stand-Up Comedians specialise in comedy that’s geared towards adults rather than children and families. Their routines can be hard-hitting, with plenty of satire and dark humour. They are more likely than a Clean Comedian to deal with controversial or adult themes and you can expect swear words.
Famous comedians in this category include Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Lee Mack, Jo Brand, Ricky Gervais, Frankie Boyle and Eddie Izzard, among many others.
This kind of comedian is well-suited to an adult-only birthday party (as long as there aren’t too many shrinking violets in the audience), and fantastic for a military or sporting occasions, social club gig, after-dinner entertainment, hen party or stag do.
At a birthday or anniversary celebration, they will have your guests chuckling from the get-go with jokes and stories covering everything from politics to dating and marriage. There is no stone left unturned with an adult-themed comedian and whoever is celebrating their big day will be in line for plenty of gentle joshing.
Stand-Up Comedians are also often hired for corporate events. In fact, lots of world-famous comics have performed for the big brands, so a Stand-Up Comedian will be used to performing for businesses, and be able to adapt their material to make it as conventional or as edgy as required.
Whether it’s an annual work bash, gala dinner, product launch, or end-of-year party, a professional Stand-Up Comedian will thrill co-workers, bosses and customers alike. Expect the unexpected, and plenty of playful crowd participation.
With sharp comic timing and well-honed delivery, our award-winning Adult Stand-Up Comedians are natural entertainers who can bring you sophisticated, fast-paced shows where the belly laughs just keep on coming.
To make sure you hire a comedian who’s a good fit for your event, take a look at their profiles, including descriptions of their sets and video footage of them performing, so that you can get a proper feel for their content and style. If you’re still not sure, send them a quick message using the Contact Me button.
Clean Stand-Up Comedians
Are you in need of an entertainer for a corporate event, family celebration, community fun day or care home? A Clean Stand-Up Comedian is perfect for entertaining a crowd that spans the generations. Subjects covered are strictly in good taste but will be wide-ranging and guaranteed to bring the house down.
A Clean Stand-Up Comedian is the perfect performer for gala dinners, trade shows, product launches, shop openings, annual work-dos and staff Christmas parties, where their fast-paced, well-timed routines will draw a crowd and delight guests.
Maybe you’re looking for a child-friendly comedian for your little one’s birthday. We have comics who specialise in wacky, slapstick humour that will appeal to a younger audience.
A Clean Stand-Up Comedian is always great value for money, as they put on a show that everyone can enjoy. With no swear words or ‘risky’ material in their routines, they perform clever, observational comedy, with a focus on everyday life and all of its hilarious ups and downs.
World-famous comedians who perform family-friendly humour include Ellen Degeneres, Michael McIntyre and Peter Kay. All are top-drawer performers who don’t rely on heavy subject matters such as sex, religion or politics. So, there’s no need to worry that a clean comedian won’t be funny.
For side-splitting entertainment that will give you and your guests a chance to relax and escape for an hour or two while enjoying quick-fire jokes and hilarious stories, check out our Clean Stand-Up Comedians. Click on their profiles to find bios, showreels and testimonials, along with a contact button so you can request a free, no-obligation quote.
Comedy Impressionists mimic well-known singers, actors and politicians with uncanny precision. The merciless execution of the exact voice, mannerisms and speaking style of these celebrities by the likes of Alistair McGowan and Rory Bremner may seem brutal, but underlying it is pure affection and admiration.
No one in the public eye is safe from the comedy impressionist. From Arnold Schwarzenegger and Barack Obama to Kanye West, these skilled mimics will pinpoint exactly what makes our idols sound the way they do, and have the audience rolling in the aisles at their impossibly perfect impressions.
Impressionists are well suited to corporate events and can offer stage shows or mix-and-mingle entertainment. With fast-paced performances that can be a bit edgy if needed, they are a great choice if you’re looking for a funny impressionist for your company’s annual bash, end-of-year party or colleague’s leaving do.
If you’re organising a trade show, product launch or gala dinner, impressions of the rich and famous are guaranteed to draw a crowd!
If you’re planning a party and looking for something a bit different to entertain your guests, then look no further. We have a wide range of Impressionists in our directory who can provide belly laughs galore, poking fun at celebrities from around the world with spot-on impressions, all wrapped up in a perfect comedy package.
Believe it or not, the Comedy Singer has been around since ancient Greek times. Fast forward a few thousand years and artists such as Les Dawson and the Monty Python gang have had us in stitches, each with their own unique combination of music, songs and comedy.
You only have to watch Billy Connolly, Bill Bailey, Flight of the Conchords, Spinal Tap or Tenacious D to see that the range of musical styles on offer is as varied as the comedy, encompassing everything from vaudeville to heavy metal.
Comedy Singers appeal to audiences of all ages with well-rehearsed, professional, live shows, including comedy covers of classic songs or their own original funny music, and each comedian has their own particular brand of humour, from political satire to slapstick.
Comedy Singers often perform solo with an acoustic guitar, keyboard or backing tracks, while some pair up to form comedy duos. They are extremely versatile performers, with routines that work on stage or as walkabout entertainment, where they might move from table to table, guitar in hand, singing and telling jokes.
Perfect for a corporate event, trade show or staff Christmas party, comedy vocalists are also brilliant at drumming up crowds at a shopping centre product showcase, where they will entice audiences with their cheeky repertoire and good old-fashioned showmanship.
A Comedy Singer will also get any birthday celebration going, delivering sketches with silly voices, impressions, witty songs and audience interaction (and plenty of attention paid to the guest of honour).
To see a breakdown of the shows (and songs) offered by our Comedy Singers, take a look at their profiles, including descriptions of their act, videos of live performances and testimonials. You can also use our personal messaging service to ask any questions you have and to request a free, no-obligation quote.
For a night of marvellous mayhem and carefully calculated chaos, hire a Comedy Waiter. They may look the part, dressed in full waiter uniform, but hilarity soon follows as they drop plates and cutlery, spill drinks over themselves, send cups flying, muddle up orders, steal food from the diners’ plates, take sneaky sips of alcohol from pocket flasks and repeatedly fall over, in true slapstick fashion.
Think Charlie Chaplin, Rowan Atkinson or Jim Carrey - and of course, the ultimate comedy waiter, Manuel from Fawlty Towers!
Want a works dinner that your colleagues won’t forget? Or perhaps you’re planning a product launch with a difference. Maybe you need some ‘help’ with a presentation. Make it go with an unexpected crash, bang and wallop, leaving your clients and customers helpless with laughter as mishap after mishap unfolds.
Take a look at our wonderful and talented Comedy Waiters. On their profiles, you will find descriptions of their acts, video clips of them performing and testimonials. You can also get in touch with performers direct and ask for a free, no-obligation quote.
Drag Queen Acts
For entertainment with an extra helping of fabulous, look no further than hiring a sparkling, shimmering Drag Queen. Sharp-witted but with a big heart, she knows just how to get your party started, with saucy banter, jokes, songs and glitter galore.
Ever since RuPaul’s Drag Race hit our screens in 2009, the popularity of Drag Queen Acts has soared and this is one of our most popular entertainer categories.
If you’re looking for an ice-breaker for a corporate event, cocktail party, birthday celebration or after dinner entertainment, a Drag Queen will have faces blushing with some quick-witted put-downs and sharp remarks, before busting out a few heartfelt ballads and disco classics.
Make your evening magical as you take in a Parisian cabaret show, glimpse the Soho nightlife and revel in the glitz and glamour of Vegas. Expect incarnations of Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli and Shirley Bassey along with belters like It’s Raining Men and I Will Survive. Whether lip-synced or sung live, these all-time favourites are sure to get everyone singing along.
Drag acts offer thrilling and sophisticated entertainment, lighting up your night with theatrical flair, fascinating anecdotes, music, laughter and good old fashioned mischief and fun.
Find and contact our warm and welcoming Drag Queen Acts here at Entertainers Worldwide. Their profiles, complete with beautiful biographies, tempting testimonials and vampish video clips, are ready and waiting for you!
Unusual Comedy Acts
Still not found what you’re looking for? Take a look at our Other Comedy Acts who combine various elements of the categories above with variety and speciality act such as hypnotists, circus acts, clowns, Mime artists, Cabaret Magicians and other unusual entertainment ideas.
El-loco combines the arts of comedy, magic and mime - ne of the many comedy acts listed on Entertainers Worldwide available to book in London
HIRING A COMEDY ACT FOR YOUR WEDDING
Hiring a Comedian for your wedding breakfast, drinks reception or evening party can be a brilliant way to break the ice and set a sparkling and festive mood on your special day.
A Clean Comedian can warm up family and friends at your wedding breakfast and entertain guests as they are seated and waiting for the speeches. Or how about hiring an Impressionist to move from table to table, impersonating different celebrities, to the delight of guests of all ages.
Comedy Singers can provide laughter and music at your drinks reception, while the bride and groom have their photographs taken, or get the atmosphere sizzling at your evening reception, with funny stories and songs before the band comes on.
Why not stir things up a bit at your drinks reception, with a Comedy Waiter swerving in between guests, causing havoc and pandemonium with slapstick routines and plenty of mischief making. They could even help you cut the wedding cake!
If you’ve been asked to give a speech and you’re struggling to find the right words, you might consider hiring the services of Stand-Up Comedian. They can take the pressure off you and poke light-hearted fun at the bride, groom, family and friends, or help you to write a killer speech, guaranteed to have them rolling in the aisles.
A Stand-Up Comedian can also warm up the crowd before the band or DJ starts the evening celebrations. A professional comic will perform a tailor-made, wedding-themed show with plenty of bridezilla and best man jokes.
HOW MUCH DOES A COMEDIAN COST TO HIRE?
Generally speaking, with comedy, you pay for the level, experience and profile of the act you book.
A professional comic who performs regularly at top comedy clubs but is still at the start of his or her career will charge between £500 and £1000 in the UK ($1000 in the U.S. and 1200 € in Europe). If they have won awards and tend to be the headline act at shows, they will be at the higher end of this range.
Add TV and radio credits and that goes up to between £1000 and £5000 in the UK ($5000 in the U.S. and 6000 € in Europe).
Well-known acts charge between £5000 and £12,000 in the UK ($12,000 in the U.S. and 14,000 € in Europe)..
To hire a big TV celebrity, you can expect to pay £15,000 and upwards in the UK ($15,000 in the U.S. and 17 € in Europe).
Like most entertainers, Comedians tend to charge more at key times of year such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
As with booking any act, we advise that it’s worth paying for a reliable performer who will turn up on time and deliver a great evening’s entertainment. See our Essential Tips below for information on booking terms and conditions.
Our entertainers’ directory is the perfect tool to help you find the right Comedy Act for your budget. You can easily search for the best acts in your area and message them directly. Some acts even include a rough price guide in their profile.
Since prices do vary widely, depending on the act and the event, we highly recommend getting in touch with your chosen performer for a completely free, no-obligation quote.
HOW LONG WILL THEY PERFORM FOR?
Stand-up comics can perform a 30 minute sketch, or a full two-hour show, with the average set for an event being around 60 minutes.
Comedy Singers might perform two 45 minutes sets, while Comedy Waiters will perform for two hours, or the duration of the meal. Drag Queen Acts will vary their performances depending on whether they are offering mix and mingle entertainment or a stage show.
Most comedians can adapt their shows depending on the event and your requirements. Performance times may vary for stage shows, private receptions, meet-and-greet events, festivals, trade shows and community events.
If you need a variation on your comedian’s usual set format, simply ask them if they can accommodate your request.
SUITABLE VENUES FOR COMEDY ACTS
Most venue types are suitable for comedy acts. They need the basics of a safe, clean and dry area in which to stand, room to move about a bit (mainly from left to right), space for a mic stand, a safe powerpoint for their PA system and microphone, and basic lighting, so that the audience can see them.
If your venue is outside, make sure that some kind of cover is provided and check with your act that they are happy to perform outdoors.
Comedians perform in tiny venues and huge arenas, so they are pretty flexible when it comes to stage size. That said, we advise a minimum stage area of 3m x 3m for most comedy acts.
Bear in mind that some may need a bit more space, for extra equipment, extra moving around or an ultra-theatrical performance. If you’re hiring comedy waiters, they will need enough room to weave in and out of tables.
It’s always a good idea to double check with your act at the time of booking how much space they will need to perform at your event.
Comedians will need a private, room away from the guests, ideally with a mirror, to get changed, warm up and relax inbetween sets. A small, lockable room or back office may be sufficient if there is no dressing room available.
ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR BOOKING A COMEDY ACT
How far in advance should I book?
Popular entertainers get booked up months in advance. Weekends are often busy times and Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve get booked up well in advance. So, get your booking in nice and early!
What equipment and set up requirements will there be?
Stand-up comedians, comedy singers and impressionists will provide most of their own equipment, including a microphone, mic stand and PA system. Comedy Waiters will provide their own uniforms (unless particular outfits are being provided by the booker). Drag Queen Acts will have all of their own costumes and make-up.
Some bookings may require an act to dress in a particular outfit, such as a T-shirt with the company logo for a corporate occasion, or something that fits with a themed event. If you have any special requirements regarding clothing, or anything else, it’s always best to speak to the performer before booking, to make sure they are happy and can do their best to accommodate any requests.
Basic lighting is a requirement for any stand-up act, so make sure the venue has something suitable in place.
If you’re not sure whether your comic needs a microphone, or any extra equipment, just ask before you book.
Do I need to provide food?
Your comedian may have travelled some distance to get to your event and have a long night ahead. For daytime performances, acts will require soft drinks and tea or coffee free of charge. For extra-long or evening events, you should provide a proper meal as well. This will be much appreciated!
Do I need to pay a deposit?
Entertainers usually require a deposit of around 15-20% of the overall cost, in order to secure the booking. This protects the performer against lost income in the event of cancellation, and also gives you reassurance that you have a confirmed booking.
Will I have to cover travel expenses?
These will usually be included in the quote you are given, as the Comedy Act will need to calculate their travel costs, especially if they are travelling some distance.
Cancellation and Insurance
What happens if the act cancels?
Thankfully this rarely happens, but in the unlikely event that, due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, a comedian is unable to perform for you as agreed, they will usually have a contingency plan. This means they can send a similar performer in their place, at no extra cost to you. For confirmation of this, you can check the Terms and Conditions in your contract.
What happens if our event is cancelled?
If you are in the unlucky position of having to cancel your event, there will be a cancellation fee. The amount usually increases the closer it gets to the event date. For example, cancelling 90 days before the event might incur 75% of the overall fee, while cancelling less than 30 days prior might mean paying the entire sum.
These conditions should be laid out in the contract you receive when booking, so check before signing. If you have any reason to think your event may not go ahead as planned, it would be better to let your act know as soon as possible.
Insurance / Risk Assessment
Ideally, the venue and the act you hire will have Public Liability Insurance. This covers you and them in the event of a claim, should any members of the public or guests be injured at your event, or any damage be caused to property.
If your act is a member of Equity, a trade union that represent live performers in the entertainment industry in the UK (the American Guild of Variety Artists or the Actors' Equity Association in the U.S. and various unions and societies in Europe), this gives you extra reassurance that they are professional and trustworthy, fully insured and abiding by industry standard contracts.
Clarify in Advance!
When it comes to practicalities, it’s always better to discuss them in advance, to avoid any unexpected hitches on the day. Whatever questions you have, however silly they might seem to you, you can bet they’ve heard them before, and worse! So, don’t be shy - good communication is the key to planning a great event.
HOW TO BOOK A COMEDY ACT
Booking a Comedian is easy with Entertainers Worldwide. You can search through different acts, view their profiles and read their all-important reviews. Some of our listed acts also include video samples of their performances.
Once you’ve found the act you want to book, simply use the contact form on their profile page. We are not an agency, so you can deal directly with your chosen group, with no extra booking fees or commission to pay.
How can I find and book a COMEDY ACT for an event near me?
Using Entertainers Worldwide, you can search and browse hundreds of Stand-up Comedians, Comedy Waiters, Drag Queens and much more! Search now to find a Comedy Act for your event or Request Multiple Quotes from a selection of Comedy Acts - complete this form - this is a free service.
Search now to find a Comedy Act for your event