The stand-up comedy invoice is for any comedian that charges for a performance. The amount of money charged is determined by the amount of time designated to perform, usually anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, plus any transportation or room and board costs.
Table of Contents
- What is Stand-Up Comedy?
- The 10 Types of Humor
- How Long is a Stand-up Comedy Routine?
- Stand-Up Comedian Salary & Hourly Pay ($/hr)
Stand-up comedy is when an individual “stands up” in front of an audience and performs a comedic routine for the purpose of making the audience laugh. There are many different types of comedians and approaches they take to get a laugh from the crowd—for example, Jerry Seinfeld practices the standard approach of telling jokes using timing and combining more than one (1) story into a grand punchline. Others, such as Pee-Wee Herman and Carrot Top, perform as a character while using costumes and props to help give the audience a better illustration of a story or joke.
Where the comic performs can vary widely. Many comedians carry out their acts at traditional stand-up comedy clubs but may also be seen at business gatherings, birthday parties, or other events.
- Dark – Offering comment on a subject in society that is normally taboo.
- Dry – Often referred to as “deadpan,” when the comedian doesn’t change their facial expression or attitude while delivering a joke.
- Irony/Sarcasm – Jokes intended to imitate or contradict a statement. Often not understood immediately when told.
- Character (role) – Performing an act or role that is not the true personality of the comedian.
- Shock Value – When comedians use “shock value,” they say something to overwhelm the audience with a gross or psychotic thought that has an underlying layer of truth.
- Parody – When the comedian plays on a person or event and making fun of in a hyperbolic or absurd way.
- Satirical – Using exaggerations to represent a larger point about society.
- Self-Deprecating – Using the comedian’s own life for humor.
- Situational – Using the comedian’s own experiences to point out the humor in everyday life.
- Slapstick – Over the top, simple, short jokes with a punchline.
Most stand-up comedy routines, on a for-hire basis, are between 15-20 minutes. There are many types of gigs and events where a comedian can perform, all of which may run varying lengths of time.
- Auditorium (show) – 45-120 minutes
- Comedy Club – 15-20 minutes
- Corporate Event – 20-60 minutes
- Cruise Ship – 45-90 minutes
- Gig – 15-45 minutes
- Open Mic – 5-10 minutes
- TV Appearance – 3-5 minutes
The main issue with pay for stand-up comedians is that most gigs are at bars and clubs which pay on a per performance basis. Depending on the comedian’s position such as hosting, being a filler, or headlining, the pay can vary widely. Salary positions are few but do exist in places of entertainment like casinos, cruise ships, and other year-round venues.
Salary: $10,400 to $67,400/yr (source: CareerExplorer)
Hourly Rate: $9.31/hr (source: CareerExplorer)
Local comics are commonly hired for corporate events, holiday parties, or any other gig that requires the comedian to perform their routine. In such requests, the comedian will commonly be paid a fixed price that includes their performance (service), transportation, and other travel costs.