boardroom breaks can be more rejuvenating than comic
relief done right. And few can make for more awkward discomfort
than a stand-up who bombs or worse, offends. As Adam Christing
(right), president of La Mirada, Calif.-based Clean Comedians, can
attest, pulling off the comedy thing demands a bit more savvy than
merely plunking a comic in front of a roomful of restless
attendees. Some crucial comedic caveats:
Come closer. Never separate performer and
audience with an oversize dance floor; distance is the number-one
killer of good stand-up.
Keep it clean. Make sure to screen the
performer’s material. What goes over in a typical club can ruffle
quite a few corporate feathers. This means no obscenities, no
racial comedy and no gender jokes.
Forks down, please. Dinner is no time for
stand-up. Only put a comic onstage once attendees are well-fed and
Work the inside jokes. Slipping the stand-up a
company buzzword or some (tame) dish on the CEO will assure bigger
and more meaningful laughs.