Ask any comedian for a list of things that might make a gig difficult, they would probably tell you some of the following:
- Free entry - the dearth of the stand-up gig - nobody cares/has committed
- No separate room - it's almost like people went out to the pub and a comedy club happened among them
- Nobody knows the comedy is on
- Nobody in the venue is organising the show - they're too busy doing other stuff
- People are being distracted by being served food or drink during the show
- The comedy risks getting in the way of someone's dessert
- The seating doesn't naturally make everyone face the stage
- There's noise coming from something else - music, other people, the outside world
- There are other distractions - TV, fruit machine etc
- The people present are of the wrong age - too young, sometimes too old
In short, if the person staging the night at the venue hasn't thought it through, or hasn't created an environment in which comedy can happen, then the comedy won't happen. Comedy is not about comedians talking into a PA system, it's about creating an atmosphere and environment in which people can share a joke.
In case of any doubt, the criticism here is aimed at non comedy folk. Any comedian or promoter with any amount of experience would know this.
Today I suggested to a hotel manager that he might be better paying me not to perform rather than paying me to antagonise some unsuspecting patrons in his bar.
He acquiesced and sent the comedy night into a separate(ish) space.
Thus one of the most stressful days of my comedy career ended in laughter.