The Secrets to Successfully Hosting a Show

stand-up comedy montreal

Let’s say you’re hosting a stand-up comedy show in Montreal (or one at the best comedy club, Comedyville) and a comedian has a bad set. The audience isn’t laughing and some of them even have a legit scowl on their face. What are you supposed to do? You’re standing up there at the mic and you need to cleanse every one of the sour taste in their metaphorical mouths. Well, you’re in luck because I’ve compiled a list of some helpful secrets to successfully hosting a show.

Potential Issue While Hosting: A comedian that has an offensive or harsh set that rubs the audience the wrong way.

Helpful Secret: Just pretend you’re at Thanksgiving and you’re Uncle just brought up his famous “COVID is a secret government conspiracy” debate. He’s just an old angry man that spends too much time on Facebook. Do what you do best and break the tension with a joke or point out some inconsistencies in his argument. “COVID is a conspiracy?! What’s next, Uncle Mike? The Easter bunny isn’t real and Santa Claus doesn’t exist?! Fat chance. It’ll get a chuckle from some family members and maybe even a couple from your Uncle. And, if it works properly, it will push the moment forward and everyone can get past the uncomfortableness.

Potential Issue While Hosting: You’re hosting at an English comedy club in Montreal and comedians are going over their allotted time limit.

Helpful Secret: Roast the comedians that aren’t abiding by the time frame. You can use this opportunity for two things, getting some laughs and giving the upcoming comedians a subtle reminder that they need to wrap it up and get off the stage when they see their light flash. Most of the time, comedians only get 3-5 minutes during an open mic-style show and every second and minute the comedian goes over the performers at the end of the list lose that time for their set.

Potential Issue While Hosting: The vibe in the comedy club is a little low.

Helpful Secret: Counteract the chiller vibe by amping yourself up to a heightened version. You don’t need to be like 80’s Robin Williams after 3 lines of cocaine but deciding to have bigger energy can wake the audience up and get them excited for the next performer. This helps both the audience and the next comedian. The audience gets a jolt of energy from you and the comedian starts his/her set with plenty of potential for laughs.

As secrets to successfully hosting a show, you are the gatekeeper when you host a show. You can’t control how the comedians’ sets do but you can control the vibe in the room in between their jokes. You control the pacing and you can even get some jokes in as a palate cleanser. You’re there for energetic introductions to each comedian and make sure the audience has a good experience. Make your comedy club owner proud and keep the show moving at a good pace so all the comedians get time to develop their jokes.


Post by Jonathan Motney
Jonathan has been writing and performing comedy in the DFW area for over 5 years. He looks to continue contributing to the comedy world until he becomes unfunny due to age and/or fatherhood.

Post exclusively contributed to, All rights reserved.
Comedyville is a Comedy Club located in Downtown Montreal.

The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author.

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