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Watching Your Very First Live Comedy? 5 Things You Need to Know

Whether you’re stressed out or feeling down, it’s normal to want to find something to laugh about. After all, laughter is considered the best medicine. Planning to watch your first live comedy show soon? Here are five things you need to know before heading out.

First Live Comedy

Although it doesn’t necessarily give you the solution to your dilemma, it does give you the courage to face, fight, and get through whatever it may be. This could be why psychologists consider laughter-inducing entertainment as “important medicine” – one that is available for most people.

Of course, you don’t have to be diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or insomnia to benefit from watching live comedy. Even a simple urge to lighten your mood is more than enough reason to buy Michael McIntyre tickets for a laughter extravaganza at Etihad Arena.

  1. Don’t be late.

Comedy venues sell tickets for shows to their guests. As you buy one, make sure you know when the show will begin and don’t be late. Especially if you want to catch the joke of the day.

If you are, you risk becoming a subject of the comedian’s jokes, which could be more embarrassing than funny. This is a common reaction from performers, as arriving late also interferes with the rest of the audience’s enjoyment of the show.

Moreover, arriving on time is the best way to show your respect for the audience, the performer, and comedy itself.

  1. Keep your phone quiet and out of the way.

Since it’s your first time watching a live comedy show, you might be tempted to take pictures or record videos of it all. Bit of advice? Don’t.

Most live venues will ask you to put your phone away before the program starts, and for a good reason. You’re there to laugh and have genuine fun, and you cannot do that if you’re distracted by a device.

The light from your phone might also divert attention from the performance, which usually entails darkened lights in the audience area and a spotlight on the comedian.

Also, never post videos on social media. Live performers make money through the tickets sold for their show, which means sharing their performances online is akin to usurping their paycheck.

  1. Follow the comedian’s lead.

Comedians may not always engage the audience, but when they do, you should follow their lead. Respond when they ask the crowd questions and always be a good sport.

Some comedians may enjoy getting heckled by the audience, but make sure you aren’t the first one to do so. Be mindful of the limitations, as comedic heckling can easily go overboard. If the audience gets unnecessarily vicious, the comedian might walk out.

And do not forget to be respectful.

  1. Discreetly go on bathroom breaks.

Comedy clubs are often filled with lots of people trying to watch the show. To ensure everybody can enjoy uninterrupted laughs, go on your bathroom breaks discreetly.

This is particularly important if you’re seated near the stage and within the comedian’s line of sight as it could disrupt the performance.

As much as possible, take care of all your personal business before the show begins. Otherwise, you’ll risk missing out on some parts of the program or distracting others from enjoying it.

  1. Consider the show’s theme.

Most comedy events have a specific theme to give potential audiences an idea of what will happen. Consider this before buying tickets for upcoming events in Abu Dhabi and you will have a clearer picture of what you can expect.

Live comedies also come with elements that differ for each show, which you’ll understand better if you know the various types of comedy show formats:

Open Mics

Considered as the foundation of a standup scene, open mics are the purest of all comedy shows. This is where some of the greatest comedians are born, serving as platforms to launch their careers and test new materials.

Of course, this also means open mics will be filled with bombs and failures that help shape new trends in comedy.

Still, you have to know that not all open mics today are as pure as before. Some may allow amateurs and even beginners to test their comedic prowess in front of an audience without prior experience, but others may not.

The bottom line: If you choose this kind of show, you need to be ready to sit through potentially numerous clunkers before finally coming across the beginnings of great talent.

Curated Open Mics

Curated open mics are one tier above pure open mics in terms of the performers’ experience level in standup comedy.

As the name implies, this type of format involves a curator (also called a “producer”) choosing the comedic line-up for the night. In most cases, they include some performers with a fair amount of experience to carry the show.

Like an open mic, the show will still include some amateurs with new jokes that may bomb, but it will definitely have some decent and well-tested materials lined up.

Comedy Showcase

This comedy show involves two to seven comedians doing bits and pieces of their materials within roughly 90 minutes on stage. It usually involves more seasoned performers, making it a pretty safe bet for a group seeking a good amount of laughs for the night.


Considered the most developed form of standup comedy, hour-long specials incorporate materials perfected for months or even years of practice. These usually feature the fruits of a comedian’s labor in terms of adding structure, pace, and rhythm to the piece, so much so that it will have no chance to bomb.

Specials are the type of show you’ll want to see if you’re looking for comics in their best form. Of course, there are always a few upcoming talents who open for the headliners of the show, so there is room for fresher puns.

Improve Comedy and Improvised Standup

Improve – short for “improvisation” – is a kind of comedy show akin to unscripted mayhem. It features games, sketches, plots, and dialogues, making it a cross between comedy and theater.

Meanwhile, improvised standup is practically a show that engages the audience, instead of having rehearsed materials performed for them.

Audience participation is at the core of both types of shows. That means you should be ready to jump in when attending this kind of live comedy event.

Join in the Fun

Watching comedy shows can be your ticket to a better, brighter mood. When you decide to join in the fun at your first live comedy show, make sure you know what to expect and how to behave during the performance with the help of this article.

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