How to Interact With a Comedy Show Audience

montreal comedy show

Knowing your audience when performing live comedy is crucial. The rapport and emotional connection that can be formed between performer and audience is half the reason why comedy is rewarding and enjoyable. The jokes you tell are at the heart of a successful performance, but knowing how to interact with a show audience is also massively important. Here are three simple and important rules for interacting with a show audience the right way.

Be Loose and Relaxed

People come to a live comedy show to relax, unwind, and have fun. When you get on stage to perform, you are basically doing the opposite of giving a formal speech. If you are feeling nervous and stressed, then do your best not to show it. Pay attention to your body language and the tone of your voice — both need to give off a relaxed, fun air. If you feel anxious, try at least to redirect those nervous feelings into an energetic, lively performance. Once on stage, make eye contact with members of the audience. This will build rapport and help you assess how well your jokes are landing.

Respond To What the Audience Does

Performing comedy is not a matter of delivering a memorized speech. While you should have the essentials of your routine mastered, you don’t want to be like a robot on stage. A crucial aspect of building an emotional connection with the audience is reacting in real time to them. If a joke falls flat, simply acknowledging the fact can help enhance the vibe of the show. If you recognize someone, say hello to them. Crack a joke if someone gets up to leave in the middle of your set. Simple things like this help to get the audience more involved in your performance, making the interaction between you and them a two-way street.

Handle Hecklers With Composure

Hecklers are the worst fear of some comedians. However, heckling is not always a terrible thing. In fact, if you handle a heckler the right way, you can make the show better. Most audience members will be predisposed to support you against a heckler. The key is to retain your cool. Come up with a funny response in the moment if you can. Just don’t become seriously angry or go too far in bantering with the heckler. You want a poised, balanced response that shows you aren’t shaken off your game. Overreacting will ruin the mood.

The relationship between performer and audience is what can make live comedy an incredible experience for all involved. The sense of a connection between the person on stage and the audience, plus the spontaneous, unpredictable nature of the interaction, is what makes it all so much fun. Follow the three key rules above and your interactions with a comedy show audience will go well.


Post by Eddie Case, exclusively for, All rights reserved.
Comedyville is a Comedy Club located in Downtown Montreal.

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