Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Comment Cards

One of the things you have to deal with in comedy is comment cards. Most comics I think try to avoid reading them. Either they don’t care, or they just don’t want to read the views of people who have never been on stage ripping apart their life’s work.  It’s like having comment cards for a birth and people being able to anonymously heckle your baby. Most people who use comment cards are assholes, unless they wrote nice stuff.
Clubs usually just use them to get email addresses and to make sure nothing nuclear happened during the show. I happen to be part of those who are a glutton for punishment and read all the comment cards after shows. Mostly I do it to fuel my ego and read about the, “cute fat kid”. Then there are times when I like to read them to see the hate spew out. This weekend happened to be a mixed bag.

I went down to North Carolina to do a show for a friend who knows a lot about comedy. He just started this new room, and of course he had comment cards (again mostly to collect emails). After the show, while crashing on his couch, I decided to look through the comment cards. On most it was just a number next to a name with a slew of 4’s and 5’s. Some people put nice little comments like, “Thank You” or “Fabulous”. Then there were some who just didn’t like what I did and commented, “Too Blue”. That I don’t mind because at least it came with a legit gripe. Then there are the haters.

For some reason a lady (who didn’t specify if she was hating me or the headliner) put down a notebook of comments that took up the front and back of the card. I would think she is a friend of (or dating) the emcee because she kept comparing the feature and the headliner to the emcee. Nothing against emcees but if you’re getting quoted on only one comment card it’s a sign that card was written by somebody who wants you to look better (and is usually sleeping with you). This person went on to talk about timing issues, charisma issues, and other industry terms that comics use to describe comics. Finally she tied her hate tirade up with a paragraph about Louis CK and comparing his career with those of the feature and the headliner, along with a nice piece of advice that this person had memorized from an interview Louis CK did.

This is a hater. This is a person who offers no real advice even when they express they have more than a novices experience around comedy. The worst is how little they tried to cover up this hate. Railing on technique, delivery, and then quoting every open mic comedians messiah, Louis CK, to wrap up just screams hater. Nothing against Louis CK, but he didn’t just crawl out of the womb doing hour long HBO specials (then again maybe he did).

I guess my rant here is more a rant against myself. For hours I let this one little hater, who had issues beyond my act, bring down what was a really good show. I shook hands, had drinks, and hung out with all kinds of people after the show who had a great time (and I even changed the opinion of one person who thought I was “too blue” by flexing a little Shakespeare muscle). Yet after all these compliments and positive comments I let one person’s negative feelings lay judgment on my entire act.

In the end I learned that comedy is a lot like life. You need balance. You can’t spend all your time focused on the one bad comment, but merely put it as one drop in the bucket.  The same goes for all the good comments.  Every show is a new audience, and that means a whole room of blank comment cards ready to love or a hate you.


  1. I get the same way about book reviews on Amazon. You can have 20 five star reviews, but it's the one two star review from a hater that you focus on. Having perspective as an artist or any kind is touch when somebody tells you they hate your baby.

  2. Thanks BISH. It really is hard to look past the one person screaming at you even when the rest of the room is fawning over you. I just started putting stuff on Amazon so I can't wait to have my ego destroyed. Please leave a link so I can check out your stuff. Thank you again for giving my blog a read.